Monkey Mind is a Swinging Drag
Updated: Aug 31, 2021
Have you heard the term--monkey mind? It was the Buddha who first started speaking of the wandering mind and termed it "monkey mind." This business of the mind grasping at thoughts, observations, connections, thoughts is a lot like a monkey reaching from one branch to the next as it roams through the forest. This might be fine for a monkey, but it is not fine for us human beings as we go through our day.
Our ancient ancestors were also very skilled at using the powers of their monkey mind to survive. By scanning their environment for potential threats, they were on high alert and stayed alive. This is very fatiguing for us in modern times. Our threats are not life or death moments, but the body still acts that way.
Truth--you have about 70,000 thoughts per day. Most of what you think today--you thought yesterday. This can be very tiresome especially if you are going through times of worry and anxiety. No one needs to keep repeating those negative and/or unhelpful thoughts. It is damaging to our mental health.
Truth--there is something to be done with the wandering mind. That something is calming to the mind, heart and body. Slowing down to breathe deeply in and out through the nose is the first step in calming the nervous system. It is the step that puts an end to the leaping. Focusing on the breath as it enters and exits the body gives your mind something else (other than leaping) to do. The act of inhaling and exhaling gives your body something else to do as well. In this moment, the body says we are not energizing--we are not gathering defenses for fight/flight like our ancient ancestors. We are not activating cortisol and adrenaline hormones. We are calm. We are in the moment. By repeating the intentional breathwork, we can also then calm the heart. Let the heart relax.
I recorded a video on YouTube on this very topic because I was asked to. If you have coaching topics you would like me to address, let me know.
Click the link if you want to learn more about breathing your way into calm, control, serenity now.