Our “mind” is a product of our brain. The average adult brain weighs around three pounds and it is the organ that has created the “mind”; our way of organizing information (thoughts) helping us to meet basic needs and to survive.
Our evolved human brain (and therefore, mind) has the capacity to organize thoughts around past and future to the extent that we humans can worry about things that have not yet happened and live to regret past behaviors from many years ago. Other animals do not have the sophisticated brains to promote this kind of distress. Our therapy dog Asa, for example, does not worry about he plight of dogs in Africa. He does not appear remorseful for misbehaving yesterday or troubled by family dynamics.
The book, Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hanson, points out that human suffering is “made up” by the brain. The irony of which can be extremely hopeful, for if the brain can be the cause of suffering, it can also be it’s cure.
Depak Chopra has said that the average mind “thinks 60 thousand thoughts a day”. Most of these thoughts are the same ones we have everyday. Some of these thoughts are useful while others are just noise, generated by the “monkey mind” we all have. The monkey mind refuses to sit still. Always active, it chatters gibberish and jumps from topic to topic (vine to vine). Sometimes this monkey mind will awaken you in the early morning with a universe of thought, mostly chatter that does not serve us well.
It is helpful to pay attention to your thinking and to gently remind yourself that you do not have to believe everything you think. Insights from thousands of years of contemplative and mindfulness practices help us to discern important information from the noise and to establish greater peace of mind. Integrating these ancient approaches with conventional psychotherapies is an effective approach to the alleviation of suffering. It’s what we do at NCWC.
(512) 250-WELL (9355)
We are available from 9am until 5pm, Monday-Friday.
We are closed on Saturday and Sunday.
Northwest Counseling & Wellness Center
12335 Hymeadow Drive
Austin, TX 78750