Science & Technology

Why are so many of us afraid of our thoughts?

You are lying on the emerald grass, staring at the night sky with trillions of miles between you and the stars and your thoughts alone. It’s a gorgeous night and I feel lucky to be alive. A few minutes later, you move from an excited fantasy to a list of more thoughts and to-dos. Innocent fantasies shift to denial. The lawn under you needs to be mowed, your child shouldn’t get up this late, and you shouldn’t eat that second aid of spaghetti at dinner.

It’s funny to think research It shows that we are the only ones who can do it for no purpose. While other species can solve complex problems and advanced analysis, humans are also uniquely wired to indulge in fantasies and draw them into our thoughts.We also seem to value it as a civilization, as seen in famous statues like Rodin. Thinker.. But most of us don’t do it enough. In one survey 17 percent of Americans They said they were always thinking for fantasy and fun on the last day. In fact, many of us find it quite boring and even painful.

Thought resistance

“Our research shows that people don’t tend to enjoy their thoughts,” he says. Timothy Wilson, A social psychologist at the University of Virginia and the lead author of the study. “We usually spare no effort, as there are many other attractions to pay attention to.”

In a review of 11 studies published in ChemistryParticipants took away their mobile phones and other devices for a short time of 6 to 15 minutes. They were asked to “think freely” for that short period of time. In some cases, I could choose activities such as reading a book, surfing the internet, listening to music, and so on. Others have been given the option of giving an electric shock instead of free thinking. The vast majority of people want to do more than free thinking, and many rather want to hurt themselves. One study found that 67% of men and 25% of women wanted to have a milder electric shock than being alone in their thoughts for a few minutes.

Studies show that most people do not seem to enjoy the idea of ​​free thinking, as participants had to think at the same time without planning the subject of their thoughts and most of the time did not enjoy it. bottom.according to James GiordanoThis lack of “cognitive orientation”, a neurologist at Georgetown University, offers too much freedom and can be offensive to some.

“It makes people feel like they are out of control,” says Giordano.

Most of us want to be allowed to plan ahead of what we are thinking. We feel uncomfortable because of the egoistic needs of the mind, says Giordano. It wants to run the show, and when it can’t, it’s a pain for some. Even when I don’t think about it because of meditation, I think about not thinking about it. We always want to look somewhere, but we don’t like it when we can’t.

Most likely to avoid thinking

According to Giordano, certain personality types find it harder to just think of themselves than others. He says that very extroverted individuals thrive in social contact and that one’s time is not something they enjoy. People with underlying anxiety tend to ruminate about the more negative aspects of life, and low self-esteem helps with self-degrading thinking. However, this is not the case for everyone, and you need to be careful not to paint with wide brush strokes, says Giordano. Many of us are happy with our thoughts, which he says is good. Because free thinking brings moments of reflection, loneliness, and deep contemplation.

But even those who don’t easily follow fantasies can find it fun if they are willing to get into work.Wilson is his latest research It shows that you can learn to enjoy your thoughts, but it requires effort and motivation. People need to be proactive in focusing on ideas that they think are meaningful and not trivial, and they need to spend time doing that. Meditation helps train the brain to think better about pleasure, but meditation is not the same as fantasy. Meditation is to let go of your thoughts, but this exercise is to enjoy your thoughts.

Wilson first began his research after going to a meditation session with his wife. So the meditation leader kept reminding him to let go of his thoughts, “as the leaves flow down the river.” Wilson sees the benefits of meditation, but he doesn’t want to let go of his thoughts. “I like my thoughts,” he says.

Wilson’s research shows that thinking can be relaxing and even beneficial. Individuals who can often think more comfortably can hone their thinking skills in ways that enhance their creativity, introspection, and their ability to enjoy the present moment.

He argues that thinking can be fun, imaginative, and even adventurous. “I’m not going to hike the Appalachia Trail, but the night after I close my eyes, I hike in my heart,” Wilson says. But he never goes too far before he nods and falls asleep.

Why are so many of us afraid of our thoughts? Why are so many of us afraid of our thoughts?

Back to top button