Diagram of basic ideas
Just a giant set of connected recordings
They are matched to similar pictures
Often random, wrong, and meaningless
What works about it
Take away that added (false) meaning
Stop allowing the stupid repeating
Learn to discriminate
Monkey see, monkey do
Screening for importance
Make a choice - stupid or smart?
How fast should I do it?
What are the lessons we learn from this?
DIAGRAM OF BASIC IDEAS
Mechanical lower brain --> Stupid patterns --> Many bad results
Smart higher brain --> Logic, reasoning to redesign patterns --> Good results
Stop stupid quickly Redesign quickly + Install quickly
(Manage thoughts) (New beliefs) ("Affirming")
A brain is a mechanical structure, and, accordingly, it is mechanical in its operation.
The brain has stored patterns or "associations" from its past experiences (i.e. it learns, in a way) which are like pictures that include all of our senses. The process of bits of data going into the brain and "seen" (experienced) by it is called "perception". Whatever it perceives it associates with it a set of intensities and variations of each of the senses involved (physical sensations, touch, smell, sight, taste).
Throughout life there occur actions (which involve patterns of thoughts, views/beliefs, emotions, movements, postures), which are also remembered, with the patterns of senses each is matched to.
JUST A GIANT SET OF CONNECTED RECORDINGS
The brain records all these patterns in its capacity of memory, which contains, per scientists, 280,000,000,000,000,000,000 bits of memory, which is 70,000 times what a 500 gigabyte computer memory has. It processes information 1000 times faster than the fastest computer. (See The Structure Of The Brain writeup, which contains alot more detail about the brain and chemicals in the body.)
The brain basically records all the patterns from the past. If we never intervened, the future would just repeat the past.
THEN THEY ARE "MATCHED" TO SIMILAR "PICTURES"
Then throughout our lives, something happens and a pattern of senses is "seen" (actually, sensed) and the brain then searches to find a match (from the past) to that pattern of senses which is associated with a specific pattern(s) of actions that had occurred somewhere in the past related to similar perceptions.
Brain says: "Me matchem up mechanical record with mechanical pattern. Me repeat mechanical record - do same thing."
Remember, please, that, when a thought or emotion occurs, it is simply a mechanical action being repeated. It is 99.99% of the time not a real event with actual physical consequences upon the body.
Basically, electrical energy travels along the neuronal pathways and a thought (collection of related data) is fired off. Some chemicals can result which will make a person uncomfortable, but those chemicals produce no actual real consequence other than discomfort being felt.
An adult learns that the discomfort will pass within 10-15 minutes and will not tragedize it, as an infant might, thinking it would have no end. When an adult believes something with actual consequences is happening or is going to happen as a result of the thought, then the adult needs to re-educate him/herself.
OFTEN RANDOM, WRONG, AND MEANINGLESS
Understand that these thoughts come randomly in reaction to many random thoughts and happenings. So, of the 80,000 thoughts a day that you supposedly have, most are just mechanics firing off. Some are worth considering, but it is up to you, in a unique brain function of humans, to decide if they are legitimate dangers. See the discussion discriminating legitimate dangers from non-dangers: Threats And Fear. (If you still think thoughts are "real", then you should start affirming "thoughts are not of real consequence" every time you receive a negative thought.)
WHAT WORKS ABOUT IT
One problem, offset by a potential positive, is that the danger system is off and running faster than you can do your "thinking" function, as the danger system evolved to react super quickly to get you into action in the fastest way possible, so you wouldn't get eaten (the slow people died). By the time you are conscious of the thought, you're already beginning to feel the emotion which causes the action (to run or fight).
Like when you step off the curb and somehow your body pulls you back up onto the curb just in time to avoid the speeding car - your heart is beating fast and you're flooded with chemicals - but then you begin to calm down because you realize that there is no longer any "present danger".
When you get a false danger signal, your body will do something to react. But, as above, if you acknowledge that there is no actual present danger, then your body can relax again and the initial reaction dissipates.
That reaction was a legitimate survival reaction, so the brain did the job it was supposed to do: have you survive. The pattern worked! We definitely need those patterns for quick matching and acting.
However, we develop "irrational" patterns, sometimes really engrained deeply because of intense emotion at the time (more emotion creates more "juice" so the brain thinks whatever it is is more important than other less intense experiences).
For instance, it is intense to a child to think that if an adult doesn't love it, it will not be fed. If he/she is scolded, he/she cries intensely, for that seems unbearable.
However, it makes no sense to keep that pattern when it is inappropriate and makes no sense any more as an adult. We cannot afford to let that whole pattern be repeated, for the pattern will then be even more engrained and more apt to just keep doing the same thing.
If we, instead, use our higher brain to intervene and create new "programming" (new thoughts that make more sense) then our patterns will begin to change or dissipate. Yes, we may have to repeat our new programming we decided on, over and over, but it's worth it!
Remember, it is just a mechanical thing. And it is imperative that we begin to manage it and to take over the programming through the use of our unique higher brain, which is capable of higher thinking that is based on reasoning and logic. We introduce new patterns this way, rather than just repeating what no longer makes any sense if we look at it logically. Again, if we do not intervene, the primitive mind will mechanicall match the patterns and keep on repeating the same old thing.
TAKE AWAY THAT EXTRA (FALSE) MEANING
One problem here is that we let these patterns run amok and we give them "meaning", but in a "stupid" mechanical sense since we aren't using our higher logic.
"Me not get approval, must mean I will die" will match up to some pattern in the primitive brain.
Some people will say "oh, that's ridiculous, not getting approval doesn't mean I will die!"
My reply to that is if the brain gives you a chemical emotion that is very strong that must mean that it is intent on having you act quickly and powerfully to offset the danger. If it were a mild association, then there would not be a strong dose of motivating chemicals put out. The only possible conclusion is that the brain must associate the loss of approval, in this instance, with something really threatening.
This is simply the principle of cause and effect. Using that principle, we can deduce that to have an effect we must have first had a cause and that a big effect must have had a big cause.
A big emotional reaction to something that you intellectually realize won't have you die must, therefore, result from some illogical pattern (= programming) that is absolutely false and greatly exaggerated in the dumb brain. Therefore, it would make sense to look and see what is wrong with the pattern and to subsequently correct the pattern to one that works better and is valid. This is what a full adult would do, rather than being victimized by it.
STOP ALLOWING THE STUPID REPEATING
And it certainly makes no sense to allow the wrong pattern to govern anymorethan the minimum possible, so it makes sense to stop it as soon as possible. And it also makes sense to replace it with a new pattern as soon as possible. This is what we do in the belief section: we look at the old pattern with the bad result (feel "bad"), concluding it must be invalid and false (as it actually is), and then we create a new one that is valid.
Sometimes we have to "cope" with the stupid thought, recognizing that it is stupid (which is a coping thought in itself) and saying a smart thought to handle (cope with) it in the moment.
"Oh, that's not a big deal. It'll mean nothing in the long run. I'm fine without it" is an example of a coping thought. Hopefully, we'll carry it past the coping stage and actually "install" our new patterns (beliefs) using things like affirmations, statements, and declarations. Part of that installation consists of strongly understanding that the old pattern is invalid and strongly understanding that the new pattern is true and valid and makes sense - the reasoning and thinking process involved in creating that understanding causes a strong message to be received by the stupid brain.
LEARN TO DISCRIMINATE
We need to learn how to spot "stupid" patterns. Part of that process is to understand that most thoughts are "stupid", so that the rational brain can more actively sort the "stupid" thoughts out. Other than when we are actually being attacked by a tiger or someone with a knife, any time you feel a strong "bad" emotion that is an indicator of stupid, false, dysfunctional thinking.
But we don't want to stop there, for that would be stupid - like seeing a pile of dung in the middle of your living room and not cleaning it up. We need to clean it up and substitue a new pattern to (match and) use the next time that set of perceptions (pattern) comes up.
In this way, we are using the higher brain to give new matching records to the dumb brain to mechanically improve its operation.
(It has also been proven that we can do certain mental actions that will alter a part of the brain that serves as a "smart" pre-filter that filters out stupid, useless thoughts. Read Rewiring The Brain.)
MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DO
Note also that the human brain is "efficient" in that it learns by copying.
And who better to copy from than our parents, especially when we are young and don't have many records. So we are hungry for a whole bunch of records to set up to match to things that go on that we have no pattern for yet. (We'll do some with peers and other people later, but it won't be as extensive because we'll already have a bunch of patterns set up.) Basically, we are living up to our evolutionary ancestors, applying what we do best: "Monkey see, monkey do."
Note that many of those things we copied were erroneous and we adopted them without proper questioning, sufficient information and knowledge, nor the proper use of logic.
SCREENING FOR IMPORTANCE
Part of becoming a true, aware adult is to learn to discriminate as to what is important and what isn't. To a child early in life, all pain or confusion or discomfort is alarming as it doesn't know what is important yet, so it must take everything as potentially serious. That is how we evolved and survived.
But reacting to all things as if they were important later in life is only a carryover from a pattern from childhood. Reminding (affirming) to yourself that what occurs has a whole range of levels of importance or unimportance helps someone who was stuck in that old mode to begin to move on to a new level of managing oneself. "Let's see now, that feeling (or situation) is actually about a 2 on a scale of 10, so I need pay it no heed, as I have better places to focus my attention and efforts!"
MAKE A CHOICE - STUPID OR SMART?
Now, doesn't it seem rather stupid to continue to not sort out and continue to use thoughts from a stupid brain? Doesn't it seem stupid to operate as if you were a good mimicking monkey? Doesn't it seem stupid to not revise patterns asap?
Doesn't it seem smart to use the smart (higher) brain to screen out and devise smart patterns (beliefs)?
Or do you just think it is easier to operate from stupid?
Of course, this may seem insulting to you, as you're intelligent and know the answer - but then I notice that quite a few people don't choose to exert the effort to do this the smart way!
HOW FAST SHOULD I DO IT?
An extra moment feeling bad is a good moment lost forever. A pattern repeated needlessly is not only foolish but it multiplies the damage. The damage actually increases geometrically and cumulatively.
A few minutes upfront has huge dividends over and over through the years!
Wouldn't it be foolish to not stop someone right away from hammering the side of your care and doing more damage to it?
Of course, if it was a relative idiot that was hammering your car, you might not get mad, but you would do something to stop it, just as you would be a thought from a mechanical idiot in your head pounding your brain and body.
WHAT ARE THE LESSONS WE LEARN FROM THIS?
1. It is stupid to accept and/or believe thoughts from the stupid brain are accurate barely at all. We must use the smart brain to see which beliefs are true.
2. We must use the smart brain to provide smart beliefs - or we're screwed, condemned to relive the past and really stupid thoughts over and over. (You'll see elsewhere on the site the statement "What you do not complete, you're doomed to repeat", which definitely applies to completing the conversion of stupid thoughts instead of letting them continue.)
3. We should not allow a stupid thought to continue for even another moment. We should use the skill of managing thoughts.
4. We should not allow stupid patterns to persist for very long because they'll groove in deeper. We should use Belief Reconstruction to design valid ones and do it as soon as possible..
5. And then we should install them with the Empowering Conversations Process.
Are you willing to do that? If you do, you'll be a master of your thoughts and beliefs and you'll stop experiencing the negative and start inserting the positive - and you'll be one heckuva happy person. Imagine going from 80% negative to 20% or less, imagine what that would do to your happiness!
How the brain is used for constantly predicting. The patterns help predict outcomes so that the brain can prepare for that outcome if it is a danger. The brain does a really bad job of this on trivial matters. This is part of its intuitive function coupled with the need to estimate what is missing and to fill it in with a guess - read Intuition to see why you need to be careful. How the body states affect the brain's operations. When the body is tired, tense, or overloaded with certain chemicals, the brain can be overly reactive as it must consider overcoming those conditions plus watch out for what it normally watches out for. Plus the brain is not able to function mechanically as well at that time. Managing the Chemicals In The Body can be learned by an adult who wants to become skillful at balancing the chemicals for greater peace of mind and greater energey and "feel goods".