How To Waste Time
I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.
I have been angry before. I have also harboured profound negative emotions towards others for numerous reasons, generally because that individual was pursuing the same desires as me and was proving to be a roadblock on my journey. Needless to say that these internal conflicts were partly a gift so that I may reflect on them now, and come to the realisation that there is a better way to experience the gift of existence we all have.
More on that soon.
It must be said though that of all of the diverse human emotions that we can embrace, hatred is most definitely the least useful, practical, or helpful of them all. And this is because of a number of reasons:
- Biologically these emotions have negative physical effects on the body
- Mentally these emotions damage our ability to make decisions and create value for those around us
- These feelings don’t hurt anybody else, but ourselves. Nor do they leave an impact on anybody else, especially the individual who we are harbouring these attitudes towards.
Let’s go through these points a little further and break them down.
1: BIOLOGICAL HARM
The human body operates through the most intricate, sophisticated and beautiful network of organic material known to man. To put things into perspective for every slight movement that you make each moment of your life, your body undergoes an extremely complicated process to make sure that movement not only happens but also happens in the way you thought it, with the precision of action you intended to make.
Not only must the neural network in our minds think of the action, but we must also transduce that thought into an impulse to send down the nervous system towards our arm, which must then be transformed into a chemical concoction, then release it onto our muscles which causes it to contract and move.
The human body maintains function through the balance of many fragile systems, one of which is the release of hormones throughout the body. One of these hormones which can change the function of the body is cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that increases the bodies stress responses, those being extra strength, increased focus, decreased hunger and more. However it has been found that prolonged exposure to cortisol is also extremely deadly, and is most likely the leading cause of natural death in the modern era.
I have said before that physiology determines psychology (read: motion determines emotion), and likewise our psychology determines our physiology. When it comes to anger, this is especially true as the computer responsible for releasing hormones throughout the body is — you guessed it — the mind. Findings have shown that activation of the areas of the brain responsible for anger are also responsible for the release of cortisol throughout the body. Remember that hormone I just mentioned — every single time anger fills the mind, the reason it feels so terrible usually is due to the increases in cortisol throughout the body.
And so, anger/hatred = literal biological harm (in some cases premature death).
2: MENTAL BLOACKAGE
To get started on this point, we must understand that there are two sections of the brain that we deal with every single day whenever we do basically anything. The first of these sections is the prefrontal cortex, located at the front of the brain (right where your forehead is). The second is an area called the midbrain, which contains the hippocampus and the amygdala.
The prefrontal cortex is an extremely important area of the mind, as it is what allows humans to do all of the higher order thinking that makes us the most intellectually advanced beings on the planet. Planning, decision making, consciousness, personality, the voice in your head, idea formation and more all occur in the prefrontal cortex. Most importantly, it is responsible for making the logical decisions in your life and for regulating emotions.
The midbrain contains two areas of the mind which are responsible for two important tasks; memory formation and emotion formation. As a result, this is where the emotion of anger is formed, and also where cortisol is told to release into the bloodstream. What is very fascinating however, is that the midbrain is a more ancient part of the brain than the prefrontal cortex (read: humans have had midbrains longer than the prefrontal cortex).
As a result, it has been shown that when immense activity occurs in the midbrain, it is able to overpower the functioning of the prefrontal cortex. This means that all of the things we normally do, of importance being rational decision making and creating new things through ideas are all switched off.
There is nothing more paralysing than the emotion of anger or hatred. This ultimately results in a large chunk of time that is spent on limbo.
3: IT ONLY HURTS OURSELF
At the end of the day the only individual who is able to hear and become impacted from each and every thought you have, is yourself.
Harbouring negativity towards someone does not mean that person will learn a new lesson. Nor will the things that are thought impact or touch them in any way. If these thoughts are harming you, the only person whom they will ultimately harm is yourself.
To truly make a difference for yourself and others, conceptions that you have would be better spent towards answering three questions:
- What about my current circumstance am I grateful for?
- What is a new helpful way to think of (insert person, circumstance, object here) that will bring me a new positive perspective?
- How can I obtain a lesson from said (thing), and not only teach myself but others what I have gathered?
In my own experience, the answers to these questions have varied every single time. However as an example I once spent a long amount of time wallowing over my health. And so after much deliberation, I cam up with these 3 answers to my concerns:
- I am grateful that I am able to stand on my own two legs and move myself in any direction I choose of my own free will. Freedom is underappreciated and in this moment I am grateful for its presense in my journey.
- These issues are an opportunity to take action that I have never taken before, and learn immensely powerful lessons that will change the course of my own life and others.
- By taking action I can learn what does and does not work to conquer this challenge, and I can endeavour to teach others through experience the ways they can achieve their desired life.
From that experience I was taught the immense power of our mind and thought, which ultimately lead me to create GUYDE.
Thank you for reading my work! This post was originally found here.
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