Mental chatter is something we all put up with. Your mind is always chattering, and it never shuts up. From the time you get up in the morning until the time you go to bed at night, your mind chatters away. This mental chatter even effects your dreams.
So, what can you do to quiet mental chatter?
There are many thing you can do about mental chatter, but before we talk about solutions let’s discuss what it is.
What is Mental Chatter?
Mental chatter is that constant stream of thoughts that suddenly pop into your conscious mind. These thoughts can range from, “Where did I leave keys?” and “What am going to have for lunch” to “Why did I say that?” or “Why am I such a loser?”
Mental chatter has been called many things. My personal favorite is the Buddhist term “monkey mind”. Buddhist named it this because it refers to the mind acting unsettled, restless, and jumping around from thought to thought like a monkey jumping around in a tree.
While the description is humorous, there is nothing funny about this chatter. This is especially true when your mind constantly focuses on life’s negatives because this never-ending stream of negativism can be damaging to your mental and physical health.
What Can You Do About Your Monkey Mind?
First, you have to acknowledge that mind chatter is even worse today than ever before. This is because there is a constant stream of stimulus bombarding you from every direction. From your cell phone to the internet and the need to be always plugged in, your mind gets no rest.
The first thing you need to do is take some time for self-care daily. Schedule time each day to turn off all the stimulus. This means unplugging from your electronic devices for a half hour or so every day.
Additionally, there are skills you can learn, what I call Mindful Mind Hacks, that can help you quiet your mental chatter. These skills will also help you take control of your monkey mind, or at least steer it in the direction you want it to go in, focusing on what’s helpful and positive.
Here are 5 Mindful Mind Hacks You Can Use to Quiet Mental Chatter
1. Accept that your brains is noisy.
Your brain generates thoughts the same way little dogs bark at everything and anything.
For the same reason little dogs bark, it’s just your brain does. Experts estimate that a human brain thinks between 60,000 and 80,000 thoughts a day. If you divide that by the 24 hours in a day, it averages to between 2500 to 3,300 thoughts per hour.
That’s a heck of a lot of thinking!
This tells us that, no matter what, your brain is always generating thoughts. While you can teach it to quiet down, there’s no way to silence it completely.
Your brain is always making noises only you can hear. Accept it. That’s the nature of brains. This doesn’t mean you have to allow mental chatter to control you. It only means you know that lots of brain activity is normal.
2. Become a brain scientist.
This doesn’t mean go to school and get a degree in science. It means that you should act like a scientist.
Scientists observe things. That’s what you want to teach yourself to do with your thoughts. Since your brain is going to generate thoughts regardless of the situation, take a step back from those thoughts and just observe them the same way a scientist might. You don’t have to engage with those thoughts or let them take over your thinking, just observe them.
Now, as you observe that distracting thoughts are trying to hold your attention, recognize them, be grateful for them and then let them go.
3. Practice Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation is the practice of focusing on what you are doing in the moment. This practice will show you just how noisy your mind can be.
Mindfulness meditation allows you to recognize when your thoughts are wandering and helps you bring them back and get your mind to focus. A few minutes a day can make a big difference and better able to control your thinking.
4. Listen, don’t judge
Listening to your chatter is important because it might be your subconscious telling you something you need to pay attention to. When your mind starts chattering at you, ask yourself, “Is this something I need to listen to?”
Sometimes it’s just reminding you of something you need to do, like picking your child up from school or dropping your clothes at the cleaners. If this is the case, you can remove the chatter by setting an alarm on your phone to pick up your child or put “drop clothes at cleaners” on a list you keep on your phone or sheet of paper.
As you pay attention and listening to your thoughts, avoid judging. For example, imagine it’s hot outside. Instead of judging the heat as good or bad, just acknowledge that it’s hot.
As you get into this habit, you’ll find that not only will you stop judging the weather, you’ll also learn to stop judging other people, places, things, and situations. An added bonus is as you judge less, you’ll worry less about others judging you.
5. Journal Your Thoughts
Journaling is an easy way to let it all out. Give yourself 10-20 minutes each day to write everything down and let your mind to run wild. Write all those thoughts down. You’ll be stunned by how varied and nonsensical they are. It’s likely you’ll find some thoughts that are worthwhile too.
The Final Word on Quieting Your Mental Chatter
First, mental chatter means you have a normal brain. Your brain, like every other human brain, makes noise, never stopping for long. The thing to remember is to not let the chatter take over your life.
Second, remember, much, if not most of your mental chatter is nothing but random noise. The best thing you can do is to recognize it for what it is and let it go. This will let you get on with your life.
Finally, use the Mindful Mind Hacks you found in this article to help quiet your mental chatter.
If you’re reading this somewhere else but the website, go to https://mindfulmindhacking.com to find more information you can use to get your mental chatter working for you rather than against you.
Additionally, here is another article that will be helpful https://mindfulmindhacking.com/5-tricks-to-keep-your-mind-calm-and-relaxed/
Using these Mindful Mind Hacks to quiet your mind and get it to focus on achieving what you want out of life.