Our minds are designed to think, wander off, and think again. Whether or not you are aware of it, the human mind narrates constantly, thinking about what part of a project to tackle next, what to eat for lunch, or the best way to get from here to there. Sometimes the inner narrator is rather neutral, as in the previous examples. But for some, the inner narrator is full of criticism, anger, judgment, or comparison, leaving one stripped of hope, clear thinking, and the ability to live life to its fullest.
So how can you tame this inner narrator, and perhaps provide a buffer between thoughts of who you think you are and the real you?
Mindfulness practices can be this buffer. By noticing what’s happening in your mind (and body), moment-by-moment, you may not get as carried away by the stories you tell yourself. Just imagine what it would be like to notice anger as it emerges and not lose your temper, or notice unhelpful thoughts as they intrude, and not let them yank you around. Mindfulness practices make the act of noticing, sitting with, and letting go very possible.
To begin taming your inner narrator, start with a simple PAUSE, every once in awhile. Notice what you are thinking or feeling in that moment, use your words to name it. Ask yourself, “is this useful?” If not, let it go.