Inside your head there is endless chatter, but what are you saying, and why are you listening? Your brain is a very powerful tool and learning to take control of your mind is an invaluable skill.
Who are you listening to right now?
Mind chatter is more noticeable and more of a problem when it is negative. Optimistic future planning and inspirational thoughts are rarely questioned or considered an issue. However, both positive and negative thoughts are ‘chatter’ if you are not focused and productive when you need to be.
A highly productive mindset is acutely focused on the immediate task or action that is required. Racing car drivers, fighter jet pilots and brain surgeons spend time being intensely focused on a task – there is no room for chatter, day dreaming or a critical voice – a slip of the mind can have tragic consequences.
“Neuroscience shows negative thoughts and patterns are from a network region of the brain called the default mode network (DMN). The network is automatically engaged when the mind is left to wander without focus or intention.”
Keeping your mind focused is a matter of discipline and training.
Here are three simple yet effective techniques for eliminating mind-chatter and keeping focused:
1) Thought stopping
Often it can take quite a while to realise your thoughts are far away from the task you are supposed to be doing. Your mind is chattering away about something that happened a long time ago, or may happen in the future, or is just exploring different scenarios. As soon as you realise this is happening, take a quick look at your emotions – are they in tune with your mind-chatter? Once your mind has taken your emotions away, you will need to stop the thoughts, bring your consciousness back to the present and make sure your emotional state is appropriate for the task in hand.
2) Directing the actors
If you imagine your mind is a stage, and you are the director, you are able to decide who is allowed on stage and when. As soon as unwanted chatter appears on the stage, you simply make them leave and replace them with actors (thoughts) that are productive and useful.
3) Focus using Pavlov’s dogs
Pavlov’s dogs were trained to behave in a certain way based on set triggers. You can focus you mind by creating triggers that set your mind to focus mode. Triggers can be as simple as putting on a pair of reading glasses – and importantly, removing them when your task is complete. At first it may not seem very effective, however, if every time you put your glasses on, you focus on a task, your mind will then associate the glasses with concentration. It is a good idea to keep these triggers simple and easy to implement no matter where you are.
Keeping your mindset productive and in control requires attention, discipline and consistency. Master your mind chatter and you will find you now have time to let your mind relax and expand itself – creating a flexible and disciplined tool that allows you to control your time, your output and your success.
Boost your performance even further:
Like what you’re reading? Subscribe to the SalesSpace Newsletter for more!
When good is not good enough:
NeuroInfluence Executive Training
Ruth Newmanon December 4, 2013 Reply
Mind Chatter is definitely an issue when you are busy working on and in your business. It would be interesting to see if any of these ideas work on the 3 O’clock in the morning mind chatter.