What does it mean to control our mental environment?

What do we mean when we use the term mental environment?

According to Barry Gordon, professor of neurology and cognitive science at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine:

We are aware of a tiny fraction of the thinking that goes on in our minds, and we can control only a tiny part of our conscious thoughts. The vast majority of our thinking efforts goes on subconsciously. Only one or two of these thoughts are likely to breach into consciousness at a time. Slips of the tongue and accidental actions offer glimpses of our unfiltered subconscious mental life.

Your Mental Environment

Your mental environment is simply your thoughts and feelings. The “and” is important.

Many people discuss the control of thoughts. This is the basic principle behind all forms of meditation: to notice thoughts and gradually gain control over them.

But those same people often overlook the control of feelings, a.k.a. emotions. Some might give lip service to the idea by saying that when you control your thoughts, you will control your feelings as a natural by-product. But is that necessarily true?

Can we control our thoughts and our feelings separately and asynchronously?

I post that the answer is a resounding Yes.

Things That Affect Our Mental Environment

There are several aspects in daily life that affect our mental environment. Psychology Today gives these factors:

  • Activity Level
  • Smoking
  • Diet
  • Physical Health
  • Abusive, Unhealthy Relationships
  • Social and Community Connections
  • Relationships

The last three factors are all tied to our connections with others around us. We’ll be focusing a lot on our communication with others and ways in which we can improve our communication.