What is the mental noise?
- It is the constant chatter of the mind that never stops.
- It is the tendency of the mind to think nonstop.
- It is the inner conversation or inner monologue that goes on constantly in the mind.
- It is a sort of inner voice that constantly analyzes everything about your life, circumstances, and the people you meet.
- It is a voice in the head that just keeps talking and talking!
This inner chatter goes on and on in everyone’s mind. You might always be aware of it of this mental noise, because it has become a deeply embedded habit, and is considered as a natural and inseparable part of life.
This mental noise is like a background noise that never ceases, from the moment of waking up in the morning, to the moment of falling asleep at night. Often, it even prevents you from falling asleep.
When do you become more aware of the mental noise and find it disturbing?
When you need to focus your mind on a certain activity, such as studying, reading, solving problems or anything else. At this time you become more aware of the buzz and constant flow of irrelevant, and often useless or distracting thoughts. This is the mental noise.
One of the characteristics of the mind is the habit of repeating the same thoughts over and over again, as in a loop, like a video or audio that got stuck.
If these are positive thoughts that’s fine. However, too often, these are negative thoughts that intensify stress, worry, anger or frustration. These are thoughts that you absolutely do not need.
Don’t misunderstand me. Thinking is a useful and important activity required for solving problems, analyzing, comparing, studying, planning, etc. However, too often, the mind cannot be focused and it roams where it wills, occupying one’s attention with trivial matters and unimportant, useless thinking that wastes time and energy.
How Does the Mental Noise Express Itself?
- Thoughts that repeat themselves like a tape that keeps playing the same tune.
- Reliving negative past situations or imagining fearful situations over and again.
- Dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. This prevents you from enjoying the present moment. The past is gone, and the future is the product of our present thinking and actions. The only time that exists is now, the present moment.
- Never being here. Always thinking on something else, instead of what you are doing now. If you always think on something else you never enjoy anything.
- Compulsive inner monologue that disturbs your peace and makes the mind too busy with restless, and sometimes, disturbing thoughts.
- Constant analysis of your and other people’s situations, reactions and behavior. Analyzing the past, the future, things we need or want to do, our day, yesterday and the distant past.
- Almost all involuntary thinking and daydreaming are some sort of mental noise.
These activities of the mind produce a constant background noise, which often intrudes into foreground in the middle of everything we do.
Too often, all this is tiring and exhausting, making us become impractical and lazy. This constant mental chatter also makes us miss opportunities, due to insufficient attention to what is happening around us.
The mind is a useful tool, but it also needs to be controlled. Wouldn’t it be great if you could think when you need to, like solving a problem or making a plan, and then after that just switch off the mind and enjoy inner peace?
Switching off the mind creates a state of inner peace.
It is not a state of being passive, dull and inactive. Actually, it is a state of heightened awareness, clear comprehension, and a sharp mind.
A state of inner peace, in which there is no mental noise, has been always sought by all spiritual traditions and teachings. It is of great importance for both spiritual seekers and people who wish to improve their life.
Can You Shut off the Mental Noise
- Is it possible to focus the attention?
- Is it possible to set the mind free of its endless thinking?
This is possible, but this requires training. Are you willing to devote some 10-15 minutes a day to the project which will improve your life?
Let’s make an experiment.
- Stop reading for a moment, and find out if you can stop your mental noise.
- Just stop thinking, watch your mind in a dispassionate and detached way, and notice what happens.
You might discover that the thought “I need to stop thinking” is occupying your mind. This means that you are thinking on stopping your thinking. It means that you are still thinking, since this is still a thought.
After a few seconds you will probably forget that your objective was to watch your thoughts, and your mind will continue its incessant mental activity. This shows you how restless the mind is, and how it lacks discipline
Don’t worry if you can’t shut down the noise in your mind. With mental training, your ability would improve.
Sometimes, on rare occasions, you might experience a brief period of inner peace, without mental noise. This usually happens involuntarily, when your attention is completely absorbed in some interesting activity, when you are watching a beautiful landscape, and in some other special situations. At these times, you get a short glimpse of inner peace.
Meditation, Concentration and Shutting off the Mental Noise
Shutting down the mental noise voluntarily, when you wish to do so, is not achieved by reading books. This ability develops gradually, and over a period of training the mind through concentration exercises and meditation.
Speaking of concentration, people often say that they meditate, but yet, they cannot calm down their mind. If the concentration power is weak, and the mind easily wanders from one thought to another, how can one meditate?
Sitting down to meditate, but letting the mind run where it wills, thinking and visualizing all kinds of things, is not meditation.
This is why it is so important to develop at least some degree of concentration ability, before starting to meditate.
After your power of concentration gets stronger, you will be able to meditate without words, mental images or thoughts. Then, the inner peace would gradually increase and deepen, first, while meditating, and then, in your daily life, while working, reading, talking, etc.
In time, there would be less and less mental noise, until it might completely stop.
Don’t worry, this condition will not make you unable to think. On the contrary, your mind would be sharper and faster, and your thinking would be clearer. Your mind will become more alert, focused and powerful, and you will be able to switch your thinking on and off at will.
Are you sometimes, unable to let go of your thoughts after reaching a conclusion or finding a solution? The mind might go on thinking on the same topic over and over again. It is like a broken record that keeps repeating the same tune. This is one of the reasons why it is important to learn to stop your thinking when there is no need to think.
Shutting down the mental noise means inner peace. This results in saving a lot of mental energy and time wasted on thinking on matters that do not add anything to your life.
If you wish learn more about this topic, and find practical guidance about it, read the book Calm Down the Nonstop Chatter of Your Mind.
“Learn to be calm and you will always be happy.”
“Seek peace. When you have peace within, real peace with others will be possible.”
“When the restless activity of your mind slows down, when your thoughts stop rushing like waves on a windy day, then you will start getting glimpses of the sweet taste of inner peace.”
Positive Self Talk to Motivate and Encourage Yourself