Thought (Noun): "The definition of thought is the act of thinking, or
the outcome of mental activity."
Thought (Verb): "Thought is the past tense of the word think which
means to conceive in the mind.
~ Your Dictionary definition and usage exampleCopyright © 2014 by
Love To Know
Mindfulness (In Psychology): .
"The focusing of attention and awareness, based on the concept of mindfulness in Buddhist meditation." Wikipedia.com
In the last blog, I suggested that in order to find healing from our psychological traumas, we need to learn to become consciously aware of our thinking. This is not an easy task, given that conscious awareness eludes us, in our efforts. Much of our thinking is insidiously silent, having become for us, subconscious programming.
It is estimated that our conscious mind can process, only 1-3 events at a time, at a rate of 40 bits of information per second. On the other hand, the subconscious processing capabilities are expanded. The subconscious (our "autopilot") processes 4 Billion bits of information per second and can mange to interpret thousands of events, creating a challenge for us as we choose to develop greater conscious awareness of our thoughts and choices.
If we can think of the brain as a computer, think of conscious thought as the writing of our software to operate the programming we experience. Our subconscious, acts as the completed installation of the programming. The subconscious brain operates much like a computer, on autopilot, living through our subconscious programming.
Think about it. We receive "input" (sensory information); we interpret and calculate the input (both consciously and sub-consciously) in the brain; we produce "output" (any given behavior our bodies might perform in response to the input we've received). When this process is confused by our experience of trauma, we operate with a computer that has been corrupted. Trauma, in terms of programming, teaches us to subconsciously remain on alert for future threat.
Because the subconscious is firing so rapidly in terms of processing information (4 Billion bits/second); it becomes a major challenge to hear the thoughts driving the reactions we experience. Prior to our experience of trauma, this way of living on auto-pilot didn't create too much trouble for us in terms of behavior. Up until our time of injury, for instance, we'd likely grown to a point in which we were no longer giving "thought" much attention at all.
I would suggest, that this may be one of the major issues in trauma. We'd taken it for granted that things were a particular way in our lives. We grew comfortable with those ways; and we lived our lives accordingly. When the trauma came knocking at our door to eventually haunt our lives, the brain was simply too overwhelmed with information to cope with the processing. Under stress, our traumatic memories are "super-learned" memories. These memories take over the mind and body, as we attempt, naturally, to make sense and to re-frame our experience.
With automatic, instant, behavioral processes going on for us, thinking through certain actions seems unnecessary. We form memorized habits in behavior. We act out these habits day by day, leaving us to believe that thought is no longer necessary-that thought is no longer a part of our behavioral equations.
It's said that if we are in emotional discomfort, living with anxiety or depression, for instance, our thoughts are focused either to heavily on past information, or too heavily on future events coming in our lives. Some thoughts, of which, have no basis, whatsoever, in our current moment, by moment, present reality. A key to our recovery, lies in our ability to develop a thought process that is mindful; that is based on living in the "now" moments of life. This is the challenge: to think and live in such a way as to remain focused upon our present reality.
How can we achieve this practice? We learn to practice, mindful living. To help us gain knowledge of developing a mindful practice, to aide our psychological recovery, let's meet, Jon Kabet-Zinn, through this biography from Wikipedia.
After reading the article, enjoy the following 72 minute talk, in which Kabat-Zinn discusses Mindfulness with staff from Google. His gentle, teaching approach, brings a softness to the experience. The lessons he shares, will become priceless, as we work to remain present, in the reality of the moment. With his help, we can begin to construct a daily practice of mindful, relaxation; create a better lasting sense of peace; and learn, as well, a technique to assist us as we develop ways to self-regulate our emotions in daily life. Through recovery from our trauma experience, the gift of mindful living will lead us out of the darkness of our past, into the light of the present, creating balance for us, as we march on into the unknown future.
Always keep in mind, that the information shared here is for educational purposes only, and is no substitute for professional guidance. While you are here, please take the time to visit the page, "Charter for Compassion" and consider signing the pledge. Thank you for stopping by! Be Well!
Associate Member American Academy Of Experts In Traumatic Stress.
(Currently Needs Renewal).