Are you tired of hearing your brain “chatter” at all hours without your permission? You know, thinking non-stop about something that happened in your past or going over and over about what someone said to you. I’m going to let you in on a secret tool that will help:
“WATCHING YOUR THOUGHTS and gently LABELING THEM will GREATLY LESSEN your AMOUNT OF BRAIN CHATTER”
This is, in fact, a type of meditation and it works.
LET ME introduce you to A FUNNY MEDITATION EXERCISE OK, so brace yourself, because this meditation gets a little bizarre. I want you to sit comfortably, preferably on a meditation cushion, close your eyes, breath-in-then-out then relax. Now, each time you exhale let your shoulders drop a little and release tension wherever you may be holding it.
At the end of each exhalation, WATCH the SPACE that TAKES PLACE RIGHT before you take your next inhalation. Don’t watch the inhalation, stay with the SPACE and watch again at the end of your next exhalation for the SPACE. This SPACE is, generally speaking, where you always want your consciousness to return to and hang-out in for as long as possible. But, for today’s exercise we’re going to do the following:
After you become really relaxed, I want you to imagine that there is a pesky fly or bee flying around your face and it is going to light on your face now and it begins walking around your mouth and nose area and now believe that it, perhaps, may walk up one of your nostrils.
By now, you should be thoroughly annoyed and maybe a little fearful.
SO, NOW BEGIN WATCHING HOW YOUR BRAIN IS HANDLING THE SITUATION and start LABELING what you are feeling as this imaginary bug is exploring your face. If it tickles, use the LABEL tickling; if it is starting to inch towards crawling up your nostril, watch your brain and label that feeling, perhaps LABEL it fear; if it is going to walk into your mouth, you might be feeling gross, so use the LABEL gross.
Astonishingly, by WATCHING and LABELING your brain’s feelings, your brain actually will slow down and “soften” around whatever is taking place in your life.
This very act of LABELING your own feelings ACTUALLY CHANGES the brain from immediately REACTING to a situation of being a THOUGHTFUL OBSERVER.
INSTEAD of immediately REACTING, the BRAIN SOFTENS and becomes THOUGHTFUL and MINDFUL, ALLOWING you SPACE to CHOOSE how to RESPOND.
NOW WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT THEIR BRAIN TO CHANGE IN THIS WAY. Slowing the brain down allows you MORE TIME to become more MINDFUL and allows you to observe what you are FEELING in a RELATIONSHIP. Think about arguments and disagreements with your mate. Practice observing and silently labeling your feelings the next time you and your mate have a disagreement and don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t perfect.
Everyone from A.M.A. doctors and psychiatrists to ministers of all faiths and religions endorse meditation to soothe the soul, manage anger and stress and improve life. It has become a mainstream tool for aleviating all sorts of stress related medical problems both psychical and mental.
So, start small and just notice and label to see how meditation helps your life. Whatever you do, don’t judge how good or bad you’re doing and keep at it. Start with 5 to 10 minutes a day. More on meditation to come as well as a local summer meditation group on some very special meditation steps on a wonderful, raging mountain stream to help drown out your brain chatter.
REMEMBER, WATCHING YOUR THOUGHTS and LABELING THEM will LESSEN YOUR AMOUNT OF BRAIN CHATTER.