Understanding the Monkey Mind
Have you ever had that moment where you were going from thought to thought?
Sort of like a monkey swinging from branch to branch?
There is a name for that phenomenon.
It’s called the monkey mind.
If you are WILLINGLY jumping from thought to thought, that’s one thing.
But if you are UNABLE TO CONTROL your mind, then it’s the jumping monkey.
One of the top reasons for anxiety is mind wandering.
Mind-wandering is the dark brother of daydreaming.
When our mind wanders too much, we dwell.
And dwelling is introspection minus the intent.
That’s when we are just asking ourselves ‘what if’ questions.
Time is never wasted when you learn about the mind.
It’s information that helps you control your subjective reality.
Your internal world.
This blog will cover the monkey mind on a deeper level.
You will learn about different brain functioning modes and how to tame the inner monkey on a macro + micro level.
Without further ado…let us begin.
The Origins of the Monkey Mind
Our brain has 2 different modes.
- Default Mode Network
- Task Positive Network
The Default mode network is when our mind is wandering.
Task Positive Network is when we are focused.
As you are reading this blog, I am hoping you are in a task-positive network.
But who knows…
You may be daydreaming & just going thru the words.
No one can fully know which brain mode you are in other than you…
There are ways an outsider may be able to tell though.
You are having a conversation with someone.
And you go from STRONG eye contact to WEAK eye contact.
In this case, the other person may be able to deduce that you stopped focusing.
Being in the Default Mode Network is not always evil.
At times, it is highly needed.
After a long time of focusing & being productive, you need to give your mind time to relax.
My definition of resting is giving yourself time to be mindless.
But when you spend too much time in the default mode network?
That’s when you get an abundance of anxiety.
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Scrolling & The Monkey Mind
In the information age, the monkey mind issue is on the rise.
Heck, I may argue this can be considered a mental disease if left unchecked.
‘Whoa Armani!! you are exaggerating.’
No, I am not. Hear me out.
Distraction is an invisible muscle.
The more that we work it out, the stronger than it gets.
What do you consider scrolling?
‘Nothing…I just consider it scrolling.’
‘Not sure where you are going with this.
I consider excessive scrolling a WORKOUT for your distraction muscle.
It’s because each content piece you are going thru has a different subject matter.
Let’s say you are going thru Facebook.
One second, you are seeing a picture of your friend’s new puppy.
The next second, you see a picture of your cousin getting married.
Then your co-worker getting a new job.
And so on…
You’re conditioning your mind to hop from thought to thought.
By the time you put your phone down, the effects still remain.
This is a great look into how online reality influences offline reality.
The reason that this is a major problem in our generation is that communications technology is on the rise.
And the ease of access to this technology is almost nonexistent.
In the early 2000s, our definition of using the phone was making calls or playing the Snake game.
But nowadays, the smartphone used incorrectly can make the monkey more vicious.
Side Effects of the Monkey Mind
There are a lot of different side effects of the monkey mind.
Some effects are:
These are the many ways that the monkey mind can affect our lives.
And our relationship with our internal world influences our external world.
Meaning that our monkey mind will not only harm us.
It will affect our relationships.
It’s a sad feeling when you don’t feel heard.
Well, guess what?
Your monkey mind disengages you from an interaction.
Causing you to be the reason that others do not feel heard.
They see your body.
But mentally, it’s as though you were somewhere else.
How to Tame the Monkey Mind
The opposite of the Monkey Mind is the Bullseye mind.
The mind with a target.
Your mind naturally thinks in LINKS.
It tries its best to link from one thought to the next.
Well, the Bullseye mind gives those links a DIRECTION.
To give you an analogy:
Let’s say you are looking to get something to eat.
The only problem is that you didn’t identify where you wanted to go to eat.
You just went into the car, hoping to ‘figure it out.’
What normally happens?
‘I drive aimlessly burning a lot of gas.’
But what if you decide where you want to go and THEN begin driving?
‘Then I satiate my hunger quicker.’
It’s the nature of the mind to go from thought to thought.
So if that’s the case, wouldn’t it be dope if the mind wandering served you some benefit?
In this case, I recommend working on a grand life purpose.
This may seem over the top to you, but it isn’t.
When you have a grand life goal, your monkey mind begins to get disciplined to a certain level.
This is a great macro-level discipline to install.
Let’s say you have a business that you are working on.
If you can give your mind a BULLSEYE to be the best as you can be in that business, then the default mode network settles down slightly.
With a life purpose, information takes up a new life as well.
That’s the macro level to taming the monkey mind.
Keep experimenting with different things until you find something you want to gear your life towards.
The micro-level way to tame the monkey mind is thru meditation.
This is when you set aside a certain amount of time every day in order to focus on one singular target.
Many people set aside time to focus on their natural breaths.
When they get distracted, they make themselves aware & gently come back to the breath.
However, the beauty of a life purpose?
Your work can be your meditation.
My grand goal is to keep working on ArmaniTalks & develop compelling stories that help others with communication skills.
When I am engulfed in the task, I truly am ENGULFED.
This allows me to spend more time in the task-positive network and settle down the default mode network.
I exercise my focus.
Once I am done, I relax and allow my mind to wander.
To tame the monkey mind, a blend of working on your life goals & meditation will give profound results!
Control the Monkey
The monkey mind is the natural state of the mind.
Our mindset is high entropy when we do not work on it.
Meaning that it is high in chaos.
Which also is another phrase for mind wandering.
Therefore, we need to TRAIN the mind.
We need to train the monkey.
And we train the monkey by developing our will power!
I gave you the macro & micro level adjustments that you need to make in your life.
By no means is this an easy task.
Which is why it makes the journey fun.
Remember, your mind is a problem-solving machine.
When you feed it the right problems, it will work on hyperdrive to fix the issues.
When you run away from problems, it will create problems nevertheless.
So ask yourself, what is the bullseye of your life?
Work on that specified target.
As you have that, find the daily tasks of that goal.
There will be 3-4 tasks that you will have to daily to move towards the goal.
Do those tasks with FULL focus.
That’s your personalized meditation.
And take it a level further with formal meditation.
Have the monkey serve you!
Not the other way around.
Let’s tame the monkey mind & gain control!
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