Did you know? The simple act of thinking (or, maybe not so simple?) sends more blood flow to your brain? Yes. And, the expression “changing your mind” is not just an expression, but really does happen. It’s from the momentary, and less monumental, I’ll wear red instead of blue, to choosing the positive over the negative. Repeat a choice often enough, your brain changes.
We have many choices before us all day long, every day of our lives. Often, most of those choices are made by habituation. We don’t even realize we aren’t really deciding. It’s what we have done before so many times that our brain repeats the action. Sometimes, that works for us: riding a bicycle, writing, learning forms in taekwondo. We probably all have had the experience of driving somewhere and not realizing how we arrived there? Please, do less of that. We can see that some habituated behavior can be a good thing.
Then, there’s the habituation that isn’t. If every time we trip over the rug in our living room, we get angry and swear about it, the brain is going to remember to do that, by habit. We are no longer going to notice that we aren’t deciding or choosing to do that anymore – it’s habituation. Prejudice, anger, rigid beliefs can happen in the same way. We don’t even know why we cling to them, we “just do”. Our brain has recorded that information and repeated the action – without thought getting in its way. How about sending more blood to that brain, increase thinking – it’s a healthy lifestyle project!
How may we accomplish that? My personal mental exercise: Meditation. It gives us that sliver of space between thoughts to examine; to ask ourselves questions. What do we want to be thinking? What would we want to become a habit? What beliefs are true for us, in a thoughtful way? How do we want to live our lives, for self and others? That space where we breathe and decide has greater power than just about anything else we accomplish – because, it’s the way we accomplish anything – by rote or by choice. You decide.
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Check out: hughasia.wordpress.com, janbeek.wordpress.com, affirmagise.wordpress.com, liberatedway.wordpress.com, for just a few people who are ‘thinking’ their every day, every moment lives.