How to Stop the Voices In My Head?

Posted on by Sen.

You cannot know what silence is if there was no noise. So the noise is essential for silence to know itself.

In the same way, the ‘formless’ one consciousness takes ‘form’ in order to know itself. Negative thoughts, or the rampant voices in your head, are nothing but subtle “forms” that arise in the space of the formless consciousness. They can cause a lot of suffering, but they can also become the “portal” through which you can find out the truth of who you are, and transcend suffering completely.

The voices that you hear in your head is mostly just “noise” trying to sort itself out, and it will not be a problem if you don’t get entangled in it. Just knowing this truth “conceptually” is however not useful in any way and it does not help you stop, or find relief, from the voices that keep pounding in your head.

A few pointers and insights are given below that will help you move in a direction that can permanently give relief from the constant disturbance created by the “speaking” mind.

You Cannot Fix the Noise by Using Techniques

The voices in your head can get quite overwhelming at times especially when they are sending out negative messages or projecting fearful future situations.

People try to shut down their mind and force silence upon it, but that never works out too well. It’s like trying to shut someone up by putting a plaster on their mouth. The moment you remove the plaster they are going to shout back at you more vigorously.

Trying to silence mind is like a temporary fix. People take drugs, drink alcohol or take sleeping pills to find relief from the tormenting voices in their head. Some practice a certain meditation where they force “silence” upon their mind by trying to “focus” it.

All these practices can stop the voices for a while, temporarily, but they will never fix the problem because as soon as you stop the “practice”, or when the drug wears off, the voices will come right back up.

Finding the Stillness Which is Always Present

The only way to find relief from the voices in your head is to recognize the stillness which is always present.

This stillness is your essential nature, the source or who you really are. You can recognize this ever present “silence” of your being, by simply sitting in a state of complete allowing.

Here’s how you can do this:

Sit in a relaxed position. Make sure your body is completely supported by the chair or bed you are sitting on. Now just let go of your body and mind, as if you are dead. Notice the energy of the voices in your head, notice the feelings created in the body and the sensations present. Don’t try to stop anything or fix anything. Just let everything be. Let the mind be as noisy as it wants to be.

If you truly allow everything to be, it won’t be long before you recognize the deep stillness, or silence, which is always present as the background. You will see that this silence is not affected by the noise in any way. This silence is the nature of your “being”, who you essentially are.

How to Stay in this Place of Stillness?

Most people, when they have a glimpse of this stillness of being, will then want to hold on to it or possess it.

This usually starts off another bout of suffering, where the mind now tries to constantly grab for the “silence” of being as a refuge from the voices. The truth is that “you” cannot stay in this place of stillness because the “you” trying to do this is just another noise. Noise cannot attain silence, the noise has to let go for silence to be.

The Art of Surrendering or Letting Go

Usually, we try everything, all fixes, all practices, all techniques, before we finally realize that nothing we “try” really works for long. It’s like going in circles, and some people end up living that way all their life. It’s a miserable life when you spend it trying to “fix” the mind or control it.

The truth however is that true freedom, joy, love, liberation, or peace, is realized only after we really “let go” of control. When we stop trying to “fix” the voices in the head, miraculously they start getting sorted out all by themselves.

There is a deep intelligence and wisdom in the “being” that you are. But this wisdom can only become available when we “let go” of control and allow this intelligence to operate.

To the mind, it feels very scary to let go of control and allow “something else” to take over. In truth, this “something else” is who you really are. You are not the mind, or what the mind tells you, but you are essential the “being” that is the creator of everything, including the mind.

You are the silence without which noise can never appear. Surrender is simply giving up your addiction to mind and allowing yourself to “become” who you really are.

It Takes Time Before You Really Let Go

It’s not easy, initially, to just let go especially when you don’t “trust” the intelligence of the being or life.

The mind thinks that it’s more superior, more intelligent, than any other force and so it wants to retain control.

In truth, the intelligence of mind is a very small aspect compared to the intelligence of the “being” that created the mind. Even after knowing this truth, you will not let go because mind will keep telling you that it’s a bad deal.

There are no fixes that are permanent. No healing is really permanent. The freedom is to realize that who you are, the being, is already healthy, pure and free. Who you are is already fulfilled and joyful, but you can’t realize that as long as you don’t let go of the mind.

Letting go is the most amazing gift you can ever give yourself.

Letting Go is Simply About Giving Up Control

Stop trying to figure out life and just let life move you.

Only the mind is always trying to figure out, fix and struggle through life. You don’t have to struggle at all, if you are just willing to let go completely. If you notice, nothing in nature is in “struggle”.

Like Jesus said “Look at the lilies how they grow, they don’t toil and spin, but they are taken care of abundantly.” (just a free translation)

Something in you really wants to “let go” of all control and become free. Follow this impulse, for this is the call of heart.

In Conclusion

It’s not possible to simply stop the voices in your head by trying to “control” your mind. It has never worked for anyone. True freedom is to go “beyond” the mind by realizing your true nature as the permanent stillness, which is always present, and letting go into it. This is the liberation that all spiritual teachings, and teachers, talk about. It’s simple, if you are willing to be simple; there is nothing complex about totally letting go.

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  1. VD

    Liked your article but I’ve got a strange issue about hearing the silence. I’ve got the problem of tinnitus and hear buzzing sounds in my ear when the outside sounds end.
    How’d I be able to hear the stillness in such a situation as my mind gets focussed on the internal physical sounds which are not in the mind but in the ear surprisingly. How can I experience this silence/stillness then?

    1. Sen Post author

      The stillness or “silence” I am referring to, in the post, is not the absence of external, or internal, noise but the absence of “effort” to control the noise or the absence of the struggle to suppress the noise. A deep stillness arises in your being when you simply allow yourself to let go of wanting to “control” the noises in your mind or in your ear. External or internal noise is not a problem, the problem is when your attention is totally taken up by the noise, causing a tension in your being. When you simply relax and allow your attention to become “open” or “un-focused” you automatically fall into a space of stillness which is nothing but effortless “being”. As a practice you can just sit in a comfortable couch and let go of your focus, allowing yourself to be a space of open awareness. Don’t try to control anything, and just let your fall into this space of effortless presence. You can sense a natural stillness arising within you in a few moments after you do this, this stillness is not the absence of noise but rather the absence of “effort” or struggle.

  2. wad

    Reminds me of the power of now book, by Ekhart Tolle. Was it an inspiration for your article ?

    1. Sen Post author

      The book “Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle was the first book that really gave me an understanding of what the power of “awareness” is and an insight into our true nature as the universal consciousness. I recommend that book to everyone who asks me for suggestions on books that can guide them in their journey towards self-knowing and alignment.

  3. Chad

    Hi —

    I have been quite moved and encouraged by your observations and insights into the process the mind goes through, relentlessly, to feel in control of each part of their minds active participation…and the feeling that their choices and control of original thought is being stolen from them with every second. It’s hard to give up free will…and thought…to something which you cannot stop or control. And it seems like the more I try, the more I try to reclaim my mind, the harder and more frustrating it becomes to live a normal life, free from distraction or the turmoil that none can see…but that rages on.

    I am not an expert or savvy to why my mind has the ability to create such realistic battles, and opinions and forethought, but I am an unwilling participant. Through months of each challenge, I have found that to simply ” be ” and to not engage the mind in a tug of war with fruitless intent, is the most re-assuring and calming way to get a semblance of order that my life previously held in hand. These days…have been few and just now, realized. I hope that I can practice what I have learned and write of, without falling into instincts that the human experience and living with the un-explainable — and become a student, learned, and not simply a teller of tales and advice that I cannot even practice faithfully. That’s the very worst thing about engaging. That’s where each retort given back…through anger or frustration, is a blow to self.

    The hard part is not engaging…which is the nature of men and women who’s lives have always held the promise of free will and choice their own. I will certainly ponder your insights and try, through willful determination and patience, to simply ” be ” and to live purposeful through my own decisions, come what may. The struggles may be ever present, but if the mind is allowed to simply embrace the choices, without judgement or presumptive intentions for control, and we are allowed to seek life’s challenges, with single purpose, through actions firm…and without equivocation, I believe that true freedom of the minds obstacles to normalcy can be achieved.

    We must not allow the mind to overpower our will…to simply live our own life…no matter the choices we may engage in – good or bad. Although eloquent and reasonable on paper, the battles still await us and engage our natural instincts to react. I have failed, at almost every crossroad and have had victories, small. But I am confident that through a daily affirmation of self and goals in focused attention, that life becomes more fulfilling. I hope that you who face the same challenges that I do, unseen, yet certainly heard, can be calm in spirit and true to self. For in the end, you are the one who shall seek the glory, or face the pains, of choices made.

    Be Strong. I too will try…to remain true to word, in deed and actions…every second.

    All the Best,

  4. Savvana

    Your articles by the way are great, it’s so Interesting to know exactly how the mind works and I have found your article to be helpful. Thank you. The problem I have is i get these thoughts that tell me to look something up on the Internet that I don’t want to or tell someone something I don’t wanna tell them and unless I perform that task, the thought doesn’t go away and I have to over think it through and I have found myself panicking over weather to do whatever the voice is telling me to or not. Lately I’ve found that some things that this “voice” tells me to look up I want to know but I panic over looking it up on the Internet. This happens because it’s usually to do with tv shows that have ended, and then pressure is put on me because of the thought that it won’t again appear on t.v, and this is my only chance to know this fact, and my mind obsesses over everything I didn’t know about the (characters actors end date and start date of the show e.c.t) silly little things like that. Since these are obsessions but at the same time I’m interested I never know what the right thing to do is. I wish I had the ability to wonder something but not have the panicking urg to look it up straight away. To forget about it and move on. The Internet has been overwhelming for me for years and made my life exremely hard. My obsessive thinking usually happens in the summer when I have nothing to do and although people might say “find something to do and don’t think about it” that just doesn’t work for me because it’s hard to “do something” when I have thoughts following me around forcing me to do or say something I don’t want to. The one question I have is Wenever I have the urge to look something up that causes me to panic like I do do I? Also I would like some advice on how to get more detached from t.v shows. I have always loved watching t.v and never miss a new episode, but how do I make it less important to me?
    Please reply if u can. Thanks.

    1. Sen Post author

      Sawana, ultimately it’s about facing this “sensation” of fear instead of trying to assuage through your actions. As long as you fear fear, it will always keep you a prisoner to it. You can read these below posts for more insight on this

      Don’t fear fear
      Why do we fear the mind?

  5. Rudra

    Thank you, Sen!

  6. Magesh Thiyagarajan

    Sen, thank you!



  8. Bonyg

    The tormenting/negative voices in my head. Yes, that is something I know of well, because I have always had an innate desire for truth. And so have never developed many defence mechanisms other people have like denial. (Sometimes in the past, I wish I had!) I was always very intelligent and wise for my age, extremely sensitive and open to life.

    BUT when you are younger and don’t quite understand the wholeness of life yet, you tend to internalise what is going on in your immediate environment, especially before you have been able to develop appropriate mental and emotional boundaries. This combination is dangerous in certain environments.

    The combination of high sensitivity and intelligence can create imbalance if the mind is in a completely different place to the environment it is placed in, without the wisdom to understand why. It just gets confused, fearful and disconnected. Of course I always felt connected to nature. It was the people around me I didn’t get.

    So when you first develop more conscious awareness, the first thing you become aware of and feel more intensely is the pain of your negative momentum. This is a very dangerous time. Without understanding why you can get lost in it, recycling it, sinking deeper into the darkness, sometimes never to resurface again. If you understand why, you allow, release and transcend. It is all in the understanding isn’t it?

    My mind was playing up a bit yesterday. Its really is like a naughty, spoilt, immature child desperate for your attention isn’t it! I read this article before I went to sleep, and this morning I sat for 30 minutes and gave it free reign. Almost nothing! There was more silence and space than there has ever been. Thankyou Sen for introducing me to the delightfully simple process of allowing. It really does work!

  9. Nashira

    Thanks Sen….

  10. Jerry Brooklyn

    This article helps so much!

    i suffer from voices in my head and schizophrenia for 5 years
    but i just read this all of it and i am gonna try it out this week…

    thank you so much! this was very helpful

  11. kristina

    Thanks for this article. I will think on this. I have a lot of noise going on in my head and for the first time in a while there is stillness. The “personalities” that keep rearing themselves in my mind will be silenced as I continue to let go and hold on to the ever present silence.

  12. Jerry Brooklyn

    i just had an episode, i have been hearing voices for seven years.
    and all i want now is to be free…

    just free…

    and i was shouting my head off just now in my room saying to the voices!
    (Don’t talk to me!) i said it over and over and over again until i lost my breath and they were still there till i banged my wooden bedside table hard and it broke a little piece of it!

    made me so distraught i wept like a broken child just now…
    afterwards i started looking up some advice on how to make these voices go away..,.

    and i read the advices in your site… and it just blew me away
    i have read it once before but i forgot it…

    i will (LET GO) that’s the least i can promise (my TRUE self)…

    1. Michael

      Jerry, while I’ve not dealt with such a thing, unless you’re just referring to very intense thoughts, the simplest advice is to just let them be. Screaming at them is only feeding them, so no wonder you feel so distraught after one of those episodes.

  13. AJ

    I really need help. I hear voices in my head again, which I last heard when I was fourteen or fifteen. I’m twenty-four now. They’re noisier and nastier and angrier. They won’t stop. I can concentrate because they keep on talking to me. When I sleep to escape, I always have nightmares. I catch myself muttering nonsense things over and over again, and when I realized that I’m doing it, it frightens me. I consciously tried to stop all of these. I don’t want to be lunatic. Please, please, I need help.

    1. Michael

      AJ, I’m not experienced in hearing “voices” unless you mean very intense thoughts that almost invite you into a rage session. Last year in my peak intensity (rock bottom) the thoughts were so strong and my awareness so weak, I smashed my head on a steel bed frame (at the psychiatric ward of the hospital, no less) and would rip my hair out, rock back and forth, and smash things.

      Just build up your awareness so you are not lost to these voices. Perhaps this article will help you for now, though:

  14. Donna

    I have been hearing voices it started slowly after something in m nevery life happened that hurt me that I never expected. As time has went on these voices become very real I try to avoid them,but they end up controlling me.they are rather nice to me and not to my husband. They mean things and I believe them.I do not know what to do!they put me on a strong sleeping medicine, but that’s nit the answer or cure. My marriage is being affected! What do I do??!!

  15. asli

    Just listen to those voices, don’t try to suppress them. The more you suppress nastier they become. They want to be heard, they want to be listened. Don’t identify with them but just listen what they have to say. I used to have these critical voices inside of my head, nonstop belitteling me, criticisizing me, shouting at me for every little thing I have done and I haven’t done. I have learnt to allow them without being affected by them. When you listen but don’t get freaked out or affected, they just dissappear since they realize that they no longer have an influence on you. I haven’t heard them for a while.

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