70,000 Thoughts Per Day: The Inner World of the Modern Human

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Barbary_lion

Wikipedia Image “Barbary lion” by Alfred Edward Pease (29 June 1857 – 27 April 1939)

The average individual tends to have 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts each day.  With this astounding number, it is easy to see how we can get stuck in our heads and subsequently tripped up by many of our thoughts.  We have an awareness of the inner workings of our mind, and, as we go through, our day we experience external events along with our internal dialogue.

It wasn’t always like this for humans, though, according to psychologist, Julian Jaynes, who theorized back in the seventies that the brains of primitive humans lacked the awareness of an inner self.  Jaynes speculated that the primitive brain’s halves were not connected, and, as a result, the individual responded to inner commands as if they were coming from an external entity.  It was only later, Jaynes thought, that the two halves merged into one, and humans became aware of their own consciousness—aware of awareness itself.  Some of Jaynes’ theories have held up as we have learned more about the development of the brain and its internal command system.  In a way, life was simpler back then.  When you encountered a lion, a voice that may have been experienced as God told you to run.  There wasn’t a lot to reflect on internally since there were so many external dangers.

Today, instead of facing external lions, we have internal “lions” to slay.  Will we face our inner turmoil and negative thought patterns or will we run away?  Better yet, can we find a way to accept our thoughts and allow the “lions” to walk along with us on our path?

I regularly say that going to therapy is the most courageous thing you can do.  Who knows what you will learn when you bravely enter into the exploration of self?  This is why a lot of people not only avoid therapy themselves, but will even go so far as to stigmatize it for others out of fear.  Some continue to characterize going to therapy as indicative of weakness (which couldn’t be farther from the truth) than to have the courage to ask for help.

Just this week, an acquaintance reached out to me for a referral to a therapist, and I was honored to provide them with the name of a professional who will likely be a good match for them.  I’ve talked with many people over the years who have tried therapy one time, and quickly abandoned the process because they did not find a therapist who was a good fit for them on the first try.  I encourage them to give it another shot.  There are many different kinds of therapists, and it may take a few attempts before finding the right one for you.  Take a look at this article, “Debunking the Myths of Therapy,” and see if you spot any myths you might have mistakenly believed.

“The world shrinks or expands according to one’s courage.” Anais Nin

If you need help, take that courageous step today and give us a call, 888-298-HOPE(4673).

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