I had a talk with my youngest daughter this morning. She wanted to talk about how she felt like she was "hearing voices" in her head.
My first reaction was not great. But then I remembered that it was around this age that kids start to notice the voice inside their heads, the one that I now affectionately refer to as Monkey Mind.
I asked her what it says to her and she told me that it sounded like her own brain talking back to her, basically reassuring of whatever thought was on her mind.
She also said that sometimes it challenged her to try something new, even if she didn't feel ready. The example she gave was going down a large slide that she wasn't quite ready for yet.
I explained the Monkey Mind to her in detail, telling her that we all experience it and the best thing to do is to quiet it down. When she asked me how to do that – I gave her three steps (suggestions) to try.
It prompted me to write this post and share it with you today. It was also important for me to hear all of this from her right now as reminder for myself to quiet my own Monkey Mind down.
I don't know about you, but mine can get pretty loud this time of year with the holiday season in full swing.
3 Steps To Quiet Your Monkey Mind
- Notice it. Simply bringing awareness to it can sometimes turn it off altogether. Especially if it's saying some not so nice things about others, blaming, or judging.
- Find your breath. Focusing on your breath, slowing breathing in and out will instantly calm it down and sometimes shut it off for minutes, even hours at a time. This is especially good to try when you're driving a car or in a busy environment.
- Meditate. Take time each day to get quiet and meditate. Whether it's in the morning, midday, or evening – just make sure to find time to look within and get really quiet.
When I talked with her about step number three, she mentioned that one of her friends saw her mediating outside and laughed at her. This started another point that us grown-ups also need to reflect on from time to time. And that's when I reminded her of the wisdom she gave me when she was only 3 or 4...she said, "I don't even matter about that."
Have an amazing day - and don't forget to enjoy it!