“When you trust, suddenly you become centered.” ~ Osho

The mind is a wonderful and complicated thing.  Its primary function is to help people think, reason and plan. But sometimes it behaves like a spoiled child and produces negative chatter that just won’t turn off.  This incessant mind chatter impairs decision making and impedes the ability to experience life to the fullest.

When I recognizing that my head was filled with too much negative mind chatter and this was sabotaging my efforts live to the fullest, vowed to bring that chatter under control.  My first attempts at doing this were laughable.  When the mind chatter started, I concentrated on the phrase, “Oh shut up”.  But, alas, neighbors and the folks at Wal-Mart started giving me funny looks and I realized that I was muttering this phrase aloud. So, in order to avoid a trip to the loony bin, I found a different and more effective way to deal with mind chatter.

Now I control mind chatter by getting out of my head and into my heart. My heart doesn’t ‘think’ it feels, it loves and it enables me to trust my gut. My heart doesn’t draw lines in the sand and dare folks to cross them. Instead it encourages me to follow my instincts. When I do this, I’m able to learn, remember, and make independent functional decisions without becoming confused or frustrated.

You see, the mind lives in doubt but the heart lives in trust.  By stopping mind chatter I’m better able to listen and observe the people and things around me. This enables my gut to signal me things that my mind doesn’t. When I need to stop mind chatter:

I refocus my thoughts:  I concentrate the present moment.  I pay attention to what I’m seeing, feeling and hearing right this very minute

I become still.   I don’t pace, fidget, read, or twiddle my thumbs.  I purposefully concentrate the subtle sounds and sights around me.  I listen to the sound of my heart beat, my breath, ticking of the clock. If I’m outside, I listen to the hum of traffic on the distant freeway, an airplane overhead, the breeze in the trees or the chirping birds.  I look at the differing shades of green in the shrubs, changing shape of the clouds, the awesome colors of the sunset, etc.  Being still does not mean don’t move. It means move in peace.

I remove doubts: Doubting short-circuits trust.  When doubt tries to chatter to me, I force it away because it hinders my ability to believe in myself. When the voice of my ego (in the form of negative mind chatter) becomes loud and overpowering, I concentrate on shushing it. Then, trust is restored, decision making becomes easier and life becomes fuller.

I encourage you to start saying, “Shhh!” to excessive mind chatter. The results can be amazing.

Betty Freeman Haines, an author and award winning columnist, lives in Mesquite, NV.  Her books/e-books, Reluctant Hero and Grieving Sucks or Does It, can be ordered from amazon.com