How to Silence the Monkey Mind

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Sparked by many of things recently, we decided to put this article together.

The fact of the matter is, anxiety is more prevalent today than ever before. That little voice in your head is getting louder and louder, day after day. 

Why? Probably for a few reasons. Most people eat like shit, get inadequate sleep, sit in a fluorescent filled cubicle all day, don’t exercise enough, and wonder why they’re anxious and depressed all the time.

There may not be a one off cure (if there is, let us know, we haven’t found it), but there are certainly a few ways to mitigate anxious feelings and quiet that little voice in your head.

Here’s what the podcast world has taught us about how to best silence your monkey mind.

Meditate

There are tons of resources out there on how to meditate, and it seems like there’s a new meditation app popping up every day (Headpace, Calm, Oak etc.). Everyone is skeptical before they start, that’s just the way it is. 

But listen to everyone who meditates. 99% of people say it provides at least some benefit in their lives. What do you have to lose… 10 minutes of your day?

I heard this quote a while back, I’m not sure who to attribute it to, but it went something like ….. “Meditate for twenty minutes every day, unless you are too busy. In that case meditate for two hours.”

Some of our Podcast Notes on meditation to get you started:

Get a Good Nights Sleep

Stop denying it, you need 7-9 hours of sleep in order to function properly (unless you’re part of the .001% of people who can get by on less). Sleep is important, end of story. Check out our sleep tips, compiled from the many podcasts we’ve listened too.

These Podcast Notes, from Why We Sleep author, Dr. Matthew Walker, on The Joe Rogan Experience, are also super helpful. Side note – this is my vote for podcast of 2018 at this point.

What gets measured, gets managed. So track your sleep too. The Oura Ring does this perfectly. It tells you the exact amount of REM, deep, and light sleep you get every night. Use the code “podcastnotes” for $50 off your ring.

You want to aim for 1.5 hours of deep sleep and 2 hours of REM sleep each night, in addition to hitting your lowest resting heart rate in the first third of your sleep cycle. The Oura Ring will give you all this information.

Eat a Healthy Diet

There’s lot of debate on what a “healthy diet” is. Forget the debate for a second, there’s one thing we can all agree on – limit your intake of processed carbohydrates and sugar. STOP EATING SUGAR.

It’s that simple. We aren’t scientists, but research shows sugar has a detrimental effect on your microbiome and brain, both of which regulate mood.

Check out some of our Podcast Notes on various healthy diets you can try:

Exercise

It really doesn’t matter what type of exercise you do, just move. Humans were not made to wake up, eat a shitty breakfast, drive to work, sit in a cubicle for 9 hours a day, drive home, sit on the couch, and go to bed. 

Do something – go for a walk, strength train, do cardio, swim, it doesn’t matter. Get out of your mind and into your body.

Dr. Peter Attia talks about the many benefits of exercise in these Podcast Notes.

Get More of the Right Kind of Light

I want to paint a scene. This is what the days of many readers look like – wake up, scroll your phone, go sit under artificial incandescent light for 9 hours, go home,  and then watch TV/look at your phone until it’s time for bed. It’s just way too much artificial light.

Wake up and get as much natural light as possible. Go outside if you can. Start taking frequent breaks at work just to go out for some sun. Stop using electronics 1-2 hours before bed, and if you absolutely have to, get a pair of blue light blocking glasses. I use this pair.

Supplement

These might help.

Many people report taking 5 mg of Lithium Orotate daily helps mitigate feelings of depression/anxitey.

Have you ever had your vitamin D levels checked? I’ll save you the trouble, if you live in somewhere that’s not Miami or southern California you’re probably low in Vitamin D (but get your levels checked anyway). Vitamin D levels are linked to mood. Dr. Rhonda Patrick recommends this brand.

These are some general guidelines you can work with, according to Dr. Rhonda Patrick:

  • Generally 1,000 IU of vitamin D will raise blood levels by 5 ng/mL
  • Adequate levels of vitamin D are considered to be between 40-60 ng/mL

In these Podcast Notes, Tim Ferriss talked about how he has used  NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine) in the past to mitigate the ups and downs associated with mild bipolar disorder.

Many people, myself included, have found CBD oil to be effective at mitigating anxiety. We recommend the brand Saidebee.

This will probably be an on going post, as we come across more. Any other tips? Let us know in the comments.
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