According to those who study human though patterns, we have a new thought about once a second, or something like 60,000 of them a day. That is one thought per second for 16 hours of seconds. According the the work cited by the Cleveland Clinic “Wellness” program, 80% are negative. Negative thinking triggers the brains centers for anxiety and depression. If we don’t manage raw thinking we become sad.
Are you surprised? The Cleveland Clinic tells us that if we want to be happy, we have to spend time in “awareness” focusing on the happy aspect of our lives. So true. However, when people are depressed they are convinced that they don’t deserve happiness. And as logical as it is, the people most in need of change are very, very unlikely to get any where with awareness and the “Happiness movement.” There is something just silly and unintentionally cruel about secular psychology.
As I believer this awareness of “what might get us in trouble” is an aspect of God’s loving nature. As any good friend or parent, God wants us to avoid unnecessary sorrow, learn from pain and spend most of our time in joy. So we have an “equipping tool” for life. It does not define our life. It helps us to live well. Wisdom is knowing what to attend to and that to let pass by.
I know I need to put aside the constant bombardment of my busy brain with its 80% “danger” or “you dummy” alerts. I take 10 minutes once or twice a day. I relax, slow down and ponder, “Lord, where have I met love?” I might focus in on understanding, acceptance, generosity, gratitude, joy, peace, patience or others “gifts” of the Spirit.
Any of these focus questions allow us to look beyond the raw data of our immediate reaction in order to see what our experience is. Our actual experience is are more positive than our raw thinking. Knowing what we live allows us to use the gift of our mind’s danger/dumb thinking wisely.