It's bedtime and as soon you retire to bed you find your mind drenched with an overflowing pot of thoughts. Not ready at all to leave you and let you sleep peacefully rather hounding you more and more into this sea of mind chatter.
Quiet a common condition these days snatching your valuable sleep hours and leaving you weary and inattentive for the next day.
The sufferers of this will tell you that how hard they try but nothing so far has been able to save them from getting buried under this never-ending rubble of mind chatter. A beam of thoughts flashing one after the other; what happened today, what happened at the last event; what somebody said to them; what they could have done instead; future anxieties ready to peep out their ugly heads leaving them stuck and sleeping with this overloaded head is totally out of question.
Hence, up till now, you would have made out that mind chatter or mental chatter refers to uncontrollable thoughts, anxieties and that are flooding your mind affecting your focus and attention and eventually your efficiency.
Typically, they won’t chase you while you are busy running errands throughout the day but as soon you are ready to hit the bed they come along striking like bullets.
Often people who are overthinkers or are sensitive are more vulnerable to landing in this vicious cycle. People, who are more affected by day-to-day life events as to what someone thinks of them or what might happen if a particular meeting or presentation didn’t turn out well?
Demarcating the line between self-talk and mind chatter:
While self-talk is a more conscious and organised form of conversation with yourself where you figure out your issues in a more structured and organised manner anticipating positive outcomes. On the contrary, mind chatter is uncontrollable and negative series of conversations with no defined pattern of thoughts.
How to get out of it?
The solution is easy though depending on how willing you are to mould your perspective toward life. Your subconscious mind works on how your conscious mind or brain perceives things in real life. Instead of constantly worrying or getting swept in thoughts of a tornado shift your focus to actualising a problem. What you are thinking about does the issue even exists.
Engage your mind in other activities. Book reading has been a trusted and age-old remedy to soothe and calm down your mind. Disconnect from negative hotspots and indulge in what interests you.
Not everything works for everyone. Some may find solace in meditation or practicing mindfulness. Others may find convenience in writing or describing their worries which helps them to realise the existence of their problems.
In a nutshell, rather than focusing your mind to stop this chatter invent your own ways to keep your mind busy so that your subconscious is at peace.
Dr Nisma Haris
The writer is a general physician and content creator