What is Mind Chatter?

Where did the voice come from and why is it so hard to have peace and quiet?
 Do you ever sense that the voice in your head is full of self-judgments?
 How come when you try to turn off the voice in your head…it doesn’t seem to go away?

So what is Mind or Head Chatter?

Head or Mind chatter are those voices in our head that talk to us. It is those high intensity inner monologue and in some cases dialogue that distracts or interrupts our activities. In other words, the stuff going on in our head that suggest we should maybe get a second opinion or some kind or reassurance.

Does that sound familiar?

There is good head chatter and bad ones too. These chatters are created by us. When we are in high and positive mood, the head chatter can encourage and give us that confidence that we can do anything! However it also does the opposite for us when we are low, and the negative head chatter could bombard at us non stop.

The unwanted thoughts are the most challenging one don’t you agree?

Strange enough we are so used to the chatter box in our head that we often don’t even notice it talking to us.  Although it’s often harmless but it could become a  problem if the negative chatter starts to effect our thinking and confidence.

Our mind chatter has a great deal of power in our life, the head chatter is us so what does it sound like?

 It sounds something like this:

“When is he going to call me, he told me he’ll call me and now over 2 days. Maybe he is now longer interested in me.  Maybe I shouldn’t have shown too keen on the first date, but I was thinking,“Omg look at what I was wearing!” And I looked so fat in that outfit; I told myself not to wear that again and I did. And my makeup was too much……” the chats can go on and on non stop…

So what do we do about it and how can we stop this silly chatter?

There are ways to deal with head chatter. I don’t think you can ever stop it, however, we can learn to embrace it and control it.

Here are the steps that I’ve found that work for me:

  • Decide what you want to get out of having this “constant chatter” in your head.
  • What results do you expect?
  • What is your intention of creating this chatter? and
  • Why the same chatter keeps re occurring?

Honestly, the truth is whatever goes on inside our head is our own doing. We’re creating our thoughts good or bad, our dreams and our own “chatter”. We do this for our own reasons. So it’s important to find out what they are and if they are important and mean something then we need to take action and if they are not important then stop creating the constant chatter.

If the chatter is too over powering and it keeps going around in circles in our head, then grab a note pad and write those thoughts down. You will be amazed at how this will calm our mind and instead of having those thoughts floating in our mind now it’s transferred onto paper.

Once those thoughts are on paper we can address it and define its priorities and set purpose goals to help us overcome those constant head chatter in our head.

I find this process works for me as I write them onto paper. It lets me realise why I keep getting the constant same head chatter and gives me options on how to deal with it too. Remember we always have a choice to do something about it. It’s up to us at the end of the day.

If we truly want to control or eliminate our unwelcome thoughts, use the “4-S Method” of thought control. It comes from behaviour theorists/therapists Dr. Joseph Wolpe, Dr. Arnold Lazarus and Dr Bob

Below are the steps that I find very useful and I hope you find them useful for you too:

These are Dr Bob instructions:

1. Stop sign — When you create a thought you don’t want in your head, in your imagination hold up a huge red stop sign, perhaps being held by a stern-faced crossing guard!

2. Shout it out — Shout at the thought, scream at it, yell at it – not literally but out loud in your mind until you can sense that it is leaving your thoughts. (The nice thing about the mind is that it cannot contain more than a single conscious thought at a time.) Treat it like an intruder in your mind, someone you DO NOT want in there! Get angry at it!

3. Substitute — Prepare a sentence or thought to put in the place of the unwanted thought. Make it something strong, something positive, and something you really want to believe! (Some people carry such positive or self-encouraging thoughts with them, on 3 x 5 cards.)

4. Sustain — Keep at it. YOU CREATED THE UNWANTED THOUGHT FOR A REASON! (“Psychology of Use” says you think all your thoughts in order to get something from them!) As you kick the unwanted thought out the front door, it will turn around and try to sneak in a window or down the chimney! DON’T LET IT!

Keep repeating the four S’s until you find yourself to be in charge of the thought you don’t want. As you become more comfortable with this, you’ll find you are more in control of your whole mind, and also of your feelings.

By this time next week you will feel more in control of your unwelcome feelings and thoughts. If not…that’s an indication that you actually get something out of having such thoughts and feelings, and that you do not want to give them up yet…

More information about:

Dr. Joseph Wolpe

Dr. Arnold Lazarus 

Dr Bob



Vinh Van Lam
the authorVinh Van Lam
Vinh Van Lam, co-founder of ArtSHINE, is a visionary art coach and entrepreneur with a passion for fostering creativity. With a diverse background in art and business, he brings a unique perspective to empower emerging artists, enabling them to thrive in the dynamic art industry through the innovative platform of ArtSHINE.

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