The Monkey Mind
We think too much. Too much, because we almost never stop. If you’re sat in a reception area waiting for that ultra important job interview, you gonna scrutinize every detail at nearly molecular level.
– “My posture should be straight, just not 90-degree military style, more like 88 and a half. I have to speak with confidence, just not “Kanye West” kind of confidence, but rather “Captain America” confidence. Hi, or Hello Mr. Jenkins? Should I be looking in his right eye, or left eye when he’s speaking? What if he has a false eye made of glass, I’m gonna look stupid if I’m staring at it! I need to Google this, quick!”.
If you have a major crush on somebody, you gonna be daydreaming to the point where you create an alternative version of your life, you know, the one where it’s all about how amazing you are. If you’re trying to fall asleep at night, but can’t, you might go through your entire childhood and all its random little things, and even remember some kid who did something nasty to you, and then get mad at him, again!
The biggest issue with overthinking, is when we worry. We imagine all the worst case scenarios and get paranoid, as if the very act of stressing out will resolve something. It will not, it will only create uneasiness and fear towards things that may never happen in reality. For example, my mother: whenever she is cooking, driving a car, or doing a chore, at the back of her head there is a constant voice of a drama queen which blows every worry out of proportion. So, if she sees something on the news relating to the city I live in, let’s say – police block the road because of a protest that I’m not even aware of, she’ll phone me up and say – “don’t go outside, all the roads in the city are blocked! Police is everywhere, the subway is down, it’s a nightmare!”. Meanwhile, I’m in the city, business as usual.
You might say that all mothers are like that, but I think that all people are like that, it’s just that different people worry about different things.
Let’s not forget about all the garbage thoughts we have everyday, thoughts that cause a chain reaction of completely unrelated things: “why do I always notice this tiny red stain on the door handle, I bet this door handle has been touched by at least 8 million people, whoa, that’s like the population of New York, everyone living in New York has touched this door handle, not like – sexually touched it, hmm, maybe someone does get aroused by touching door handles, that would be weird, this guy in college, Milford, he was weird, probably works in Walmart now, as a geeky manager, I don’t want to work anywhere, maybe become an actor, are guys in the porn industry considered as actors? If I was in porn I’d wear a mask to conceal my identity, what kind of mask would I wear? Spiderman? Nah, I’d be making out with hot chicks all the time, so, Batman it is, would Batman beat Spiderman? Depends whether it’s a real movie, or a porn movie, in porn they would not be fighting, but touching each other, or touching door handles, here we go, this f**k**g door handle again!”.
The annoying monkey doesn’t shut up unless it’s being distracted by scrolling through instagram, or watching a trash reality show. If it’s not entertained, it can dishearten you with things like – ‘’there will be no parking space available!’’, and even though your chances are 50/50, it will just keep yapping about your future failure over and over again, until you get really agitated. The more times your anxiety is justified, – ‘’I knew it! I won’t be able to park anywhere!’’, the stronger the connection between your worries and negative outcomes. In other words, if you let the monkey take over – it may lead to paranoia. The more importance you attach to what the monkey says, the more paranoid you become.
The best way to silence your mind – is to engage in something that you love doing, something you have passion for. Also, develop a habit of observing your own thoughts: when you notice that the monkey is getting out of control, give it a certain task so that it’s preoccupied with something positive. If you’re a sensitive person, don’t watch the news and violent movies as this will set the monkey off, instead, meditate or do something fun.
Last but not least, don’t let others design your mind, if you want to design your life.