Aug 04, 2017

The Voice in Your Head

Have you ever experienced that “voice” in your head? Everyone has. Many have wondered; Whose voice is it and why does it seem to nag us with mostly negative suggestions? Let’s look into the human mind to discover the answer as it can dramatically change your life!

Consciousness

What “Consciousness” is has been debated for centuries and we still don’t have a definitive answer to this day. The simplest definition I’ve found is “Being aware that we are aware.” As an example, when you look in a mirror, you know it’s you. You recognize you and you know you are separate and distinct from every other person. This is due to the parts of our brain called the Fusiform Gyrus and the Insular Cortex. The Fusiform Gyrus is for facial, number, and letter recognition and the Insular Cortex tells you that you are you and not someone else. As the name suggests, it insulates you. The Insular Cortex also attaches social emotions to faces and sensations within the body.

Theory of Mind (ToM)

According to Neuroscientists at MIT, ToM is the ability to “read” other people’s minds; it’s our ability to hold beliefs, and it’s the ability to consider such things as the vastness of the universe and God. ToM primarily involves the Right Temporal Parietal Junction (RTPJ), which develops around 8-years-old. This small region of the brain is located just above and behind our right ear. ToM also involves other important areas of our brain, such as Mirror (Predictive) Neurons, which are subdivided into three distinct areas; short-term, mid-term, and long-term. We learn to anticipate, or predict, what other people are going to do based on previous experiences and patterns. When we see a person raising their hand in a specific way, we predict they want permission to speak. When they raise it in a different way, we predict they are going to strike another person. The mid and long-term Mirror Neurons go much deeper. They predict and interpret thoughts, intentions, and behaviors in others; past, current, and future.

Mirror Neurons also cause us to mirror and empathize with the feelings of others. When you see someone in a movie get shot by a bullet, pierced with a knife, or harmed in some other way, you find yourself holding onto the same body part where the person was harmed. When you watch a sporting event and someone falls, gets hurt, or wins the event, you “feel” what they are feeling. Interestingly, the only thing keeping you from believing it actually happened to you is the Insular Cortex, it isolates you from thinking you are someone else and experiencing what they are experiencing.

That voice in your head

This amazing tool we have in our head, our brain, is extremely complex. Yet, we are beginning to understand it much better. That voice in your head is consciousness and part of being conscious is Theory of Mind. You are conscious that you have beliefs. You are conscious of what you, and other people, are doing, saying, feeling, and thinking. You are conscious of the contemplation of God, the universe, and of life. Because we are conscious and we contemplate these things, we form beliefs, which are rules and generalizations for life we form based on what we are taught and have experienced. These beliefs create our thoughts and our thoughts create our behaviors.

Because these are our beliefs and we have formed them, this means we can control them. Most people, though, allow themselves to become victims of their beliefs and thoughts. In fact, most societies teach us that we have no control over our beliefs and thoughts. We are taught that it’s ‘just the way we are’. This creates a victim mentality. Let me give you a few examples:

People don’t like me and are always talking negatively behind my back
I might as well eat that piece chocolate cake, I’m already fat
I can never talk to my spouse about my feelings. They never understand me
I’m so depressed. Life just isn’t worth living. I should kill myself. Everyone would be happier if I was gone
I know what I want to do is a sin, but it would feel so good. I really, really want to do it. It must be the Devil making me feel this way, because I know it’s wrong and I just can’t stop myself
I’m no good at my job. I try really hard, but I can’t get ahead. I might as well give up. I’m useless

Having been a pastor for many years, I’ve also had people tell me the following true-life stories:
God spoke to us and told us to sell all our belongings and become missionaries” (The couple came back a few months later broken in spirit and financially)
God told me in a dream that I should leave my husband and kids to marry another man” (The woman had been planning for months to divorce her husband when, suddenly, she was given this dream. Her life turned out terribly)
God chose me to be a special vessel and wants me to tell the church to follow the directions He’s given me” (This person had recently fallen out of favor with church leaders and had been removed from a special position within the church. This special “choosing” of him gave him a sense of value again.)
While I was driving, God told me to let go of the steering wheel because He wanted to show me that He’s in control of everything” (This woman had an accident and barely escaped with her life)

My point is that what I have experienced working with thousands of people over the years is that the voice in our head is our own beliefs and thoughts ruminating. It’s Theory of Mind out of control. And, because we are not taught that we can control our thoughts, we believe we are victims to them. Being a victim and under someone else’s control is also the easy way out if there is something we want to do, but we have been told it is prohibited.

So, then, people can say, “It wasn’t me; it was them, they, him, her, God, the Devil”. It was someone else who influenced their thinking and caused them to behave in a certain way. (I realize that there is a theological discussion that can be had around whether, and how, God and the Devil speak to people. My intent here is to share that, in my experience, it has been people’s own internal dialogue causing the situations and not someone from the spirit realm)

So, what can we do to regain control of our beliefs and thoughts?

Be aware that negative beliefs and thoughts will insidiously take over when positive beliefs and thoughts are absent. How is it that the negative override the positive? Negative beliefs and thoughts carry a more powerful emotional impact than positive; therefore, they more easily engage your thinking.

So, what can you do to help crowd out the negative emotions and replace them with positive, inspiring beliefs and thoughts?

First, pay attention to what you pay attention. Where attention goes, energy flows. The more you think about something, the more mental, emotional, and physical energy you give it. When you find yourself daydreaming, what is it that you find yourself thinking about? You may find that you’re dwelling on thoughts that are self-sabotaging and limiting. If you want to identify what you think about most, take the time to make a note on your phone’s calendar each time you catch yourself thinking about positive and negative things. This will give you an idea of what your thought pattern is.

To get a wealth of information on this subject, register for my webinar, “Life Mastery: The Fully Functional Life!” by clicking this LINK now!

Please feel free to comment and share this post. And, if you would like to learn more, contact me TODAY!

+++++++++++++++About Dr. Edward Lewellen++++++++++++++++

Dr. Edward Lewellen is an expert in creating methodologies for people to learn to use their mind; their beliefs, thoughts, and behaviors, and put them back in control of their lives and become top-producers. He is a Master Executive Coach, leadership and sales expert, and keynote speaker for some of the largest global organizations.

Author of The 90-Second Mind Manager