Thinking about thoughts.

May 2011
884
1
Marble, N.C.
I never use to think about thinking. My thought/thoughts were just thoughts that happened. Never thinking they might be useable to me in my day to day activities. Now I pay attention to when I get (a thought/thoughts be they emotional or neutral). All I seem to do now (is think). I understand the thoughts as words and analyse there meaning to me. Before they were just neutral (have no meaning) words. I am beginning to understand (mind chatter/streaming). I am beginning to cataloging(?) sentences or words as a subject. Am I going overboard trying to perfect (thinking)? pljames
 

SWM

May 2008
2,314
0
pl james. can i offer an experiment that might not seem to be useful but if practiced will be extremely beneficial.

when you are thinking pay close attention to your tongue. and notice the quietness of thought and stillness of tongue go together. and notice the opposite.
 
Sep 2012
17
0
[quote author=SWM link=topic=2913.msg21043#msg21043 date=1343504649]
pl james. can i offer an experiment that might not seem to be useful but if practiced will be extremely beneficial.

when you are thinking pay close attention to your tongue. and notice the quietness of thought and stillness of tongue go together. and notice the opposite.
[/quote]

It would be interesting to study the effects of this the other way arround, meaning if the tounge is relaxed on purpose, does it affect the stillness?
 
Jun 2009
531
0
[quote author=pljames link=topic=2913.msg21039#msg21039 date=1343486703]
I never use to think about thinking. My thought/thoughts were just thoughts that happened. Never thinking they might be useable to me in my day to day activities. Now I pay attention to when I get (a thought/thoughts be they emotional or neutral). All I seem to do now (is think). I understand the thoughts as words and analyse there meaning to me. Before they were just neutral (have no meaning) words. I am beginning to understand (mind chatter/streaming). I am beginning to cataloging(?) sentences or words as a subject. Am I going overboard trying to perfect (thinking)? pljames
[/quote]

This is what's known as metacognition, and it's very good. Metacognition facilitates emotional stability, self-regulation, strategic thinking, attentional inhibition and a host of other cognitive benefits. Separately from that, when one starts to think so much it causes distress, one is said to be ruminating. This is bad, because it can lead to depression, but this has to do with cognition in general, not metacognition. In fact, metacognition can be accessed to prevent this from happening by helping one realize that one is ruminating.

It's functionally related to mindfulness, but stands on a more solid empirical foundation and covers broader ground. I tend towards the view that mindfulness is a form of metacognition, rather than a distinct cognitive state or process, as metacognition is. One can then view metacognition as analogous to general relativity (covering the system's full range of behavior) and mindfulness as analogous to Newtonian physics (covering the system's behavior within a specific range).
 
Sep 2012
59
1
Here, Now
I am beginning to cataloging(?) sentences or words as a subject. Am I going overboard trying to perfect (thinking)? pljames
It depends on how interested you are in studying thought.

From a practical standpoint, you only really need to know that some thoughts are caused by external influences and just happen, and some of them are intentionally caused.

Good insights.