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Monday, November 25, 2013

Univseral Principles can help Figure out Daily Dilemmas

Dear AB,

I hope this email finds you very well!

As someone who suffers occasional bouts of depression but is looking for cognitive methods to overcome it, I was fascinated to read one of your articles on brainswitching.

My latest dip coincided with some traumatic events and triggered my first (and hopefully last) episode of anxiety attacks and compulsive thoughts. In particular, the line 'I am fine' said over and over in my head. It did calm me somewhat, but rather than remove the depressed thought, it mostly brought me down to a baseline of fear and stopped any other unpleasant thoughts from intruding.

I would assume that the difference is that Brainswitching is a choice made from a place of control, whereas an OCD thought is a thought created from fear, however I would be most pleased if you had any opinion or insight you'd care to share on this?

I appreciate that you are probably very busy and won't take any offence if you are unable to reply!

All the best in either case,  L

Dear L,

Your letter was very interesting as it taps into a universal principle. Universal principles are valuable in that they provide a measure by which we can measure incidents that are, at first, unclear. Knowledge of just a few universal principles can greatly simplify our difficulty in trying to figure out some real problem in our regular workaday world.

For instance you point to brainswitching’s use of repetitive nonsense thoughts as being probably different from  repetitive OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) thoughts and you are right. The universal principle that might help dispel any doubt as to the difference in the two thoughts is this: anything you do because of fear of something will, in some way, be inappropriate to your life. Whereas, conversely, whatever you do out of love for something (some principle, some commitment) will most likely be appropriate to your life in some way, win or lose. I say win or lose because sometimes it is appropriate to your life to lose in some way.. It is not always appropriate to your life to win.

When you use mental exercises such as nonsense rhymes repeated over and over to thoughtjam and distract from negative or anxious thoughts, you are making that decision out of love for something—helping yourself to better mental health. OCD thoughts come from the fear of feeling the pain caused by irrational repressed fear.

Both OCD thoughts and OCD behaviors are running away from the great pain of feeling repressed fear. You can even use repetitive chosen thoughts to get out of OCD thoughts.

The choice to use brainswitching thoughts is cognitive behavior and activates the neurons in the neocortes, the reasoning part of your brain. Whereas the getting stuck in habitual OCD thoughts is emotional behavior rather than cognitive behavior and continues to power up the neurons in the subcortex, the emotional part of the brain. What might help to sort this all out is knowledge of the universal principle of behavior based on love of something is always appropriate to your life in some way, win or lose. And behavior that comes from fear of something is always inappropriate to your life in some way, win or lose.

There are other universal principles which help to sort our daily dilemmas such as:

The end does not justify the means.

It is always appropriate to do the right thing

When making a difficult decision spend most time and effort trying to assess which behavior (choice) would be based on fear of something and which behavior (choice) would be based on love of something. This is not always an easy assessment. For instance does a woman stay in an abusive marital relationship out of fear that she will be on her own, or out of love for her husband.

Never let your thoughts go beyond your situation.

You can't know Truth as an object.

Hope this helps. A. B. Curtiss

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