Thursday, March 21, 2013

Controling The Wondering Mind

Our brain is probably the most complex part of our bodies, that many people including scientist are barely discovering many aspects of the brain. Our brain let's us remember things, including the people we love, special days, and lets us hold information that could not be possible without the brain. Our brain is also the head of communications that helps the body connect with all the other members. However fascinating the brain is, there are also things that we don't seem to like very much about it.

One of these things is distraction. As many of us pray, attend Mass, or even work, we seem to get distracted almost every time. This seems to be something that we all struggle with, and something that most if not all want to work on.  It happens almost every time, specifically when praying prayers such as the rosary, that we let ourselves get distracted. Because of this we don't fully appreciate these prayers, or even come to grasp the profound beauty in it.

The same thing is true for things such as the theme of intrusive thoughts. I am pretty sure most of us have intrusive thoughts almost daily. They can be sexual, violent, or just plainly unwanted. These thoughts seem to come out of nowhere, which most of the time they do.

Because of distractions and intrusive thoughts, many of us try to control our thoughts. This usually proves to no avail, and the reason is that it is IMPOSSIBLE. There is just too much going on in our inner faculties that it is too hard to do, never less too stressful and time consuming. Rather although we can't control our thoughts completely, there are techniques and things that we can do to at least try to tame our wondering mind.

Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina is something that I have found not too long about. Yet it is something I have been doing to some extent. It is about meditating on scriptural reading. This technique is very helpful, specifically when praying prayers like the rosary. The rosary is much more than just repetitious prayers, it is about meditating on the lives of Jesus and Mary. Because of this we can see the scriptural roots it has. A great tip is to read a scriptural passage that goes with the mystery that we are about to meditate on.

Lectio Divina can be used with other things as well. I use it specifically when reading the daily reading for that particular day. It brings great meaning to our lives and to our Catholic faith.

You can learn more about Lectio Divina from

Intrusive thoughts

As for intrusive thoughts it is quite different. As stated before there is only so much that we can do to control our thoughts. As someone who suffers from OCD and Scrupulosity I know from experience that I cannot control all my thoughts. An example is a husband who is laying in bed with his wife. If he has an intrusive thought about staving his wife, he might panic and try to reason why he had the thought in the first place. Does it mean that he wants to hurt his wife? Does it mean that he doesn't love his wife enough? The answer is none of the above. The reality is that it is just a thought that seems to come out of the bloom. It could actually mean that the husband had this thought BECAUSE HE LOVES HIS WIFE A LOT.

When it comes to intrusive thoughts, all we can do is simply acknowledge that we had the thought and not think anything of it. Stressing about it will only make these thoughts happen worse. I know from experience. It is just about putting your faith in God knowing that he understands that we get thoughts that we would never want to have.

photo credit: <a href="">Darwin Bell</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>


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