Jacqui Jones is one of our fantastic Wellness experts with qualifications in child and adolescent welfare. She also teaches mindfulness meditation and positive psychology.
In this article, she will share tips and tools to help build your own mental fitness by understanding the human mind.
Where do you think your mind is located? The most popular answer is in your head or your brain.
While that answer isn’t wrong, it isn’t entirely correct either. We can’t be sure. The mind is much more of a concept that scientists have developed over time.
Picture your brain. Imagine where it is located and what it looks like. Draw attention to it being in your brain, now move that attention down into your hands, bring your hands together and clap.
Notice the sensations in your hand? Open your eyes and ask where your mind was? It was in your hands.
What this demonstrates is that your mind has an amazing ability to travel. It’s linked to the brain but has the power to go anywhere we direct it. Your mind is where your attention or focus is.
The relationship between the human mind and the brain
You can think of your brain as the hardware, like a laptop. But your mind is all the software you have installed.
The mind is the programming you have running in your brain. Your thoughts, beliefs, fears, hopes, worries and dreams for the future.
It’s not until we get a bit older that we realise how deeply some of these beliefs we have picked up since childhood have impacted our lives. There are likely to be programs that have held you back or still hold you back.
Most of our brain programming happens between the ages of birth to seven years old. Many of these beliefs remain at unconscious levels. They sometimes show up through behaviours and choices we make.
Fun facts about the human mind
The human mind is an amazing, complex and fascinating thing. Here are some fun facts that can help you better understand yours.
The negativity bias
Due to evolution, our human brain is linked to our survival instinct. Our minds are literally hardwired to find out what is going wrong. It keeps us safe and does this by activating stress response. Referred to as the flight fright or freeze response.
A lot of the time, it’s activated when there is no real threat, like when someone has jumped the queue at the post office.
It’s very easy for us as humans to notice what is going wrong. We are looking out for what might threaten us. The next step is to make a conscious step to train your mind to look for something good.
What can I focus on that is going well?
Human minds, on average, have 50-70,000 thoughts a day
70% of our thoughts are negative. It’s good to know and understand what we’re up against regarding the nature of our human minds.
You might have thought you were a terrible parent, but it’s not true. Most of us had moments we were not too proud of. But those moments don’t make you a terrible parent. They make you human.
If your child tells you, ‘I’m not good at maths’. You might add, ‘I’m not good at maths… yet.’ A more realistic thought could be that parenting isn’t easy, but I’m learning.
Exploring the human mind worksheet
We can train our human mind to think differently by training our brain.
Take a look at the triangle of the word thoughts. The bottom-hand corner is feelings, and then there’s behaviour.
They often each impact the other.
Print off the worksheet. There are great activities to help you explore this topic of thoughts and feelings a little bit further.
“Your mind is a garden, the thoughts are the seeds, you can grow flowers, or you can grow weeds.”
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