We have about 70,000 thoughts per day, and apparently more than half are negative! It’s no wonder Buddhists coined the term Monkey Mind. Stilling the mind should be quite simple, right?! We live in the Information Age, have more access to technology than we may even want, and multitask like ninjas! Yet, we struggle to quiet our own minds.
Quieting the mind is actually one of our most challenging feats. We give power to the mind and identify with it to the degree that we think we exist because we have a mind. We get attached to our thoughts and our thoughts aren’t facts, so don’t believe everything you think! However, since our thoughts affect our mood which affect our behavior and our interactions, it’s important that we start paying attention.
The truth is, we have more control to change than we think. Being able to detach, surrender, and just witness thoughts is one of the quickest and most profound ways to free yourself from unwanted anxiety and stress.
As a PhD psychologist, I’m letting you know that it’s possible to decrease stress and anxiety & improve your mental health. Since we already know that much of what we worry about doesn’t even happen, a way to begin changing is to work on detaching from your thoughts. Becoming more aware of the quality and content of your thoughts, and self-monitoring (without judgment) is a way to begin changing your internal and external experience.
So how do we begin to detach from our thoughts and stop multitasking?
Research actually shows that we are less productive when we multitask, and doing one task at a time on purpose is considered mindful meditation and promotes productivity. Meditation is a tool that not only helps us detach from thoughts, but improves mood, concentration, and memory not to mention sleep!
Research conducted by Dr. Rick Davidson and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin showed through functional MRI imaging that meditation increased activation in the left-side of the frontal region. This activity was associated with lower anxiety and a more positive emotional state.
I challenge you to tame your Monkey Mind with meditation! If you don’t “have time” to meditate you likely need it more, and there are ample apps and websites to help you along! And for those who haven’t yet tried meditation, it’s clearly quite trendy these days 😉
Dr. Jessica Kordansky is a PhD psychologist and has a private practice in Boca Raton, Florida. She treats individuals, families, groups, and conducts outreach and consultation in the community and to corporations. Since her website is currently under construction, check her out on HealthGrades, Psychology Today, Linkedin, and Wellness.com! Dr. Kordansky will speak at Innergy Studio Miami Beach on October 21st for a two-hour workshop on Anxiety & Stress Management with Mindfulness Meditation