Is it possible to shut up my inner voice?
This is my first post here and Im a bit nervous to post it, but I feel like I need to start posting asking for questions as I feel very confused at this stage of my life.
I have a lot of questions but my very first one is how do you shut up that inner conversation that constantly going on inside of my head. I don't mind having my thoughts running through my head on occasion as often times it helps to find a solution to a problem or provides a feedback of how well Im doing in my life BUT there is a big problem with it, my inner voice almost never stops, it constantly keeps chatting, ,reflecting, overanalyzing, linking things and so on and it is just way too tiring for me, this "never stopping" analysis, I feel stressed, dont know how to explain it but I feel that it is too much, its like my thoughts are in control of me but I think it should be quite opposite.
I have tried to stop this voice by being aware of what is going on inside of my head but its almost impossible to do, as soon as you forget for a second about controlling your mind, these thoughts keep flooding my mind again, millions different thoughts at once .... I dont know if you really get what Im saying I hope you do:)
What measures should I take to stop having this 24 hr converstaions inside my head, Ive read a little bit about meditation practice, that it helps to free your mind and get you in a calm state of mind, what do you guys think about it? Or maybe there are some other techniques that I should try out? Your advice will be greatly appreciated;)
Can't turn it off. Just keep in mind that your mind processes problems and questions, automates repetitive tasks, and has a memory bank. Kind of like a computer.
If it's processing all the time then know that you're not living naturally. You in some way fighting yourself to be something else.
The quiet mind will come from a harmonious life.
Mind works as a means to an end. It is always reaching somewhere. if you can observe this movement, the momentum gets broken. Mind again starts towards another point. You just have to observe how mind is always thinking in respect to some future end. The sense of futility of this effort finally stops the chattering mind but this realization comes through keen observation of the mind. Just see how mind wants to reach some other place other than where you already are...
Yes, one can stop that chattering voice(s) in your head. The quiet state is call ‘Inner Silence’. There are many methods, none of them particularly quick. I used the watch your thoughts method. There is already a thread about this: http://www.stevepavlina.com/forums/p...d-chatter.html
In my experience, meditation doesn't work. It takes way too much discipline to have a constant presence of mind. The key is not to try to control this pathway that has been created in your mind through habit but to create a new pathway.
Your inner voice chats because you're afraid of something. It might be connecting with people for example. Your voice is trying to warn you not to let something happen that will hamper your self-esteem.
I used to hear voices, but they were other people yelling at me, harassing me constantly. I devised a defense mechanism where I have an inner circle and an outer circle and outsiders. Then the outsiders are strangers who I won't talk to. It's hard to explain, but I reassure the voices that I won't make my private life public, which would be ammunition for bullying, and the warning system stopped. I also keep myself busy and my mind occupied. I haven't heard voices since.
I would need to know more about what these voices are saying to you to help you devise a defense mechanism that will hopefully shut them off.
The mantra can be anything as long as you stay focused on it by repeating it over and over...eg...om namah shivaya; in silence i rest; blue skies, bright days; love is a pickle (well thats silly, but you know what i mean).
Have you heard of Bach flowers? There's one called White Chestnut which is for annoying thoughts going round in your head. From personal experience I'd recommend giving it a go!
Otherwise, awareness and self-discipline helps. At first you may only be successful 1% of the time but with practice you become better at putting annoying thoughts to one side until you want to look at them in a more calm manner. I think it's important to look at these thoughts at one point or another rather than suppress them.
Another thing that helps is writing the thoughts out and analysing them on paper / the computer. Somehow getting them out of your head and into another form can help them dissipate.
I would treat it the same way I would get people to stop talking at a movie. Use I messages like, "I'm interested in what you have to say, but could we talk after the movie. When you talk, I can't concentrate on the movie."
That inner voice makes you normal. :D
Meditation takes discipline, and it's definitely a difficult thing to jump right into - especially for long periods of time.
If you choose to try the meditation route there are 2 ways that I would recommend trying. You can either begin meditating for 10 minutes 3 or 4 times a week, and every week or two increasing the time that you meditate until you get to a time that you would like to consistently meditate for, or you can force yourself to sit there for 20, 30, 60 minutes a few times a week while trying to meditate.
Before you do this, look up guides on how to properly meditate. The most important thing to remember is that listening to your breathing or saying a mantra are both effective methods at stopping your mind from wandering.
There are a few easy ways out, such as listening to music or binaural beats. Personally, I really enjoy binaural beats.
Sometimes when I want to quiet my mind I'll consciously focus on my breathing, listening to and feeling every breath in my body and other times I'll say a mantra (Such as Om Mani Padme Hum) or just develop my own mantra. A lot of the times when I want to quiet my mind, every time a thought generates I'll cut it off and think to myself "Shhh.".
What works for me may not work for you, but "Shhh"ing myself is always pretty amusing.. and surprisingly effective.
wow. Thanks for your advice guys, did not expect to receive so many replies, this forum is very active.
wstein, thanks for directing me to another thread, I'll definitely check it out.
To conclude this, I'd like to point out one thing to you guys. My inner chatter is most active when Im about to do something that I normally dont do (something outside of my comfort zone) or right after I have done it. It can be so intense that I cannot focus on anything. To give you an example, say I went out with some people and had a good time, which I almost never do as I always stay at home. Once Im back at home my mind goes nuts analyzing every word that I said, bringing up every image that I saw, all the things that other people said, and it is so freaking vivid and intense that I cannot fall asleep for 3-5 hours. I get so pissed off because I just want to relax and sleep but my mind just keeps returning back to this event. Or it can be with my job, say I had a great day at work, I come back home and my mind starts to go crazy again bringing up vivid images of people and all converstaions I hev had and all the things that Ive done. Well, I dont mind to have a bit of that because its nice to have a good memory of the event but when its so powerful that it intervenes with other activietes so I cannot concentrate on anything I think its quite bad. Well, my own conclusion is that because this is not what I normally am my mind kind of rebels against it because it is used to being the way it is..... whats your thoughts, guys? Im really lost here
My internal dialogue blathers non-stop.
Here is what helps to maintain a bit of silence:
Meditation (I recommend practicing meditation with real buddhists for best results)
Breathwork (Breathwork is the opposite of thinking, its hard to think when you are truly in a state of breathwork)
And you can consistently tell yourself to "shut the f- up" when you find yourself being too noisy. This is an effective mantra especially when chanted aloud.
A little update from me on this thread!
I have been trying to follow advice of concentrating on my breathing for the past week. And man:), I can actually already see a little difference. Chattering voice seems to be a little bit more quiet and I feel more relaxed. Im definitely going to practise meditation and I never belived in this stuff.
Thanks a lot guys.;)
I've read in the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle that you have to stop identifying yourself with your mind in order to stop obsessive-compulsive thoughts, and have a more quiet mind. Realize that you are not your mind. It is just an instrument that you can use. The negative thoughts that come up are just a product of your experiences and conditioning. They do not come from your true self. Creative, inspiring, and positive thoughts only can come from your true self/higher self.
i honestly think it's not possible to shut it up, nor is that the goal. For me the goal is to accept that it's there; as i think it's always there in all human beings...
i call it Radio Station WIIS (what is it saying?) and the only thing to do is notice that it's there, is always operational, and let it be.
i also notice that at times, a state of quiet mind can be present. when it is.
but i don't make WIIS wrong, nor attempt to impose force on it, or try to make it stop. that never works... (remember the one about the mom who told her kid "Now whatever you do, don't think of a monkey!!!") :D
i just notice when it's there, thank it for sharing, and go about my business. resisting it only makes it persist, and louder. so at this point i've come to accept that there's a radio station in my head, and that it's part of the human condition.
and while i do realize that could come across as flippant and jokey, really i'm absolutely serious. :D
Give it Marilyn Monroe's slow, breathy, whispery voice -- or Mel Torme's! If it's giving you a hard time, make it do helium and talk like a cartoon character.
The things you think about tend to expand, right? So don´t try to shut it up. It is far more effective to speak to your subconscious in a positive way, stating what you want, not what you don´t want.
Listen to the inner chatter for a while, then apply some techniques for mindfulness/meditation:
Mindfulness helps you appreciate "the now".
I have found these very simple methods extremely helpful.
i think similarly to kourosh; it can be managed to some (varying) degree, using techniques like meditation, with the intent of directing it for useful purpose, as a sort of mindfulness 'tool', (if you will) - as opposed to it yammering on unbridled to the extent that it disturbs or overwhelms.
i'm a musician, and for me, playing music is a form of meditation; the moments while i'm practicing/performing are the few moments when it's completely silent - i attribute this to intense focused concentration within a particular organizational structure. (meditation-like). Maybe the 'runner's high' we often hear about is something similar (not sure, that is just a guess, as i'm not a runner)
so i think that although it can be managed to some degree and/or channeled to a mindful purpose, and indeed achieve moments of quiet mind, overall it can't be eradicated or shut up completely - and i don't attempt to do so, cause that's not the goal. my way of being is to accept it as something normal and natural, part of self, not 'outside of self', and work with it -- instead of thinking of it as something 'bad' that i must fight against, to 'get rid of'. this approach in and of itself, lessens the knee-jerk 'upset' reaction when i notice it occurring.
^^So you just live with it?
well yeh. what else is there to do with it? it just is. anymore it doesn't bother me in the least, it's as natural to me as, i dunno - blinking, another thing that's part of a human being which is constantly ongoing, and half the time we never notice it. Yet it's happening all the time. but just try to stop blinking, THEN it becomes a huge issue of resistance, and perhaps accompanying upset or worry, cause suddenly, blinking is perceived as a 'problem'. but really, it's just a normal natural function of the body.
sometimes i use it to good purpose, as an aid to processing through stuff or get clear on things, sometimes i carry on conversations with it. it can be a useful tool for working through stuff, thoughts, ideas, reactions, communication, all kinds of things.
But blinking is not a source of torment the way voices are. How did you learn to live with such daily slights?
i guess it's never occurred for me as 'tormenting'. i've always thought of it as just part and parcel of the human brain's machinations.
although, this concept of thinking of it as 'my own personal 24/7 radio station' was introduced to me some 25 years ago - i thought that was hilarious - and maybe i was so young at the time it was easy to integrate and shift my entire paradigm about this thing - i honestly can't remember.... but i never remember any time, even as a child, when it occurred for me as 'tormenting'.
but - the OP didn't say anything about 'daily slights' - they only mention the "24 hr conversation inside my head," a voice that "constantly keeps chatting, reflecting, overanalyzing, linking things and so on/..../ a "never stopping analysis"
-- that's what i'm talking about, as what i consider to be normal and natural, like blinking.
that's separate and distinct from a voice that delivers slights, or negative messages. i don't experience that, so i can't contribute any ideas regarding that particular manifestation.
No thank you brain.
Do you think you might have sort of OCD? It's not all just hand washing. I have what's called 'ordering'. There are a few different forms of it.
As hard as it might be, you've got to first accept your thoughts. By that I mean, don't judge them as bad, or something you don't want to have in your mind. A lot of times, those kinds of judging refuels the very thoughts you want to stop. Try that for a while - be at peace with these thoughts you don't want to have and see what happens to them.
First the question of whether you are this voice must be resolved completely. Are you trying to shut yourself up or are there merely thoughts occurring to which you find yourself interested in.
Secondly, it must be clearly noticed that certain thoughts ARE appearing frequently because of the attention you give them. The struggle you have with them and the belief you put in them to be true.
These thoughts or this inner voice is a movement that flows just as emotions are flowing and merging into each other. Something is aware of this voice, these thoughts and these emotions though. Something which is not moving and is not struggling and is watching even the struggle to eliminate the voice itself.
The voice itself slows and quiets down as the struggle to silence it slows down. The further you begin to clearly see and know in your heart of hearts that you are the quiet stillness, you are the awareness upon which the voice occurs within; the less and less interest in the voice there will be. The illusion of there being a you to which the voice must be silenced will even fall away in the seeing that the whole drama was just mind struggling with mind.
The inner voice refers to the mind and the mind refers to the process of thinking. Any and all struggle to silence the mind only fuels it further. The nature of the mind is one of struggle and illusion. Put your attention into the stillness of your being and the stillness will grow.
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