Slowing down that chattering mind subvocalizing

Typically much of ones thinking process is thinking in spoken language. I have unscientifically dubbed this process subvocalizing, some people label  the process “inner dialogue“, “inner monologue“, or “thinking-to- myself“.
One  utilizes subvocalization for   problem solving, reading and writing, deciding, daydreaming, or just reflecting on an event.

Although  Zennists , such as I,work to minimize subvocalizing, it appears that subvocalization remains an important daily process.

what happens if subvocalization becomes to intense or “loud”?   What is one to do if  thoughts seem like they  are racing and speeding out of control?   The chattering is no longer a helpful tool … but an intrusive hindrance. – shifting one’s attention from the present moment or task-at- hand to wordy thoughts.

A couple tips I have learned over the years to slow down a chattering mind:

“Purge to paper” Journaling :

When having a pen and scrap-paper and a little privacy, “purge-to -paper” is helpful:
I simply write what ever I am thinking, at the present moment, on to paper – sans concerns for spelling, grammar or penmanship. If I think “I don’t know what to write” then I scribble on paper:  “I don’t know what to write“.
Preferably, after doing this exercise  for a couple minutes:  I end with emotional grammar and a couple affirmations,  just get back to an organized confident attitude.
Then I rip the paper up and throw it way… nothing to be sentimental about in this exercise.
I don’t know why journaling helps, but it usually clears my mind.
For  more   journaling tips click here.

breathing and counting:

This is a helpful tool because it requires nothing, not even privacy.

1. start with a good sized inhale.
2. Exhale and count out “ 5..4..3..2..1..0″
Count whispering while exhaling
3. Inhale through the nose
4. Exhale “5..4..3..2..1..0″ Just as number 2.
5. continue to step 3 and 4 :
I slow down my counting with each exhale

5…..4…..3……2…..1……0 slower and slower each exhale.

6. I do this for about 3 to 5 minutes or so
7. (optional) inhale, then exhale and repeating the thought: “I’m Safe” . – helpful if anxious.

– taken from the full post: Breathing and Counting Exercise.
Note: The speed I count, or the number I start with (eg, 5 or 4 or 6) is not important.

For more breathing exercise check out this page.

I’m not a doctor or a healthcare provider. These are tools I have learned in wellness management over the years. Excessive or speedy subvocalization termed “racing thoughts“, “intrusive thoughts“, “obsessive thoughts“, or “attention span” problems can be very serious. Do consult a professional if these are overwhelming. Healthcare providers can provide or prescribe many wellness tools or therapies.


Page Zoom in Web Browser

This morning I helped a family member (Mom), use some accessibility features on her computer. It has become apparent to me, lately that many computer users do not know how to use some basic features for impairment or aid   when viewing web pages in a browser.
One of the best tools is  Page Zoom.  I  use zoom all time to increase text size and push ugly web page sidebars full crap out of my line of site. I use zoom in almost every web page I visit. Many users, especially older users or users with eye problems, will benefit   greatly from using page Zoom on any or all of the web pages they view:
If you are Using a PC with a standard keyboard, with almost every major web browser:(Internet Explorer, Safari , Firefox, Chrome, Opera) try the following:

  • Find the control key (usually “CTRL” on the button) near the bottom left of your keyboard.
  • hold the control button
  • now press the plus button ( “+” it might also have the “=” sign below)
  • Press it a couple of times.
  • now let go of the buttons

Your text should be considerably easier to read on the page.
You can zoom out on a page by substituting the minus “-” button in the instruction above.  You can restore text to the default view by substituting the zero button “0”
Notice those three buttons   + – 0 are conveniently  located  close  together on your keyboard..

For PCs with Windows or  Linux:

Hold {Control} press +
Hold {Control} press
Hold {Control} press 0
Zoom In and increase text size.
Zoom Out and decrease text size
Reset the Zoom to default settings

For  Apple using Mac:

Hold {Cmd} press +
Hold {Cmd} press
Hold {Cmd} press 0
Zoom In and increase text size.
Zoom Out and decrease text size
Reset the Zoom to default settings

If you are using Windows or Linux with Mouse with a scroll wheel: try holding {Cntrl} on the keyboard and moving your mouse wheel back and forth and see what happens..
☯☯ Go ahead.  See if you can push all the dead space on the sides and  even my sidebar out of the way of your viewing.  You can always change or reset the zoom to get them back. ☯☯
Along side the commercial use of the World Wide Web, exists the use for common knowledge and communication. Our goal should be accessibility for everyone, noobies,the seasoned, and those who need visual assistance.
With that said I use zoom all the time, without any special need. Its a handy tool to push clutter out of the way and focus on text.

  • Know your software. For more browser shortcuts, choose your browser and click the link:
Chrome & Chromium
Internet Explorer

happy browsing!

Clearing my mind with Purging to Paper Journaling

We all need to vent some times.  We need to get things off our chests.
Our minds maybe filled with thoughts, anxieties and it needs to get out.
Its a stressful world we live in
Perhaps we need a friend to talk to.
But what if we are somewhere where we have no one to talk to?
What if we don’t believe we can talk to someone about what is on our mind?

The form of self therapy I  favor most is writing and journaling…
Journaling can take many forms and
may include meditation, creativity or venting
… it can be done with pen and paper or into a voice recorder, etc.

When  I need to vent and there is no to listen I can always turn to :

Purging to Paper!
Purging to Paper Journaling ” is  basically just venting  out or purging  what is  ones  mind… through pen…… and onto paper.
This  can be a cathartic experience and is useful when one feels overwhelmed and needs to vent.
Here is How to do it.

  • Have a pen and paper (preferably scrap paper) handy at desk, bed stand or even in pocket…. so it is available when needed.
  • When needed simply write and purge out what ever is one is thinking at the moment… from the mind to pen to paper, staying in the moment with energy.
  • Do not be concerned with grammar, spelling or writing logically or coherently  with this exercise, or how fast one writes… the idea is to dump every thing from mind to paper .
    There is no need to stop and look at what’s being written.
  • If one can’t get started… perhaps they are thinking “I don’t know what to write”… well: write “I don’t know what to write…”.
  • When one feels confident that they have exhausted  all they can write..
    then STOP,  breath for a couple minutes.
  • Finish journaling with writing a couple coherent and positive statements to end on. Affirming “I statements
  • Now  my favorite part of this therapy exercise… ripping the paper that one just journaled   on, to shreds and throwing it away.
    (Its not only therapeutic to be able to be rid of those thoughts to help move on from them, one doesn’t want others to embarrassingly find there honest and confusing writing.)
  • Done.

Purging to Paper Journaling is done without judgment  with purpose of clearing ones mind.  this “technique” (loosely) can be incorporated  into meditative journaling or creativity and can be changed into how ever one wishes to experiment in writing.
Its also a simple way to learn to journal and incorporate  therapies into our stressful lives.