Our minds are complicated. At least this is what we believe. For many, many years, science has researched how & why our minds react the way they do & how we can change that.
Everyday I learn something new, how I perceive the world, how others perceive their world, & how we are all uniquely connected. And what I’ve learned, our minds are NOT complicated at all. We choose to make our minds complicated. Our minds are simple. We have an experience, an emotion is connected to that experience & it’s stored for future reference. It’s stored so we know the difference between right & wrong or how I view it as, pain or pleasure. We don’t know what we want until we know what we don’t want. Right?
Every experience we have is all a part of our path, why we are here. The sooner we come to that realization, the easier it becomes to experience what we call life. Going to school for hypnotherapy has taught me a lot. I learned all different techniques we can use to “trick” or “reprogram” our minds into believing what we really want & that we deserve it. Of course all of this will only work when one is open to the idea to change their way of thinking, understanding that if our way of thinking hasn’t yield what we truly desire, then we have the option to change it. Most of us will accept that we are here, life is what it is & we have no say in anything that we experience. That’s it. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Truth is, we CAN change the way we think, we can let go of what no longer serves us for our highest good & we can & deserve everything we can possibly think of. I believe everything & everyone on this planet is a vessel that the Universe (God or whatever you choose to relate to your higher power) expresses itself through. That being said, then WE all created & played a part in what we see in the world. Everything & everyone is all a part of that same source, that same energy & we are ALL connected to it. So then what happened? How did we forget who we truly all are? How did we disconnect from all that is?
Well our mind programming. Our thinking is a way to protect us. It means well in every sense, at some point though, it becomes distorted. Why? Yes we can say it’s the programming all around us, it’s our past, it’s this or that. It is a combination of all those things, but what our minds truly do is just associate. That’s it. It associates our experiences to our emotions & stores them. It’s like a game in a way. Like the card game Memory. Remember trying to match up the cards? Our mind does that every second of everyday, with every thought & experience we have. It doesn’t know right from wrong, it just associates.
So now the question is, when did our minds start playing tricks on us? How did this amazing process somehow become distorted? Distorted thinking can happen for a variety of reasons. Social pressures, motivations, emotions can all be factors. The way our memories work can also affect the way we process information. Distorted thinking can sometimes result from overthinking or from having too much choice. The mind’s limited ability to process information can also lead to us taking shortcuts to come up with solutions. If we had to process every piece of information available to us, our minds would become overloaded. We’d all probably end up in a padded room in no time!
These distorted thinking patterns are called cognitive biases. Here are just a few of them…
1. The Placebo Effect
The Placebo effect is when thinking something will affect us actually causes that effect. The placebo effect is common in Western medicine. If a person receives medication that they think will help them, it often does, even if that medicine turns out to have been just a sugar pill or. This is also a prime example of how the Law of Attraction works. We think & BELIEVE, in turn that result is going to happen.
2. Anchoring Bias
This is actually a technique used in NLP. Anchoring bias occurs when we give extra weight to the first piece of information we receive on a subject. So, if we learn something new, but later discover information that says the opposite, we are more likely to believe the first piece of information. It’s when we rely too heavily on the first piece of information offered (the “anchor”) when making decisions.
3. Confirmation bias
This happens when there’s a direct influence of desire on beliefs. When people would like a certain idea/concept to be true, they end up believing it to be true. We are more likely to believe information that matches the preconceptions we already hold. We are motivated by wishful thinking. This error leads the individual to stop gathering information when the evidence gathered so far confirms the views (prejudices) one would like to be true. Once we have formed a view, we embrace information that confirms that view while ignoring, or rejecting, information that casts doubt on it. Basically it’s when we don’t perceive circumstances objectively.
4. Bandwagon Effect
The bandwagon effect when people do something primarily because other people are doing it, regardless of their own beliefs, which they may ignore or override. The bandwagon effect has wide implications, but is commonly seen in politics & consumer behavior. You know, Money See, Monkey Do. Our belief of something is increased solely based on the number of other people who believe it. We may think we are making a rational decision, but often we are just jumping on the bandwagon. This is when you catch yourself saying “that’s what they said”. Who are “they” anyway?
5. Conservatism Bias
This refers to the tendency to revise one’s belief insufficiently when presented with new evidence. This is a mental process in which people cling to their prior views or forecasts at the expense of acknowledging new information. People don’t change long-standing beliefs easily. We are more likely to believe existing evidence that has been around & passed down to us, than we are at new & emerging evidence. This is why radical new ideas such as evolution take such a long time to be accepted.
6. Courtesy Bias
This is when we have the tendency to give an opinion that is more socially correct than our true opinion, in order to avoid offending anyone or anyone seeking our opinion. An easier understanding is people have a tendency to tell you what they think you want to hear.
I’m going to end this like Jerry Springer, my final thoughts are, that it’s impossible to live & function in the world without sometimes slipping into these mind traps. However, being AWARE that these traps can happen enables us to think more critically & when to avoid them when they really aren’t protecting us. Critical thinking is just a deliberate & systematic way we can make better decisions & generally understand things better. The first stage of changing is to recognize the problem, you will find a lot of people in life who just don’t think there is a problem so there is no need to change. If this is you then do nothing. If you want to change you must think there is a need & you will start to recognize what things need to change & it usually starts with your perception of life!
I hope this article has helped you even just a little.
If you feel you would like to say something about it why not leave a comment.
Love & light,