Stop what you are doing. Pay attention. What are you thinking about this very minute. What is nagging you? What is on your mind that you just can’t shake? We all have that monkey mind that we try to silence from time to time, but are you suppressing it or dealing with it?

At some point or another we all come face to face with the inability to sleep. We can’t shut off that to do list or stop worrying about what we should or shouldn’t be doing or what is right or best. Stop the monkeys. Sounds like it should be easy, dumb, simple, right? If you are anything like me those monkeys run rampant and send me spiraling into a frenzy of anxiety and sleepless nights. Yes, not one night, MANY relentless nights of beating my head into my pillow. Hope this doesn’t happen to you, but odds are it does. So, how do we deal with the monkeys? This is how I deal.

First of all, notice the monkeys. Be aware of your thoughts and figure out what they are about if you don’t know already. Give them only enough attention to recognize there is something that needs to be dealt with in some form. Then breathe. It will be okay. No matter what it is, good, bad, or very ugly, it will all be okay. It is sometimes easy to ignore the thoughts when they surface and suppress them to deal with them later. The more we suppress them the more weight they gain. That heaviness then shows up at times when we try to relax.

After recognizing the thoughts that are heavy, find a way to calm yourself. Breathing exercises can help, yoga, working out, counseling, journaling or my personal fav is meditation. Highly recommend everyone try it. Maybe it’s for you, maybe it’s not. But if it is something you end up liking, you will be hooked. Trust me. Meditation has saved my life numerous times. I’m not even kidding. Through the roughest of times, meditation was something I relied on to turn off the monkeys and helped me find peace. Try one, try them all. Find what works for you.

Let’s face it. Life is going to throw wrenches and we will all have the monkeys at some point. It’s how we chose to deal with them that matters. Take care of your monkeys so they don’t get out of control. Some people prefer to medicate their monkeys. If that works for you, fine. Just remember to deal with the monkeys too so that you aren’t creating a problem by covering up another problem. Find what works. Do what is best for you and take care of yourself. Good luck and sweet dreams.

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