The other night I had a dream…. well, maybe it was more of a nightmare. Somehow I had transported myself back to a time several years ago.
It was one of those old circumstances… some kind of social or work situation… and I briefly felt like I used to feel… surrounded by all these mean, heartless people. They were judging me and hating me… pointing their fingers at me and laughing at me. I felt stupid and inadequate… shunned and unloved… like one big gigantic failure!
And then, briefly I felt that old sharp and excruciating pain running through my head and torso… as if someone had slashed me with a knife…. deep and jagged… pain so intense it can’t be handled without something drastic happening… and then I woke up… crying!
Things are a lot different these days. I no longer have this same mentality of: “the world is against me.” That is mental illness talking, pure and simple. Narcissism maybe. Healthy adults don’t blame. They shake off the dust and move on with life. I realize I’m not being targeted or singled out. Good people are good people and assholes are assholes. “They” aren’t pointing their fingers at me or laughing at me… and if “they” are, more power to them. I can choose to reject peoples’ judgments of me. This is “healthy adult” talking.
So where did this dream/nightmare come from all of a sudden? I’m certain it was the result of being stressed out about some things lately and my fluctuating moods because of it.
There’s a concept that’s been rolling around in my brain for a while. A google search helped pin it down. It’s called brain patterning.
Once a pattern of behavior has been established, it gets imprinted on the brain and interacts with an infinite number of other thoughts and patterns. These patterns can be beneficial but they can also be extremely destructive.
I found this dense yet fascinating article published on the NIH website: “Superior pattern processing is the essence of the evolved human brain.” Here is one interesting little nugget derived from that article:
“It can be argued that although their symptoms are different, human psychiatric disorders all involve distortions of reality… In essence, the SPP [superior pattern processing] capabilities of imagination and envisioning future scenarios are dysregulated.
What does all this really mean? If we identify certain unhealthy patterns in our brain functioning, would it be easier to then break those patterns? Would it be easier to then replace those patterns with healthier thoughts? Isn’t this what mental health therapy already aims to do anyway?
Fascinating how this concept is so simplistic, yet, oddly, highly complex at the same time. Such is our human existence.
To be sure, this is an area of human psychology that is slowly evolving, especially as it applies to human behavior.
Every Monday from now until I get tired of it I will be posting on various mental health topics. That’s a joke. I never get tired of talking about mental health!
Visit MidnightHarmony on Facebook
Visit MidnightHarmony on Pinterest