Controlling the Drunken Monkeys

The Buddha held that the human mind is filled with drunken monkeys flinging themselves from tree branches, jumping around, and chattering nonstop. (amazing visual) What he meant is that our minds are in constant motion. I can certainly relate. Thanks #covid19

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A few tips to help overcome this monkey mind thought process.

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1. Understand you have the power to control your monkey mind.
Stop a rapid or negative train of thought by thinking to yourself, “STOP!” before taking several deep breathes and moving on.

2. Live in the moment.
To live in the moment, or now, means being conscious, aware and in the present with all of your senses. It means not dwelling on the past, nor being anxious or worrying about the future.

3. Be an observer of your own thoughts.
This is doing the mental training of working to avoid judging your thoughts as being good or bad, but rather to notice you’re having feelings as a result of your thoughts and analyze why you feel a certain way.

4. Practice Pranayama
This practice of deep, slow breathing helps to center the mind and streamline any scattering thoughts.

5. Come to grips with your past.
One monkey that is often particularly loud is the one that keeps reminding you of things that happened in the past. Traumatic events can leave drunken monkeys in your head that constantly make you relive things that you wish had never happened.

6. Practice gratitude.
Starting each day with gratitude will help set the tone of your day. Reflect on what you are grateful for, which will shift your focus from what you don’t have to what you do have.

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It is important to not let the monkeys take over, but rather to learn how to take control and have them listen to your commands. Get the monkeys to be on your side so they don’t interfere with your success.

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