A series of Harvard studies has demonstrated that the majority of people would rather self-inflict painful electric shock than sit alone and think for 15 minutes.
How painful was the shock? So painful that every single one of the study participants would rather pay money out of their own pocket than agree to receive the same shocks.
How would you fare? Here are the instructions:
You are to sit in a plain white room. You have no phone or devices and nobody to talk to. Nothing to do but think for a period of 15 minutes. Oh, and if you need something to do, you can push this button and receive a very painful electric shock. You can push the button as often as you'd like, but of course you don't have to push it at all. Have fun.
One man pushed the button 190 times, but that was atypical.
67% of men pushed the button at least once during the 15-minute period. 25% of women hit the button at least once. The age of participants ranged from 18 to 77.
One interesting finding in this series of studies suggested that 89% of participants could not control their thoughts without the distraction of mind wandering.
Researchers reported the most fascinating finding as follows:
But what is striking is that simply being alone with their own thoughts for 15 min was apparently so aversive that it drove many participants to self-administer an electric shock that they had earlier said they would pay to avoid.
There are unlimited ways in which your mind can torture you.
For example, it can:
• Criticize you incessantly • Tell you that there's no point • Wander incessantly • Tell you that you can't do what you want • Chronically focus on negativity • Compare yourself to others unfavorably • Scare the pants of you in a variety of ways • Remind you of past mistakes
If this is you, then you need to set a goal to get control. The most common ways to learn mental control are through a variety of meditation and mindfulness practices. The problem is, a self-tortuous or wandering mind sabotages these efforts.
A more direct route to peace of mind is to end the self-sabotage first. After all that's what an unfriendly mind is - a self-sabotaging mind.
Most of us assimilate a multitude of negative experiences from the moment we take our first breath of air. We aren't prepared for the onslaught of a cold, cruel world. Negative parenting and daily experiences with failure all add to the mix.
What do we do with all the negativity?
We assimilate it. It becomes part of us. In many cases chronic negative messages become so familiar that it is impossible to imagine living without them. We learn to call this negative state "home" even though we are miserable living in it. And we strangely prefer to stay there, even when other options are available.
In other words, self-sabotage becomes a way of life that many of us cling to. We organize our relationships, careers, decisions and even our personal paradigm around it. If you can see this tendency in your life, then there is hope. Once you've seen it, you can then learn the nature of self-sabotage, identify it in your life and ultimately put a stop to it. This is a courageous path that few people take, but those who do experience a level of personal transformation that is uncommon in the world today.
If your mind is not your best friend, then please watch this enlightening free video on self-sabotage and begin the process of healing today.
About the author: Watch the free video The AHA! Process: An End to Self-Sabotage and discover the lost keys to personal transformation and emotional well-being that have been suppressed by mainstream mental health for decades.
The information in this video has been called the missing link in mental health and personal development. In a world full of shallow, quick-fix techniques, second rate psychology and pharmaceutical takeovers, real solutions have become nearly impossible to find. Click here to watch the presentation that will turn your world upside down.