Taming the (Monkey) Mind

Meditating MonkeyHave you ever suffered a panic attack or experienced very high anxiety? If so, these are signs that you’re taking care of everyone but yourself.

It’s easy to do – especially if we are constantly “plugged in” to everyone else via phone, email, chat, and social media. While being connected is a good thing, it can also become harmful when you begin to worry about things over which you have very little control. It also contributes to the constant chatter and non-stop thoughts in your head, AKA Monkey Mind.

I have a friend who runs around and helps everyone else but her. Most of these people don’t need to be taken care of, but she floods them with unwanted info and help anyway. If I happen to mention that I have a sore throat, my email box will be inundated for a week with remedies, medical articles, information about the cycle of the moon – basically anything she thinks will help cure my sore throat – when all I was sharing was that my throat was sore, most likely from allergies.

The information can become so overwhelming that her friends start avoiding her for fear that they’ll be unnecessarily taken care of since she allows her Monkey Mind to take over. Then she can’t figure out why she is depressed, tired, lonely, and unhappy.

She also hasn’t figured out the person that needs the most attention is her, and that she creates these situations to avoid taking care of herself.

If this type of behavior sounds familiar then slow down, take a look at your life and ask yourself when was the last time you took care of you?

It’s okay to  pamper yourself. Take a bath, enjoy a glass of wine, get a massage.

It’s okay to be nice to you. Go for a walk, make a nice dinner, relax for an afternoon.

It’s okay to sleep in late or sit and read a book all day.

Of course you have to keep Monkey Mind quiet. It isn’t easy but it can be done. It takes time and patience – something we so rarely give ourselves – but with a little practice, you can send the monkey back to the jungle where it belongs.