Healthy Tahoe: Turn off the mental noise
About the author
Barbara Pidermann, DNP, FNP is a primary care provider at Barton Family Medicine in South Lake Tahoe. She sees patients for common and chronic medical concerns. Recently, Dr. Pidermann completed her doctorate of nursing practice.
Mental noise can affect ability to concentrate and often contributes to anxiety. This continuous inner conversation in your head can be particularly bothersome at bedtime or when waking in the middle of the night.
Here are a couple tricks to calm or turn off mental noise when trying to sleep.
Plan ahead: Before going to bed, grab a pad of paper and write down anything that is bothering you right then or that you think may be of concern if you wake in the middle of the night. Even the smallest things seem out of proportion at 3 a.m. as you toss and turn.
If you do wake up at 3 a.m. or have difficulty falling asleep, remind yourself that the list is there, it isn’t going anywhere, and you will tackle it in the morning. Say to yourself: “That problem is on the list and I will take care of it in the morning.”
Tame your monkey mind: Buddha described the human mind as being filled with off-the-wall monkeys jumping around from tree to tree and chattering endlessly. He named it the monkey mind.
To quiet mental noise, try to tame your monkey mind. Befriend your monkey and ask it to complete a task. For example, say to your monkey mind: “Hello monkey, please watch my breathing. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out.” Or put your monkey in charge of progressive relaxation. If your monkey mind is busy with a job assignment, it won’t keep chattering.
Practice both techniques. You can do them anytime you need to turn off the mental noise and focus.
Healthy Tahoe is a look at health-related topics that shape our community and is made possible through content provided by our sponsors.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Substance abuse has repeatedly been recorded as a leading health concern in our community during Barton’s regularly-conducted Community Health Needs Assessments. Barton’s Medication for Addiction Treatment Program, offers treatment to individuals experiencing addiction to opioids…