From the time consciousness washes over us as we awake from sleep, there is an endless talk that goes on in our head. Most of the time, we are having a conversation with someone in our mind. It can be positive like we are discussing an idea, a movie, or a bit of our shared past. This is not troubling. But more often than not we are having distressing conversations in our head with others. We are arguing, we are defending our actions, we are explaining our behaviour, we are questioning theirs and a wide variety of other distressful conversation.
In real life, if we have had a disagreement with them, we rehash the conversation in our mind with them telling us again what they told and us trying different responses than the one we actually gave. This endless conversation with people leaves us drained of energy. We feel as if we have actually had that conversation with them. The body reacts as if that was real. We are sucked into the misery loop.
Here is the weird part. We imagine two people having a conversation about us in our absence. We are not part of the scene at all but hearing them out as if we are the fly on the wall. We are putting words into the mouth of each of them and then reacting in real life to that imaginary conversation. Within a few months of learning language and learning to speak fluently, children are known to have inner conversation. They just vocalize those conversations and as they grow, the conversations go entirely internal.
For peace of mind, we need to be aware of this and stop these conversations. It is not easy because it has become a habit over the decades. But it is not so difficult either. Bringing awareness to your internal conversation is critical. Then practice watching the conversation for short bursts of time - 5 minutes, 10 minutes. If you are going on a walk or driving, set yourself a visible target - “I will not have a conversation until I reach that billboard”, “I will not talk to people in my head until I get the green light and cross this junction”. Let the targets be short in the beginning. If you can stop the conversation for two minutes, you have really achieved mind control. That success helps you build it to a bigger time frame. Once you cross the billboard/traffic light, set the next visible target. If you are travelling by bus/metro “I will not talk to anyone or let anyone talk to me in my head until the next stop/station comes up”. That is just a two-three minute target. If you aim directly for a 30-minute mental talk-free time, it may be daunting but when you think that 30 minutes into ten chunks of three minutes, you will discover it is easily doable. Once you achieve a certain level of mastery, then you can turn on or turn off the mental conversation whenever you want. That control and the conversation-free mind is a blissful experience.