Puppies and Human Minds Chew on Everything

What do puppies and human brains have in common?  Well, they both like to chew on things. Our human brain likes to grab, chew and sometimes not let go of thoughts much like a puppy does as it grabs, chews and not let go of a stuffed animal toy. Years ago I recall, when we first got our puppy all the shoestrings were torn out of the shoes and the socks went missing.  I was relieved when Velcro shoes came out.  The kids had something to wear to school!

I wish we could tie up our thoughts with that special Velcro and stop our obsessive thoughts.  Once we grab onto a worry it is often so hard to let that thought go.   The thought or worry keeps repeating. It just wants to keep invading our unconscious thoughts.  Sometimes our obsessive thoughts get worse when we have a conflict or a tug-of-war with our thoughts involving competing choices, complicated with emotional guilt.

When you feel that you are chewing on a thought too long such as obsessing on it, notice the thought. Your brain has learned an expectation of how long to focus on an idea or thought.  Your brain has the ability to focus on certain ideas for hours.  You can say, “Brain we are done now” and be resistant to the obsessive thought.  If the worry comes back which it probably will bring your attention back, again and again, knowing that you are exercising the part of your brain that controls what we choose to focus upon.  The more that you shift your attention it strengthens your ability to control your thoughts.  Knowing that you can self-direct your thoughts helps free you from anxiety and its clutches on your psyche.

Also, what can be helpful is not to be so self-critical or hard on yourself if the negative thought keeps coming back.  It’s not a failure.  The mind goes where it typically goes and that is part of being human.  Judgment and self-criticism only add frustration. Learn to accept unwanted thoughts with good humor, like you would a cherished puppy, and not judge your mind for this.  Now, this is something to chew on!



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