Whenever I'm in a state of distress, I blame it on my "monkey mind". My mother was the first person to explain the "monkey mind" to me: it is the internal, negative voice in our heads that causes anxiety. The monkey mind makes you imagine the worst possible scenario for every intimidating situation- it makes you feel like you have no control over your life. The MM is sneeky and it can invade your entire realm of consciousness if you do not learn how to tame it. My monkey mind always acts up whenever I start something new or make important life decisions: fears of failure and unhappy thoughts jump around in my mind and paralyze me from enjoying the moment at hand. I end up wasting time and energy fearing what might happen instead of concentrating on what is actually happening in the present. Letting your monkey mind control you is very dangerous: you lose your sense of self and your ability to act rationally.
My most recent encounter with my monkey mind was a few days ago when I taught my first Pilates class in Buenos Aires. I feared that no one would show up and people wouldn't think I was a good teacher. All of these negative thoughts bombarded my mind and left me feeling weak and incapable. I put my monkey mind aside, taught my first Pilates class and, in reality, none of my fears came true! All the negative self-talk I experienced was just my MM going wild. Now I keep myself one step ahead of my monkey mind. When I feel my MM becoming active, I'm able to regain a sense of stability by connecting with my breath and letting all my toxic fears float away. Why should you surround yourself with negative energy and doubt? You want to surround yourself with good thoughts and face each day with confidence and determination. Do not let those mights or what ifs.. get in the way of you maintaining your composure.
Suggestions: Whenever your mind starts racing and you feel yourself being flooded by negative self-talk: STOP IT. Take a moment to yourself, breath and let those punishing thoughts go. Have faith that everything will work out. Your life may not be going exactly as you'd like it to, but there is always a solution: nothing is insurmountable. We may not be able to control the events in our lives, but we can control our reactions to them. It is important to learn what is worth spending our energy on and what is worth letting go. Do not hold onto extra baggage- it will only weigh you down.
Take care of your mind and body and you will be better-prepared to combat the toxic world we live in.