Ep. 63 Shut Up
June 20th, 2023
Okay - this episode title says it all – SHUT UP.
It’s obvious I’m about to tell you not to talk so much. We’ll get into the research around that: why people talk too much, the role anxiety and control play in that, and how it’s also a survival mechanism.
But that’s not all.
I’m also going to apply the research in a way that makes a deeper point about how we let our minds yap on-and-on too much – we let our ego talk too much. We fill our thoughts with this record player of messages to ourselves in an endless monologue of to-do’s and self-doubt and – maybe if we’re lucky – some positivity mixed in.
But this will be an episode about why we need to reach complete silence not only in the physical sense when we close our mouths – but when we actually shut-up our minds.
The opposite of talking is silence. But if you’re in a conversation - hopefully the opposite of you talking is YOU listening.
I believe we’re in an eternal conversation with our intuition, our higher guidance - our creator - our higher selves. But it’s only a conversation if you listen. IF YOU TAKE TURNS. Otherwise, it’s a monologue and you’re missing the best parts of your spiritual experience.. Because you just can’t figure out how to SHUT UP.
So THAT is what we’re doing today.
I knew growing up I talked too much. My stories went too long. My dad always let me know because he would do this deep sigh and say - 25 words or less. Truly! He’s a man of few words and he taught me how to get to the point.
And then when I was in school… The first time I got in trouble for talking so much was in 7th grade. My teacher told my parents “She’s just a little bit social.” It’s still a family joke.
But the first time in my PROFESSIONAL life I was essentially told to SHUT UP was in 2012. I was 27 and working in Indianapolis as the morning anchor. My boss at the time told me “hey – you don’t have to talk in every weather toss.”
I was like “really?”
It was part of longer conversation about how I inserted myself in too many things on air. It was opposite of what I’d been told to do by the boss before him.. and it was said in such a demeaning way that I stopped talking completely in newscasts because I was so hurt and mortified. It took two years to get over that.
The lesson I’ve had to learn in these stories is to allow for silence.. Or listening depending on the situation.
But this need to talk is actually studied in psychology. In the early 90s researchers coined it ‘talkaholism.’ And they named all the reasons why people talk too much..
adhd, narcissism, loneliness, insecurities, personality disorders…
But my personal favorite is just good-ole-fashioned social anxiety.
The social anxiety is apparent. When people talk to fill silence, they get even more anxious and then they become self-conscious.. And then talk more. It’s a whole cycle.
Research shows up to 40-percent of a person’s speech is about THEMSELVES. It activates the reward center in your brain. So.. it releases dopamine and you literally feel really good about controlling the conversation - especially when it’s about you.
There’s even a “Talkaholic Scale”. It helps you measure your compulsive communication. I’ve put a link to it in the show notes. It’s a series of 16 statements that you answer on a 1-to-5 scale. At the end you’re either considered “normal,” a “borderline talkaholic,” or a full-blown “compulsive communicator.”
So we all know how hard it is to be in a conversation with someone who just won’t stop. You give every social cue. You sigh. You turn your body away. You pull out your phone. You try to interrupt. BUT THEY STILL DON’T GET IT.
But let me turn the tables here a minute…
What if the excessive talker – the talkaholic – is you. And what if the person on the other side of that conversation is your intuition – your higher self – your inner guidance. God. What if that entity is giving you EVERY POSSIBLE SOCIAL CUE RIGHT NOW to stop talking… and you’re not listening because you can’t shut up?
You’re over here asking big questions like –
Is this the guy for me?
Do I leave this job?
Should I buy that car?
What’s my purpose?
Do I start the business or wait?
Is my mom okay?
Should I go to the doctor?
You never pause long enough to hear the answer!
If it was a person-to person conversation… it would be like asking someone ‘how was your weekend’ and then before they can respond, you jump in and start sharing all that YOU DID.
We wouldn’t do that in polite conversation - AND YET - we do it all the time when we need guidance. We may have the guts to “JUST ASK” like I talked about in Ep. 59… but if you won’t SHUT UP and listen to the answer… you won’t get anywhere.
In social situations we may have the self control to stop running our mouths. But when it’s just us.. We let our thoughts run rampant. They’re a record player. We think the same thoughts over and over. It doesn’t stop BECAUSE WE DON’T STOP IT. We have to actively intervene and turn it off.
In 2020, research published in the journal “Nature Communications” showed humans think on-average 6,200 thoughts a day. For some of you- you may notice that’s lower than the estimates from earlier this century that it may be as many as 70,000 thoughts a day… but that’s now considered a myth. This 6-thousand number is the most up to date.
BUT THINK ABOUT IF WE SPOKE -OUT LOUD- ALLLLLLL OF THOSE THINGS THROUGHOUT THE DAY. We would literally never stop talking. So essentially, our minds…. NEVER STOP TALKING. See what I mean?! Your mind registers on the talkaholic scale and you never opened your mouth!
If you want guidance but you fail to LISTEN FOR IT… how can you expect to hear anything?
So, we have to SHUT UP. We have to quiet our mouths and quiet our minds. Lucky for you, I’ve got a handful of things here that you can do that 100% will work.
1. Number one. MEDITATION.
Please don’t roll your eyes and think you have to sit on a yoga mat in a beautiful quiet room to meditate. You can meditate while you exercise. You can do it while you clean the kitchen. I listen to meditations when I put on makeup… but my favorite time to do it is in the bath. I talked about that recently in episode 56. You can listen to that episode for more.
The benefits of meditation ABSOLUTELY CANNOT BE OVERSTATED. There’s literally hundreds of research papers around how meditation decreases stress, improves your body’s ability to recharge, controls anxiety, improves self-awareness, gives you a greater attention span, reduces memory loss, it improves sleep and decreases blood pressure… AND THE LIST GOES ON AND ON.
Meditation helps your mind go quiet. It allows for a higher consciousness and it helps you totally detach from negative energy.
I never fully learned how to MEDITATE until my 3 hospitalizations last year. If you don’t know what I’m talking, go back to Ep. 31 called ‘AT WHAT COST.’ I talk about how I reached complete and total silence in my mind. It had never happened to me before then and it came after days of nonstop meditation in my 3rd, extended hospitalization. I’m telling you, it changed me. I walked out of that hospital like Moses comin’ down off the mountain. I had found silence and it changed everything.
So then - Three months ago - I committed to meditate between 1 to 2 hours every day and it has changed my life. I can’t say it enough. It is powerful.
So If you need help starting a meditation regimen, DM me and I’ll help you out.
2. Another thing you can do to help yourself SHUT UP is being in nature.
It’s such a gift. I grew up never playing outside. So, me discovering nature in my 30s has been like this whole new world. I’m on a trail every weekend and I absolutely LOVE popping in a guided meditation while I walk. It’s so great.
The benefits of nature on your mind are also VERY EXTENSIVELY STUDIED. Nature gives us time for self-reflection and introspection. Research shows being in nature - or even just SEEING NATURE SCENES - reduces anger, fear and stress. It also increases your positive emotions. When you’re in nature, research shows you have greater wellbeing, reduced blood pressure and heart rate, lower stress and you even reduce mortality. On top of all that, nature helps us cope with pain. We are genetically programmed to find trees, plants, water and nature elements BEAUTIFUL! So it naturally calms our mind and helps us feel less pain.
There’s even a group of research around “NATURE DEPRIVATION” – which is a lack of time outside. Its associated with loss of empathy and lack of altruism. On top of that, people who don’t get enough time in green spaces have highers instances of depression and feelings of isolation. Even greater risk of death.
So…. listen…. How many studies can I share? GET OUTSIDE!
3. The third great way to quiet the endless chatter in your mind… being creative!
My friend Alyssa Rosenheck - who I interviewed in Ep. 39 - talks about creativity in a really interesting way. Alyssa is an acclaimed photographer and she says “creativity is a fancy word for listening.”
Now think about that and how it applies to what we’re talking about today. Being artistic and creative.. Is really just listening to inner truth. Alyssa says “a creative mind is a calm mind. It’s a daily practice of going inward, listening and connecting to the very truths that make you human.”
I absolutely love how Alyssa encourages people to honor creativity because it’s a process that 100% builds peace. Think about how many people get into those adult coloring books! That’s being creative! Being artistic is creative!
So often people poo-poo their imagination, but it’s the key to your ability to create, so you can create a situation where you connect with your higher self.
It may feel like you’re making something up, but guess what, nothing exists in this world that didn’t first come from imagination.
When you use your imagination to be creative and artistic, you communicate emotions. It’ll clear your mind and make you open to receive something beautiful.
4. OKAY - MY 4TH SUGGESTION FOR HOW TO QUIET YOUR MIND IS JOURNALING.
Every time -and i do mean every time- I sit down to journal, I’m like “GOD THIS FEELS GOOD.” It’s not the same as typing out your thoughts. When you write them by hand, your fingers move more slowly and you have to be deliberate with what you’re writing. Your mind lingers on the thought longer and the sentences that come out end up being truly what you feel.
I’ve been journaling the last several nights after my meditation baths. I’m using it as a way to get thoughts or epiphanes out of my head and onto the paper, and then I’m able to fall asleep with a completely quiet mind.
Journaling is a form of expression. You’re getting your thoughts OUT. It’s like being creative and artistic – in the same way! You’re expressing yourself and it’s incredibly satisfying.
If you need help with what to write.. Just write what’s on your mind – even if that’s “i don’t know what to write.” In the end, you’ll find that journaling can really help you make sense of messages or thoughts or feelings you don’t “get” right away.
5. AND LASTLY… my 5th best suggestion for how to clear your mind: PHYSICAL EXERCISE.
I’m not talking about going to the gym and watching a show on your phone or blaring out your ear drums with bangerz. I’m talking about doing something sans headphones. Or going to a yoga sesh to sweat it out and FOCUS. You’d be amazed at what some balancing postures will do for your mind. You see real quick if your mind is wandering because you’re shaking all over the place.
There’s so much research around how physical exercise affects your mind. It reduces levels of adrenaline and cortisol. It also produces endorphins, which are natural painkillers and mood elevators. They help you feel relaxed and optimistic.
Harvard researches say almost any type of exercise will help. They suggest you do “muscular meditations” – which are any exercise that uses large muscle groups in a rhythmic way… so like walking and running. Even for just 20-minutes.
So there you go! There are my top 5 research supported ways to clear your mind!
Here’s what it comes down to…
When we talk non-stop – or when our minds go non-stop – we’re using our thoughts and words to stop ourselves from knowing what we’re actually feeling. We can never hear our higher guidance – we can never be in a conversation with our intuition - if we let our minds talk non-stop. So take some silence. Find some stillness. Notice what changes for you. It’s a practice! I bet when you really get into it, you’ll be amazed at what changes.
As you go through this week, I encourage you to shine your light, lead with your heart and live life purposefully. I’m lauren lowrey and this is ampstigator.