Did you know that you can know what certain surfaces taste like just by thinking about them? Well, let’s test this theory. Look at the wall; imagine licking it. Now doesn’t it feel like you know exactly how it tastes, as if you have tried it before?
That is your mind playing tricks on you. The mind is a mystery that even scientists today are still trying to uncover.
The mystery of the mind
James Fieser, author of Great Issues in Philosophy, says people want to understand the part of the human mental process that has conscious thoughts. Fieser uses the example of when you hear music coming from a piano, or when you feel pain when you drop something on your foot. That is your mind telling you what and how to feel.
Fieser uses introspection and behaviour as an easy way to try to understand your mind a bit.
1. Introspection is your personal thoughts, no one has access to them and through introspection you get to understand how to behave depending on your thoughts. For example, how do you know when you are doing something wrong? Your mind tells you; it guides your actions.
2. Behaviour is the way you act which can tell you about what you are thinking or feeling. If you cry, that tells us that you are experiencing sadness. If you have a gleaming smile, that tells us that you are happy.
Both of these are personal to you as you can control them. For example, with introspection no one knows what you are feeling or even thinking. With behaviour you can control how you want people to see you, even by pretending to be happy when you are sad.
Mind vs brain
In the book Understanding Brain, Mind and Soul: Contributions from Neurology and Neurosurgery by Sunil K. Pandya it’s stated that the mind is responsible for one’s thoughts and feelings.
An article by Encyclopaedia Britannica states that the brain is the mass of nerve tissue in the inside of the top of your head. According to the article, the human brain weighs approximately 1.4 kg and is made up of billions of cells called neurons.
Let’s try a little an exercise from a blog by Sharon Begley. Using your right index finger, point to your brain. Now using the same finger, point to your mind. You can’t identify the mind because unlike the brain we can’t actually identify where it is.
According to Difference Between, the slight difference between these two is that the brain, which is the centre of the nervous system, coordinates the movements, thoughts and feelings. But these are felt through the mind. We use the mind to think, feel and respond.
Mind vs body
People tend to think that the brain and the body are two separate entities but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Your mind can convince you of many things. Take watching a horror movie for example. You can watch Anaconda vs Python and see how unrealistic the movie is, but your mind convinces you that they exist and that you are feeling snakes under your blankets.
Did you know that your mind can actually convince you to think that you are sick when you are not? According to psychiatrist Tony Sutherland who spoke to Sowetanlive, it can.
“The manifestation of an actual physical symptom that could be the direct result of either psychological trauma or disturbance is known as a psychosomatic disorder, this means there might be no actual medical evidence for why you may be experiencing the physical symptoms.”
Sowetanlive interviewed Ziane who said he became wheelchair-bound in 2011 when he felt extreme pain in his knees and legs but doctors were not seeing anything.
“I was experiencing so much pain to the point of paralysis, that I had to use a wheelchair to get around, yet after various x-rays and medical check-ups, I was told there was nothing physically wrong with me. That I was as fit as a fiddle. Well, I wasn’t. I felt the pain daily, and I was debilitated.”
Ziane decided to seek the help of a therapist two years later, and they got to the bottom of his trauma mentally. That is when his physical symptoms disappeared.
The mind is still a mystery, a mystery that we are all trying to understand. Here are some facts you may not have known about your brain:
-No one knows exactly what the mind is or how the brain creates it.
-When you are thinking internally you are actually talking to yourself.
-Your mind can change your brain; it’s said that your brain’s default is negative thoughts and to change that, always manifest positivity with your mind.
-Simple feeling words can calm your mind and change your brain. When feeling anxious, some people tend to have positive words to make themselves feel better and this works.
Much research has been done and even scientists still don’t have the answer. The mind is a magic that can’t be held or created but it’s something beautiful within us that we need to protect and cherish.
Want to know when women got to vote in England? Read more here.
Tell us: What has been the most beautiful thing you have discovered about your mind?