Guest contribution by Wendy Quan
Your mind races. You worry. You feel scattered.
Congratulations, you have a human mind.
How to regard your busy mind
You may know about the mindfulness concept called the “monkey mind”, the name given to your busy mind. You have a lot going on in your life, so your mind jumps around like a monkey. It can be stressful and annoying.
Maybe you’ve tried meditation, with the hope that you’d find some bliss in your life. Maybe you’ve sat in meditation and gotten frustrated because your monkey mind just won’t shut down.
Having thoughts is normal, it’s human. It is actually not too realistic to expect that your mind will shut off and be blissful, even in meditation. But if you cultivate a meditation practice, you will notice an increase in focus and concentration, and moments of peace and calm.
How to observe your busy mind
- Be the “observer” or the “witness” to your thoughts.
Allow yourself to watch the goings-on of your mind. You will be intrigued, if not entertained. It’s akin to watching a movie. Pause and just watch what your mind does. Notice how your thoughts often move from one subject to the other, how your thoughts don’t necessarily make any sense. Are your thoughts replaying something from the past? Are they disparate and have no logical flow to them? Are they emotional reactions? These are all typical observations.
- Observe without judgment.
As you witness your moment-to-moment thoughts, it’s likely you will judge them. Your inner voice might sound like this: “why am I thinking about this silly thing?” or, “this is stressing me out” or, “am I being jealous?”
Practice non-judgment. Just observe and notice your thoughts.
What this will do for you
This simple practice can:
- Increase your self awareness
- Allow you the opportunity to change your thoughts, if you wish to do so. You can retrain your mind to be more positive if you can catch yourself thinking negatively, then intentionally change your thinking.
- Improve your mood
- Help you realize if your thoughts are causing you stress
- Be entertaining
Please give this a try right now. It only takes a few moments!
Wendy Quan is an industry leader in helping organizations implement self-sustaining mindfulness meditation programs to create change resiliency. She is the founder of The Calm Monkey, the first and only online and in-person training and certification of its kind, which turns experienced meditators into Mindfulness Meditation Facilitators in the workplace and community.
Wendy is a certified organizational change manager who has been recognized as a pioneer by the Greater Good Science Center of the University of California, Berkeley and the global Association of Change Management Professionals. Her client list includes individuals from around the world and organizations such as Google and the government of Dubai. Her life’s purpose is to help people create a better experience of life.