Of course, we all know a song about this, don’t we!
It was the song and quirky video by Bobby McFerrin that stimulated me to write this blog.
I don’t know whether it’s me or not, but I get the feeling that many people are beginning to suffer from general anxiety. Perhaps it’s not something they recognise in themselves and like some untreated ailment, there is a danger of getting used to living with worry and anxiety. Hardly surprising after the repeated avalanche of bad news we are all being fed.
It’s important not to keep feeding the monkeys!
A friend of mine, now a retired Doctor and a practising Buddhist introduced me to meditation some years ago. I must confess, I don’t practice it that often, much to his disappointment, but it’s a useful tool to have in your kit bag.
A video he showed me has always stayed in my mind. The video by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, a Tibetan teacher and Master of Buddhism focuses on having a calm mind and not feeding the chattering monkeys!
The key, he said, was to make the monkeys of your mind less busy and to give the monkeys a job. Deprive them of your anxieties and you will feel a lot calmer. Stop them chattering.
In modern society, most of us lead such busy lives but how often do we truly stop and give ourselves space and time? Are we in control of our own thoughts or are we being told, to a large extent, how to think?
If something is wrong and you are feeling anxious, don’t accept your lot. Don’t just think it’s normal and live with it. Set about fixing it.
Try training yourself not to worry. You’ll be happier!
As we all know, constant worrying, negative thinking and always expecting the worst can take a toll on your emotional and physical health.
We all suffer from some sort of anxiety, but you could be forgiven for feeling more anxious due to recent crises around the world, with cost-of-living worries being the latest issue to deal with.
10 tips to help you stop overthinking
(with some insight from healthline.com)
- Don’t feed the monkeys; give mindfulness a try
- Find a distraction, a new activity that you will enjoy
- Surround yourself with positive people
- Don’t let minor hurdles turn into significant hurdles
- Control what negative energy you are exposed to i.e. listening to the news
- Do something to help others, think about the power you have to improve other people’s lives
- Acknowledge your successes, no matter how small
- Stay in the moment – this is not always easy with technology so minimising phone time is a great place to start
- Embrace your fears – accepting negative thoughts and fears can help improve psychological health
- Ask for help – if you are struggling, make sure you reach out and talk about it.
If you would like more of an insight into taming the monkeys of your mind, I recommend reading a book by Jennifer Shannon entitled Don’t Feed the Monkey Mind: How to Stop the Cycle of Anxiety, Fear, and Worry.
Gary Neild B.Sc.Hons. DipIP PFA
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
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