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Monday, February 11, 2013

Escaping Your Monkey Mind



Does this sound like your morning routine? 

"There goes the alarm. 

"Feels like I just got to sleep.  So much to do today.  Did I sign that permission slip for the kids' field trip?  Oh no, I didn't put the wash in the dryer.  The car needs gas.  Oops... I forgot to return that call to the repairman."

And, so goes not only our morning awakening ritual...but often our whole day.

Most of us tend to spend the majority of our time in the frenetic energy jungle called MONKEY MIND (also known as the beta brain state).  It's  how we navigate the day.  

But...this is NOT the place where the really powerful brain action occurs.

There are, in fact,  FIVE WAVE PATTERNS in our brain:  beta,  alpha, theta, delta and gamma.

Beta is the state of constant mind chatter. 

Alpha brain waves are slower in frequency (when you are close to falling asleep, reading, or watching TV or are entranced with a project and lose track of time). 

The Theta mind state (slower yet) occurs when you are in profound relaxation, meditation, entering sleep or ready to awake.

              Moving downward,

Delta occurs when you are dreaming or in deep meditation.

     And, finally,

The Gamma state houses high level information processing, creativity, insight and holistic perception.  (This is a super-beta state, the most rapid in frequency.  We are still learning about Gamma as it has only recently been discovered.)


It's obvious, then, that if we end up spending our days multi-tasking in monkey mind (the beta state)...running from one frantic errand to the next...we will NOT be accessing the tremendous resources of our brain.  

And that is why relaxation, deep breathing, quieting the mind and meditation are so important to our health and happiness.

And this doesn't mean "finding" the time; it means "making" the time to do something that is so vital to our sense of well-being.

There is much to be learned about how to access these slower states of frequency.  Mary Rivas has a short, 50 page book entitled  

Brain Power:   Boost Your Health, Happiness and Spiritual Growth With Practical Tools That Supercharge Your Mind Powers  (available on Kindle).

Rivas writes in a warm, engaging, compassionate style, helping us become more acutely aware of our inner world and she explains in clear, direct language how to access it naturally or with an assist from technology.


And, in case, you are mulling over my comments and suggestion during the night and find yourself unable to sleep, here is a suggested escape route from those pesky monkeys dancing in your brain.

Hilary Tindle,  M. D., an internist at the Pittsburgh Mind-Body Center,  says if you are too wired, your brain turns into overdrive and "this turns on a complex flurry of neurotransmitters involving several areas of the brain.  Your mind buzzes with activity making it nearly impossible to fall asleep."

Distracting yourself by concentrating on a non-emotional task
can decrease activity in the brain.  Here's  a great diversion that will do the trick reported by Liz  Krieger in her article on "Deeper Sleep" in Oprah Magazine:

Count backwards from 300 by threes.  The basic math of this task engages your brain and you cannot focus on anything else, thus helping you wind down and relax.

(By the way, I tried the 300 by threes counting trick the last few nights and it worked perfectly every time.)

So...if  the maddening, mischievous  monkeys  are holding court way too often in your cerebral hemisphere...

consider the BEAUTIFUL WISDOM of learning how to supercharge your mind powers by paradoxically  s-l-o-w-i-n-g down the frequencies of your brain.  

Invest in learning about this astounding capability and practice the art of relaxing your body and simultaneously enriching your life.

image from simplesitting.blogspot.com
"Taming the Monkey" Source: http://www.projectevolution.net  

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