Adoption—Calming the Monkey Mind

“Have you ever found yourself dominated by the ‘monkey mind’ part of your brain that insists on being heard—the voice inside of your head that is always chattering, making it impossible to stay focused on the moment. This is the subconscious part of your mind that becomes easily distracted and over stimulated, so if you want to get anything done in life, your challenge will be to shut down the monkey mind part of your brain.” Judith Land

“Mindfulness means non-judgmentally paying attention to the present moment. Research is incontrovertible that cognitive behavioral therapy is the gold standard when it comes to reducing negative thoughts. Meditation is a tried-and-true method that is so robust and well-illustrated for quieting fear-based thoughts when the negative voices in the Monkey Mind part of our brain are particularly meddlesome.” Judith Land

Adoption generates an extraordinary number of things to think about. Overthinking during the day and excessive rumination during the night leads to a loss of happiness, fatigue, and poor health. It is important to learn to manage stress by taming your monkey mind to stop the mental chatter.

“Monkey mind” is a term that refers to being unsettled, restless, and confused, resulting in mental and physical fatigue. It is a preoccupation with whimsical, fanciful, inconsistent, and capricious thoughts, resulting in indecision, confusion, and a lack of control. The mind is a wonderful thing, but sometimes it becomes caught in a repetitive loop. Monkey mind is the part of your brain that becomes easily distracted, stifling your creativity, and preventing you from moving forward with your passions. The constant babble in the mind never stops. The voice in your head blocks out the message your heart wants to convey.

We all have plans, dreams and goals we are working towards but the future is always uncertain. None of us can predict exactly what is going to happen tomorrow. Irrational fears made real by our own constant attention are infuriating and exhausting. We’ve all had days where it feels like we’ve achieved nothing. There’s a mountain to climb tomorrow, and yet we can’t relax.

When we give our attention to too many things at once, spending our lives rushing from one appointment to another and focusing on what we are planning to do next week, instead of what we are currently doing, our Monkey Mind sends us into an out of control tailspin, a spiraling mental descent, leading to an emotional letdown and collapse. Apprehensively approaching the new day in a mental state of nerves, frayed by a lack of sleep, inhibits our ability to think clearly in the moment, and truly love the journey that we are undertaking.

Monkey Mind depletes executive brain functioning by reducing focus and attention, suffocating emotional intelligence, and stifling analytic thought. Observable signs and symptoms include inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity; behaviors that make staying on task difficult, leading to more mind-wandering, and reduced cognitive reasoning.

Our brain has an innate capacity for thinking, making it easy for the Monkey Mind to feed on stimuli, requiring considerable self-control to shut it off, and making it no surprise that depression, anxiety, and stress disorders associated with adoption are commonplace. Focusing on who to blame spoils the present. Instead of dwelling on who has caused you pain, forgive them. Focus on present events and leave behind any blame or hurt you feel. If there is someone in your past that has hurt you, choose to forgive and forget.

To find harmony and peace in this life, learn to meditate, practice mindfulness, write down your thoughts, and practice acceptance to defuse the rhetoric. Clear your mind, break the cycle of overthinking, avoid unwanted thought, stop worrying so much, and sharpen your mind to release the demons that come along with the Monkey Mind.

Judith Land



About Judith Land

Judith Land lives in Colorado and Arizona with husband and coauthor Martin Land. Judith is a former nurse, retail shop owner, college instructor and avid outdoor person. Her book "Adoption Detective: Memoir of an Adopted Child" is a true story detailing the journey of Judith Romano, foster child and adoptee, as she discovers fragments of her background, and then sets out to solve the mystery as an adult. She has reached readers in 192 countries. "Mothers and fathers everywhere in the world need to understand that children are forever and always." --Judith Land
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1 Response to Adoption—Calming the Monkey Mind

  1. Judith Land says:

    During this time of the Coronavirus and the disruption it is causing in our daily routines, it’s natural to feel unsettled and have anxiety. Learn to distinquish between probability and possibility, take breaks from the media, and put worry in perspective. Find a good balance between proper health guidelines, and the intensity and frequency of your worries. Take care of yourselves, eat right, and stay in contact with others to find calm and avoid anxiety.

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