Which comes to about 375 times per hour while we are awake. As a culture, how can we experience such a massive amount of thoughts and yet talk so little about them? I think it’s because we are afraid. Afraid of being judged for thinking a certain way. Afraid to share the weird.
Thoughts are a roller coaster. They seem to originate as chemical signals from the back of the brain sent for our prefrontal cortex (that has the capacity for language) to interpret. Yet, we are quick to judge them as either good or bad. No matter how much you want to avoid thinking about a pink elephant it’s hard not to have your brain picture one right now.
So, how much control do we have with thoughts? It’s less than what we are comfortable admitting. Will power and altering the environment can take you only so far. And we can’t help there are chemicals and biology at work. There might be things we would never rationally consider. Yet, here they are. Indeed, it is difficult to fight our very nature.
Everyone has these kinds of “bad” thoughts but by no means are we bad people for having them. Instead of amplifying the voice in our head, giving it power, we can try to let them pass. We can give them a label. “Thinking…” is a good one. In the end, they are just thoughts. Nothing more. One of many. And soon they pass by like clouds.
You are not the reaction your brain has when you are sad, angry, depressed, or even happy. Be kinder to yourself as they rise.
On a side note, this is why I don’t subscribe to this myth that we don’t have any good ideas. With 6,000 per day, you are telling me you can’t come up with one idea worth sharing to make the world a better place?