How to calm your monkey mind to create the work life you want

Do you often find yourself running around like a headless chicken? Worried, anxious, thinking and pondering more to find the answers for your work life decisions? Have you found out the more you read, hear, compare yourself to your friends from college or people at your work, in your industry - the less clarity you have about what the right steps for your career are?


I definitely have - and sometimes still do! In this article, I introduce you to the ways through which you can get out of your internal hamster wheel right now and regain the clarity you need to create the work life you dream of.


I have noticed this week that I can easily go into a frantic mode. This is what you have to do activate your monkey mind:


First thing in the morning, you already wake up thinking about what’s ahead of you and having an uneasy feeling in your stomach. You went to bed too late and haven’t moved your body enough during the day (/and or malnourished it). As a result, you don’t feel rested.


In order to calm yourself down, you look at your phone and check emails/social media/WhatsApp to see if something is waiting for you, needs to be solved, answered. And boom! From this moment on you have already lost the connection to your intuition and your inner knowledge. From here on, you will be steered by the outside events.


Like a leaf being thrown around, you read another email that’s giving you stress, you check the news multiple times a day and inhale everything that’s burning in the world right now.


You have a hard time being really present with people you care about because there is so much on your to-do list and the constant distractions from the phone don’t help either to stay in the moment.


The bullshit radio in your head is going a hundred miles per hour. You can recognize this when you are talking a lot (internal or external), explaining, rationalizing and going in loops. You wonder why things are not working out at the moment, what is stopping you from taking a decision and going forward.


At the end of the day, you feel exhausted. But you don’t feel you have accomplished enough, so in order to fill that whole inside, you take some more time to scroll on your phone mindlessly or to binge watch Netflix.


These patterns are highly addictive. We have trained our brains to be all over the place. When I start working with my clients, they often come in this state of feeling helpless, stuck, doubting themselves. Empaths, especially, can be like sponges, taking in all the stress of their environment and wanting to solve everyone’s problems, too. No wonder you lose yourself!


But you can break this vicious cycle right now. If you want to take decisions that are more aligned with who you are or who you want to be, have a clear head, feel centered and create a work life that feels energizing and fulfilling, I have some ideas that I come back to over and over again when I recognize that I am going down the hamster wheel loop. These ideas have also proven to be very effective when working with my coaching clients:


Learn again how to be in silence

With the constant noise that’s going on outside of us, we don’t know how to be still anymore. Only when you are not getting any input from the outside, you can become present again. Start with small 5 min pauses during the day. Turn off the podcast, music, phone, find a place where you can be alone and undisturbed. Maybe go for a walk on your own. This helps you turn on your more relaxed parasympathetic nervous system. It gives you awareness again of what is present in your life at the moment and THEN take conscious action in this state of being.


You can also sit on a bench outside and just let your eyes wander. Take in the sounds of your environment without judging or labeling anything. Become the still observer of what’s happening.


If you are in the office, drink a coffee or tea without checking your phone and take in the full aroma before you drink it consciously, taking your time.



Use the first hour of the day for yourself

Train yourself to not check the news, emails, messages or anything else the first hour of the day. When you wake up you are more connected to your intuition and you want to use this calm state to check in with your inner world.


You can do this through:

  • (guided) meditation. My favorites are from Tara Brach Ph.D, psychologist and Dr. Joe Dispenza . If you get into the habit of meditating every day, you will get to a point where you cannot go through your day without it. I feel much more centered and are more likely to show up fully present with others when I start my day checking in with myself.

  • breathing exercises: Kapalabhati Breath is my favorite one in the morning as it energizes you with a lot of oxygen entering your cells

  • moving your body and going outside (natural sunlight before noon is super important for your serotonin levels)

  • writing down your thoughts, things you are grateful for, what you would like to focus on during the day.


Always come back to your body

When I notice myself or my coaching clients caught in the endless loop of the monkey mind, it’s time to get back into the body. You can do this by simply stopping your train of thoughts for a moment. Take a deep breath and maybe close your eyes and feel what’s present. How are you breathing? Shallow or fast? You can scan through your body and see if you are tense, restricted or heavy somewhere.


You can ground yourself by touching your feet on the floor, imagining deep roots growing into the center of the earth like a tree, imagining how stable and grounded you become.


Sometimes, it helps to get out of the stuck or monkey mind state if you put on music that you really enjoy and literally shake off the stress of the day.


Changing the location and going to a different place, e.g., a nice café or park can also help to “move” thoughts into a different direction.


Take a time-out

Every year, I take some time out for myself to be on my own, to see something new, break out of my daily routine and to see myself and (work) life from a different perspective. This can be a retreat or traveling on my own.


Especially for empaths, it is super important to switch things up. We love our routines and little crab shells to hide. If you don’t break out every once in a while, from our secure comfy place it is harder to receive ideas, to learn something new about ourselves and get more courage to take the next steps of what we would like to create for our work lives. During the last 1,5 years we were very restricted in our movements and I think we can see that in our minds as well. The more there is going on on the outside, the more it is important we become aware of what is happening within us and take good care of our inner world.


This is how the MARvellous Retreat came to life, which I will be hosting in the Algarve on October 1-8, 2021. During the whole week you will get the chance to recharge in a beautiful environment, together with 6-7 other women, you will have community but also times in silence, practicing meditation and yoga, walking along the Portuguese coast, experience forest bathing and coaching workshops with me where we dive deeper into tools to let go of mental stress and blockages, reconnect with your empathic gifts, and collect courage and clarity for your next steps in your authentic, value-driven work life.

Click here to sign up today! I look forward to seeing you there!


Sources: