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A method to stop mental chatter

Words flow endlessly in our head and at times it can become disturbing. Our conversations in the mind is either with ourselves or with someone we know. The conversations can become disturbing and paralyzing when some arguments, fights, are played endlessly in a loop. Or at times we become obsessed with some thoughts and don't know how to stop it. The thoughts race away and we believe what is happening in our mind to be the truth. Are there ways to stop or slow the thinking process? Can we really control it. I am mentioning couple of techniques that I have tried out with self and others which seem to be working.

Default Thinking Language

Most of us Indians are multi lingual. We know two or more languages with fluency. I think in English, talk to my parents and siblings in Tamil, converse in Kannada with cousins and use Hyderabadi Hindi with some friends.What is your thinking language? If you are not conversing with someone and are having obsessive thoughts, in which language are those thoughts happening? Most of us have a default thinking language. It is the language perhaps you do your multiplication tables in. In the default language our thinking goes on fluently and at a great speed. When you wish to slow down your thinking, or get rid of the obsessive thoughts, how about changing the language of thinking? This will automatically slow down your thinking as you have to search for the correct words in the non-fluent language. The critical part here is you are not trying to suppress your thoughts but thinking those thoughts in a different language. The slowing down can bring a different perspective to your thinking. Of course, you have to become conscious of falling back to your default language.

Mentally arguing with others

We also have a default language in which we talk to different people in our life. This is applicable even when we are conversing with them in our mind. Although my parents know English, I have never ever talked to them in English. With some people I have used English or Kannada and have never used Hindi. Now here is a trick you can try. When you want to avoid the repeated arguments you are having in your mind with a person, talk to them in a language you would not use in real life. Tell them whatever you want to tell them using a different language. The challenge is to make the other person also talk to you in the non-default language. Here the mind gets stuck. It does not have a template. You will find the other person staring at you blankly or stuttering with responses. This is another method you can adopt to cut down unwanted loop thinking or mental argument with others.

Try it and let me know the results of your experiment.

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