You are not your thoughts.
You are not the voice in your head.
You are the observer of those thoughts.
The voice in your head simply narrates a story. You make up a story and live it out in your mind, making that perspective your reality. We identify with the contents of our mind, believing they define us. The identification and addiction we have to our narrative dictate how we feel at any given moment and lead us to become victims of our own beliefs.
In order to free ourselves from the incessant chatter of the mind we have to step back and witness it objectively, with curiosity. Just notice it, coming and going, jumping from one thing to the next.
Don’t judge it.
Don’t question it.
Just notice it.
Imagine, for example, that you have to do something you really don’t like doing, like cleaning the house. You can get trapped into a spiral of negative thoughts in which you complain about having to do it, before, during and after it happens. The more you feed your mind with complaints about how boring your task is, the worse you feel. You are letting your story dictate your experience.
Instead, you can choose to simply observe your thoughts as objectively as possible and try not to enter the negative internal talk. I can assure you that your experience during the event will radically shift when you cut off the fuel that feeds the story of boredom or stress around a given activity. No doubt that the anticipation and emotional hangover that revolve around the event will also fade.
Knowing that you are the one noticing the voice talking, but you aren’t the voice creates great relief. Not only does it decrease our anxiety and suffering, but it also reconnects us to who we really are. When we believe we are our thoughts, we identify with them. There is a difference between saying “I am anxious” and “I feel anxiety in my body”. The latter creates a psychological and emotional distance to our suffering which helps us have much more “control” over it. If, instead, we believe that “anxiety” is part of who we are by saying “I am anxious”, we adopt a victim mentality assuming nothing can be done about it.
Next time you get trapped in the incessant chatter of your mind, try to step back and simply notice your thoughts. Know that your thoughts are you own but they do not describe you. Know that you have power over your story, so you can choose to adhere to it or let it go.