3 Ways to Practice Mindfulness and Clear Mental Chatter
What am I going to make for dinner? I can’t believe that guy just cut me off then gave ME the finger! I miss my best friend. Speaking of missing, did I miss a dentist appointment last week? Ugh, I really wish I could get my shit together.
Sound familiar? I’m willing to bet that at least one of these thoughts—or something very similar—has crossed your mind within the last hour.
We do our best on a daily basis to take care of ourselves and others, earn enough to make ends meet, work toward our goals, and maybe even have some fun and take time off once in a while… All while being inundated with a constant barrage of thoughts.
And I’m not just talking about mealtime musings and wondering where you left your keys. It’s also the negative, judgmental, self-defeating words you say to yourself. The nasty stuff that holds you back, depresses you, creates anxiety and a sense of defeat before you even get started!
I know that at times (perhaps more often than not!) your brain might seem like an uncontrollable whirlwind of mental chatter rather than your most powerful tool. But I promise it doesn’t take a neuroscience degree to harness your fabulous noggin.
Wellness Starts with Your Mind
In this previous blog post, we talked about my 5 pillars of wellness—what you’re eating, drinking and thinking, and how you’re resting and renewing. Today I’m kicking off a series in which we’ll further explore each of the pillars.
I couldn’t think of a better place to start than with your magnificent mind. First, we’re going to unpack the truth behind negative thoughts and why they tend to be the loudest. Then I’ll demystify what it really means to take care of your mind by sharing some lessons to help simplify your mindfulness practice and clear out mental chatter.
But first, I’ve got a sweet gift for ya!
*Cue gleeful happy dance!*
Since today’s blog is all about what you’re thinking, I wanted to give you a little something to help channel positive thoughts. My free Pep Talk guided meditation will help you zap stress and flood your cells with good vibes. Get instant access below!
3 Mindset Shifts to Help You Clear Mental Chatter and Cultivate Positivity
If the tens of thousands of thoughts we have every day aren’t distracting enough, research shows that our brains tend to reach for and dwell on the negative more often than the positive (this is known as negativity bias).
Negativity bias does serve an evolutionary purpose, for example: we learn not to touch the stove again because that unpleasant OUCH came through loud and clear. At the same time, the gloomy/limiting/self-deprecating/etc. thoughts often end up crowding out the good ones. And that can make it pretty tough to cultivate the mental clarity and positivity you need to live a vibrant, healthy life.
I know it may not always feel like it, but you do have the power to influence what goes on in your head. That’s what the thinking pillar is about—noticing your thoughts and learning to gently guide them. Let’s chat about a few ways to do that!
1. You don’t need a trust fund to take care of yourself.
Self-care sure is a hot topic these days. And while I love that we’re talking about the need to slow down and nourish our souls, I think its true meaning has gotten a bit lost. Self-care is not about getting a massage on a private yacht in the Aegean. Or even taking an entire day off to get your nails done and take a bubble bath. It’s actually much simpler (and more affordable) than that.
Self-care is healthcare. It’s a daily practice, not a once-in-a-while treat. And when we’re talking about it within the context of the thinking pillar, that means taking the time to pause and be kind to yourself. Give yourself a break from the mental chatter. Get to know that brilliant spirit of yours, because she (or he/they/your preference) is such good company. No yachts or big bucks required.
2. You don’t need tons of time, silence or an altar to meditate.
It’s no secret that I swear by the power of meditation. I’ve recorded two albums of my own (here and here) and my personal practice has truly changed my life. It’s a big part of building the thinking pillar, which is why monthly meditations are one of the many treats you’ll enjoy as an Inner Circle Wellness member!
But there’s a common misconception about meditation that I want to clear up. I’m talking about the idea that to meditate the “right way” you must sit in silence for 20+ minutes every day. Listen up: There is no right way to meditate.
Meditation, above all else, is about meeting yourself where you are. Take a deep breath. Whisper a positive mantra to yourself. Meditate for 2 minutes while you do the dishes. Do what you can and ta-da, you’re a meditator, honey! Remember: You can find peace in your own mind, no matter where you are.
3. The most expensive real estate you’ll ever own is in your mind.
Remember what I said about the tens of thousands of thoughts running through your mind every day? Well, just because there are a lot of ‘em doesn’t mean space is unlimited! Think of your brain as the precious natural resource it truly is. It’s wise and deep beyond understanding, yet innocent and vulnerable at the same time. Protect it with every ounce of your being.
A lot of the mental chatter that fills up this valuable real estate is junk. Thoughts that dim your shine. Beliefs that keep you small. Sometimes they have something to reveal to you, so hear them out. Then send them packing, because you’re clearing out space for something bigger, better and far more beautiful.
Everything you need to care for yourself—mind, body and spirit.
I hope these lessons help you build the thinking pillar in your own life, dear one. Remember that this is a process—a mind isn’t changed in a day. If you want to continue working on this together, I hope you’ll consider joining Inner Circle Wellness.
Go ahead and visit this page to learn more about what’s included in the membership—there’s way too much goodness to share here! I can’t wait to welcome you to the community soon.
Your turn: I hope today’s lessons serve as a gentle reminder that your thoughts create your reality. With that in mind, what reality do YOU want to create? It can be a small step (I want to get to bed by 10 p.m. at least 3 nights this week) or a bigger shift (I want to start writing that novel I’ve been dreaming about for years). Share in the comments below so we can support each other!
Peace & mental clarity,
If you want me to be your coach, guide and head cheerleader, joining my membership community is the only way to do it. I would love to share my wisdom, knowledge and support with you—go here to get all the deets!