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Although we have gained much in technology and material wealth, those in the developed countries, especially the U.S., are suffering from less ability to think rationally and, correspondlingly, increased stress, anxiety, depression, and even ill health (for the first time in human history the next generations will be less healthy than the prior ones, at the same time as medical advances are occurring at an unprecedented rate!) 

Technology itself has even created a deterioration of our ability to think, as illustrated in this quote:
"More comfortable online than out partying, post-Millennials are safer, physically, than adolescent have ever been.  But they're on the brink of a mental-health crisis."

(See Jean Twenge's  iGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy--and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood--and What That Means for the Rest of Us.)


The source of virtually all unhappiness lies in erroneous thinking

An expert rational thinker has learned to discriminate and identify erroneous thinking and then to correct it.  He/she has learned and mastered the subject of how thinking works. 

An expert thinker knows that "thoughts" are mostly just mental recordings that come to consciousness (though some can occur without our being aware of them and actually cause a bodily change). 


Thinking is "to have or formulate in the mind."  However, what level of thinking you engage in actually matters, alot! 

Passively "having a thought" is the lowest level of thinking.  The mind simlply coughs up a mental record (neuronal pattern) that it perceives as somehow being related to what is occurring or has just occurred. 
Many of these mental records are mechanically derived and are not reasoned out and therefore often not valid. They do not represent reality.  They are not true.

An amateur thinker is someone who does not know that thoughts are often untrue nor how to spot them.  An amateur thinker reacts to his/her thoughts as if they are real and are determinant of how we should respond.


A "thought" is a mental record that has been imprinted in our brain circuitry based on a discrimination system that is "intelligent" in a way but also highly unintelligent in another way.  

The brain can discriminate if something is threatening (though its perception of what is actually threatening is rather crude and full or errors) by matching associated records with what is occurring in the present moment and when it thinks it has found a threat it fires off dopamine in the brain - that cause the "threat" to be remembered by the hippocampus, etc.  The extent of threat thought by the mind to be in the event determines the amount of dopamine and the amount of the memory of the emotion of fear - and the "appropriate" emotional dose that is appropriate to handle the threat. 

The mental record pops up in full bloom if there is something that occurs that appears to be associated or related to something of importance, especially a threat.  That "full bloom" includes

1.  a facts record
2.  an action record and
3.  an emotion record. 


You have undoubtedly noticed that, before you have a chance to think, you receive some "jolts" of emotion.

But at the moment you notice them, you then have the power to take over and manage them. 

You need not be a victim of them.  (This is an essential point to understand and accept.  People who do not progress are still stuck in the idea that they are the victims of circumstances, their thoughts, other people, etc. - and that is a total mistruth but a belief that is very potent.)

An amateur thinker will fail to realize that he/she can fully manage them and effectively create the end result he/she wants, instead of suffering the unpleasant feelings that result from doing nothing, from being a passive receptor - essentially being a "victim" of the thoughts rather than the manager of the thoughts. 


An expert thinker is an expert in the whole process of thinking, not just a segment of it. He/she knows the power of thoughts and how they can be erroneous and cause harm.   A scientist would be a logical reasoning user of facts, but if he does not now how to manage his thoughts he can still be an amateur thinker where it really counts. 

The expert thinker does not allow the erroneous thinking to continue, at all.  He/she doesn't buy into the false idea that one has to fully vent or express the erroneous thinking - if there is a negative feeling, he/she will know it is a signal to stop the thinking and to resolve any problem immediately.  He/she knows that the negative feeling is an indicator of a problem that needs to be solved. 

He/she does not let this ride or repeat itself.  He/she stops it.  He/she knows that repeating a thought (or allowing the thought to repeat) will groove the thought further into the brain, making it more powerful.

The expert thinker has thought through what the rules and procedures should be for managing his/her thoughts. 

1.  Any unpleasant feeling is an indication of a threat-thought and must be dealt with immediately, instead of being allowed to continue.  The damage of the stress to the body and one's life experience is to be stopped short and avoided as the top priority.

2.  Nothing that causes unpleasant feelings will be allowed to continue.  It is a problem to be solved immediately. (E.g., if it is a tiger, run away until you are safe.)

3.  The erroneous thinking in the threat-thought must be corrected - and as soon as possible, so it can be "written" over the other erroneous thought (figuratively, but in effect).

4.  The corrected thinking must be installed until it is dominant and automatic.

The expert thinker knows that no deviation from these rules is acceptable.  Deviations are not allowed, for they will only allow the damage to be continued.


Besides no longer having crappy thoughts, the expert thinker also will not have unsolved problems cluttering up his/her life.

I suggest you do whatever it takes to learn how and implement your being an effective thinker!

For without it, you cannot be nearly as happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For perspective and selected reading:
Thinking Contents/Links
Cognitive Behavior Therapy - The most effective happiness increaser of all, simply using effective thinking!