how to quiet monkey mind

Sitting onboard my flight to San Francisco earlier this week, my tummy was filled with fluttering butterflies.

You see, I couldn’t have been more exhilarated to spend a week in one of my favorite cities, followed by a luxurious retreat to wine country.

Except, my butterflies weren’t the good kind of butterflies. Like, the ones that bubbled in anticipation for Tony’s pizza or for all the wine I was about to consume in the rolling hills of Napa.

Nope. My butterflies were full of FEAR. And, before I knew it, they flew right into my mind:

“What if we don’t make it off the ground?”
“What if we crash?”
“What if we hit a flock of migrating ducks and plummet from the sky?”
“What if I never see my husband again?”

What if… what if… what if…  

My entire being wanted to yell “OMG stop the plane!”

Thankfully, these dramatic words never made it past my pink glossy lips (because I’m sure that my story would have one day turned into a tragic Lifetime original movie titled: The Girl and the Plane, the Shelley Cohen Story).

But, in those tense moments, it was really hard to tell my monkey mind to pipe down already.

Maybe you’ve felt this way, too – at one time, or another.

If I had let my mind go down the deep dark rabbit hole of despair, I would have been left in a steely terminal, wheeling my suitcase and pride back home. No pizza. No wine. No dignity.

But I talked myself out of a pre-flight implosion by doing the following:

  1. Snap out of it: I literally imagined myself being slapped back to reality (kind of like a Ben Stiller movie montage!)
  1. Acknowledge: I acknowledged the crazy dialogue in my head, rather than stuffing it away. “Oh, hello there Miss Negativity. You have some valid points but, really? These things aren’t going to happen. Just go back to reading Cosmo.”
  1. Let it go {c’mon, you know you want to sing the song}: I released the negative thoughts, took three deep breaths and focused on pizza. In fact, this might be my new motto for everything: just think of pizza. 
If all else fails:

:: I play some booty-shaking music and pretend I’m in a music video (in my head, not in the aisle of the plane)
:: Read a gripping book
:: Journal how I feel (like secret therapy)

As much as I roll my eyes at my monkey mind, in the end – I’m grateful.

These moments when my monkey mind rises makes me dig deeper. Understand what I’m made of.

Oh, and I get to think about pizza.

With love and gratitude,
Shelley Cohen
how to quiet your mind

p.s. Has your monkey mind piped up recently? If you’re dying to share, hit reply. I’m all ears :)