Monkey mind is the way we call the confusion of our thoughts. Believe it or not, you are constantly thinking, day and night. (an average brain have more than 100k of thoughts a day)
I really don’t know why this happens! I’ve been thinking a lot about this problem, and the conclusion I came up, at least for my experience is this one.
I think that our body is like a muscle or less specifically something that needs to be stimulated and trained to function properly. If we let our body relax too much, or if we don’t use our brain, we will become respectively weaker and more stupid.
I think that the neural connection of our brain to keep this complicated system together needs to be constantly stimulated.
I think that thoughts are like doing calisthenics for your brain. Monkey mind so is a good thing.
The problem is that if you train too much you can damage your muscles, get injured or just harm your body instead doing any good.
The same thing, I guess, it happens to thoughts. It is our mission to don’t let them overcome our reality and bring negative thoughts to us.
You can not catch a real monkey, but you can use your intelligence to make it fall into a trap.
What Triggers The Monkey Mind And What A Typical Conversation With the Monkey Looks Like
There are many things that can trigger a monkey mind, the first step you should take is to recognize the monkey.
I said before that thinking, according to me, is like a gym for our neural connections. When the workout becomes too heavy is time to stop it. Thinking about how to solve a problem, or how to make your loved happy are good thoughts.
The thing that usually triggers the worst thoughts is the fear! You can read more about this here, how to overcome fear.
Fear is a beast that is trying to make our life miserable, here is a typical monkey mind conversation:
- you: should I leave this country?
- monkey: yeah you should!
- you: what if I don’t get a job where I will go?
- monkey: you will have to live on a street.
- you: I can not live on a street, I want to have a lifestyle.
- monkey: if you go there, there is a risk that it’ll get worse.
- you: and what if my grandma goes to the hospital.
- monkey: you will be with no job and no grandma.
- you: so I should stay here, and take care of my grandma and my job?
- monkey: yeah.
- you: but I hate this.
- monkey: so go away!
This is a short loop of thoughts, as we can see it never ends and it just gets worst and worst with no end. This will make our life miserable, and at the end is all about taking a decision and stick with it.
We have over 100.000 of thoughts a day but at the end of the day, these thoughts can be grouped in a handful of fields. The main topics usually involve:
- love and family
- fear of something.
- living in the past.
- shattered dreams.
Minimalist amount of thoughts to tame the monkey.
Less stuff, fewer thoughts and just less of less is a good solution to problems. If you started to remove from your life stuff, you should also remove thoughts and bad situations.
How can a real minimalist tame the monkey then? I am writing this article because I am the king of the monkey mind. I am trying to tame the beast all day long, and often I fail.
Less Stuff, Less Thoughts, Less BullShit
8 tricks to tame the monkey mind
Here are some of the most powerful techniques I came up with my experience with this kind of loop of thoughts.
- Talk positively to the monkey: When the loop of thoughts reaches you, all you gotta do is to reply to the monkey in a positive way. He will eventually give up to bother you very soon. Like in the conversation above, reply “I will get a job where I will go”. The monkey replies, “No you won’t”, you reply “Yes I will, MFKR”. I promise you, that he will give up.
- Exercise: Train your body, a stronger body is a more confident and powerful body. It will be easier to triumph on the bad thoughts if you have a strong body. Body and mind are strictly related. What I always do is calisthenics, you can read more about it here.
- Do some manual work: Having you to deal with something to fix. Something that keeps your mind busy solving a problem or doing a DIY craft, is very helpful.
- Face a real life serious problem: Bring up a real-life problem that you need to solve before the end of the day, or at the end of the hour or at the end of the month. Act immediately and try to solve instantly without procrastination.
- Write your discussion on paper: If you been reading this blog, you probably noticed I love OneNote. I will make a tutorial on how to use it soon, but yeah, just use it. Write down all your conversations with the monkey. Try to create a neat and tidy blueprint of your thoughts day after day. Journaling your fears and thoughts it is very important.
- Read the thoughts months later: Go back to the thoughts you wrote and see how dumb they were. If you come back to thoughts you wrote there 1 month or 1 year ago or even 10 years ago you will see how outdated these thoughts are. You have already found a lot of solution on most of them, if you didn’t you should immediately and lean toward a rapid change in your life.
- Do not persist: if you persist it will resist, this is a famous motto and it is so true. The more you will persist in not having a monkey mind loop of thoughts, the more the loop will become heavy and a bother. Just let it go.
- Empty your mind: try to think about nothing. This is what is all about mindfulness and meditation. If you are able to have zero thoughts for 1 second, or 10 seconds or 1 minute or 1 hour or more you will have a serious control of your body. Being able to think about nothing, unless you are Homer Simpson it is very hard. You need to train your mind so much in order to do so.
Thinking is like a workout for our brain, working out too much will damage our body, the same will do thinking too much.
We have talked about how to identify a bad loop of thoughts and listed a few powerful techniques I use to tame the beast.
Living a life of less, starting from things and then over to fewer thoughts and bullshit is a nice approach to happiness and fulfillment.
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