This is an interesting topic on Mind Chatter, as to what causes the mind to be disturbed and makes it like non-stop ranting. We shall also discuss as to how we can put the mind to rest and conserve energy and utilize it for some higher purpose.
Where is the mind located
One often wonders, as to where the mind is located. Some point to science and say that brain is where the mind is. But this is not true. Brain is an indicator of how one feels in the mind and electric signals in the brain can allude to some extent as to how one is feeling. Yet there are so many yogis and criminals who have learnt to hide their real emotions that happens in their mind from reflecting in the brain to trick the instruments which are trying to figure out as to what is really happening in the mind. This is proof enough for the fact that the mind is not in the brain. The Mind is also a physical entity but is existing in a subtle plane that is connected to the body. Now physical instruments are, at least for now, incapable of detecting the exact location of the mind.
Thoughts, feeling, emotions comprise the mind
Our childhood influences, our desires triggered by those influences, our motivations, and the type of relationships with people around etc create thoughts, feelings and emotions within us. Emotions represent the flow of energy which have the seeds of intention and action embedded within them. Thus, whatever we do in this world, in the form of actions has an impact on the mind. This impact impels the mind to chatter or talk unabatedly. This voice in the head is the unconscious response and reaction of the mind. It has many things to say whether you want to listen to it or not.
Causes for mind chatter
There are many reasons for mind chatter to happen. Mind Chatter may appear normal. However we do not realize that mind chatter drains a lot of energy which could have been otherwise utilized for progressive tasks. Let us consider some causes for mind chatter to happen in the first place.
Lack of self-confidence
When we are not confident of our work, our skills and our purpose we automatically lose confidence, we become jittery. When this happens, there is a dip in our general energy levels. This causes a tremor in our otherwise well-designed emotional architecture. Suddenly there is a bombardment of unnecessary, imaginative thoughts of low self-esteem. One starts thinking that one is no good. One has no future. It would have been better if… and so on. A million thoughts flood our consciousness. These thoughts create hundreds of emotions as time ticks by. Thus mind-chatter proceeds out of low self-confidence.
Too much of fear
When there is fear in the mind, the mind projects fearful outcomes and finds pleasure in creating more fear in the individual. All sort of impossibilities creep up in the mind as if they are all real. Mind chatter thus starts without any possibility of stopping. It is maximum when fear grips the mind.
Too attached to outcome of things
When our mind gets greedy and looks hither tither trying to take advantage of a situation or other people, mind starts chattering, trying to grip on opportunities born out of avarice for great results, out of some scheme that one formulates. Thus the Gita instructs man to be unconcerned about outcomes and focus on activity. The intention of activity is the activity itself and not for outcome. Only then can the work be done systematically and effectively. When one releases one’s grip on outcomes, peace shall automatically descend. Mind-chatter can be avoided by focusing on work rather than, on outcome of work.
Bothered about one’s self-image
One who is too concerned about one’s body or about one’s image in society, one is often harassed by mindless chatter within. This chatter does not have anything of value to offer to the individual. The ranting of the mind simply makes one self-conscious and nervous. Of course nervousness creates loss of self-confidence and then the mind-chatter shall increase. One has to be focused not on one’s image, but should be rather relaxed and live a natural life.
Want to prove that one is good
When one becomes competitive, our attention moves towards others and we lose focus. When there is loss of focus, unconsciousness is the result and the mind which is just a collection of past impressions comes alive and starts chattering. Mind chatter in such cases causes too much of negativity and pollution within. Thoughts of envy, pride, haughtiness are a result of our trying to prove that we are good and others are not so good.
One is defensive in one’s approach
When one is of the opinion that one is good and has merits, this single thought will trigger millions of thoughts. When thoughts start happening without voluntary involvement, is caused due to losing awareness. This loss of awareness makes us defensive when we are discussing our position to others. When one becomes defensive it should be clear that the individual is not humble and wants to prove his correctness to the world. Mind chatter under such positions is also heavy and can suck away a lot of otherwise useful mental energy.
Unable to understand one’s true purpose
The major cause of mind chatter is to believe that this world is real and we have something to prove to ourselves and the world. Almost the entire population of the world is driven by this rudimental notion. When such a notion exists, mind-chatter is a result. This notion also highlights the fact that people who do not understand the true purpose of life, its ultimate goal, all of them shall have a heavily chattering mind. Unless this ignorance is slowly rooted out, mind-chatter of some manner will go on in their minds.
Solution to Mind Chatter
Solution to mind chatter is to first clarify one’s intention. Only a truly enlightened being can suspend mind-chatter forever. No other being is equipped enough to totally cut out mind chatter. Some may be able to do it almost 90% applying meditative practices. When chanting, meditation and yoga is done on a regular basis, it can arrest mind chatter to a very great extent. This is because practices as designed in Sanatana Dharma are intended to relieve man from the false notions that the mind is given to. Our minds did not arrive into our lives only in this lifetime. Our minds are millions of lifetimes old and they carry impressions and tendencies of many million lifetimes. All opinions, biases and thoughts have followed us through our minds right from the time of the origin of the universe. Unless one intends deeply to free oneself from the compulsions of the mind, the right intent is not set. If right intent is not set, mind-chatter cannot stop. When mind-chatter starts becoming too loud, this leads to psychological complications and one will have to visit the psychiatrist. Hence it is important that one takes up some well-recommended spiritual practices so that mind is rendered useful for being available to us in good condition, when we need it.