The automatic thinking machine - Anton Fernando
No scientific evidence to support this, but expert opinions vary between 50,000 to 80,000, the number of thoughts the mind thinks per day. Obviously some are practical thoughts like, "I have a meeting tomorrow, need to prepare", without practical self-willed thoughts life will be chaotic. Still those numbers are insanely high, what are we thinking so much about?
It turned out, most of our thoughts are not self-willed, or self-directed, meaning I am not the decider, the originator, the director of a given thought; most thoughts are happening automatically, just randomly flooding in out of nowhere.
You could be driving home after work and not recall much about the drive, you were basically 'absent', lost in your endless thoughts. Obviously should something out of the norm happens, you will snap out of your thinking, to pay attention to the matter. So being lost in thoughts is not a permanent loss, we can readily return to reality, able to pay attention to what's happening here, now, in the tangible reality.
Our ability to pay attention is a precious gift, and our willingness to pay attention to each other is even more precious, it is said lack of paying attention is a root cause of many troubled relationships. When paying attention is lacking, it amounts to disregard, obviously when a spouse, a parent or a child feels disregarded, things may not go well in their general well-being.
When you're lost in some 50,000 thoughts, your precious attention is consumed by it, the automatic thinking machine consumes your attention, therefore obviously you're not present here to pay attention to those near and dear you.
It won't be that easy to turn off the automatic thinking machine, but see if you can catch yourself when you're lost in endless thoughts, if you can, well then automation is already losing its power, and you're emerging as the director of your thoughts, becoming more present to the present moment. This will definitely improve all your relationships.