How Your Mental State Is Affected By Mind Wandering
So much focus is given to the heart in this age of romanticized everything that we forget the value and the power of our brains – the power to think of ways to change our lives and others’, the power to dictate the decisions we make, the power to remember and to forget. But whenever the mind begins to go the opposite way and wonder, we lose track of the path we’ve created for ourselves and struggle in finishing what we started.
Just recently, some scientists reviewed what resulted from research published in Nature Reviews Neuroscience about mind wandering in the hopes of creating a new framework for comprehending mental disorders. The focus of the study revolved around how the wandering mind directly relates to mental illnesses like depression, ADHD, and anxiety.
When our free thinking is paired with the fears sitting in our brains, it results in mind wandering that contains anxiety. When fear weighs in on our mind wandering, we begin to have constrained thoughts focused only on what makes us anxious, thus leading us to worry and stress about it even more. In the paper, a notion of dreaming as mind wandering is presented where the same brain regions or mode network is activated and the state we are in during REM sleep or rapid eye movement sleep causes a constrained dream content. With this in mind, dreaming and anxiety begin to form somewhat a relation, as those scenarios that we create in our mind birthed from our anxieties that we thoroughly avoid in real life start to manifest in our dreams and place us in situations that we cannot escape from. This new development causes a breakthrough in therapy and treatment as dreams could then be used to pinpoint the anxieties of one who is experiencing mental illness, especially those related with trauma like post-traumatic stress disorder.
Mental illness can be treated
The generation we belong to is one that seeks to understand mental health and raise awareness about it. These days, mental disorders are seen as an issue that deserves attention and not negligence, and people who are going through these are not seen as different from everybody else, but as human beings who are in need of care just like everyone else. The fortunate thing is, mental disorders can be treated and there is an abundance in methods to do so, including therapy with a psychiatrist or mindfulness treatment, both of which will absolutely help to keep your mind wandering at bay as this is often the reason why anxieties arise. There are also many hotlines that people who are struggling with mental disorders can call in times that they feel they need to confront their concerns. One should not wait around until things slip from their control – mental illness must be faced as soon as possible.