I bought at Alfa Romeo 4C sports car last year. It’s not particularly expensive in the realm of sports cars but it is quite rare, so far only 753 have been shipped to the U.S. So I regularly check in to the online forum and have been watching how the various owners have been using their cars and what’s happening to them. Many people have crashed them or are driving them daily to work and back, one owner takes it to a regular automated car wash to wash it weekly (the car has openings in it that easily allow rain or water to come into the engine bay and destroy the battery). In short I see these cars being wiped out left and right from one common theme overuse / inappropriate use.
This particular Alfa Romeo is a car meant to be driven hard on a race track or to be taken out for the occasional Sunday drive in sunny weather. It’s not designed for commuting, you can barely park it and it’s certainly not meant to be outside in the rain since the engine is exposed to the elements.
Our brains are similar. The human brain was made to occasionally work very hard. Identifying a predator about to attack you, chop down a tree and haul it back to your village for heat and cooking, finding an animal you can eat, killing it and all the things we need to do to survive. Our brains were also made to relax, take it easy, be at one with the world and watch nature and our lives pass by.
Much like my new car, the brain was not designed for constant daily overuse, which is how most of us these days operate. The average person has around 60,000 thoughts every day! Being inside a brain with 60,000 thoughts per day is crazy. Many of our thoughts are negative and others are repetitive. I find most of my thoughts range from uninteresting to annoying to downright self-destructive. “I deserve ice cream tonight”, “too tired to exercise” to name a few. A few thoughts are important, “better turn the stove off”, “need to fill the tank with gas”.
My one recommendation for how to keep your brain healthy is to cut your thoughts in half. What then would your brain do if it wasn’t constantly thinking random, disconnected and potentially useless thoughts? It would be “feeling” “being” it would be “present in the moment”. Picture a new born baby. Do they have 60,000 thoughts a day? No, they don’t have any language skills developed they can’t have a thought in the way we do, as self dialog, they are just feeling and being present in the moment. Crying, laughing, experiencing.
The time tested way to reduce our thoughts is meditation. I meditate 2-3 hours each day and for that time I have zero thoughts. I am being, I am feeling, I am very present and aware, but my brain is not generating language based thought patterns. When the brain settles down in a meditative state and the thoughts vanish, something new and fresh arises.