Mental trap are perpetual modes of thinking that becomes our habit. This metal trap disturbs our ease , take up vast amount of our time and exhaust our energy without accomplishing anything of value for us or for anyone else.
When we know mental trap can be very harmful than why do we fall into them? Why don’t we simply quit? Well , the reason could be many but according to my understanding very often we are unaware of what we are thinking. Even if we know our thoughts, we often fail to recognize that it can be injurious to us. Even when we do recognize their injurious nature, we often can’t quit, because we have become habitual.
Most of the time we humans remain unaware of this mental trap and fall into them automatically without making a conscious decision. The first qualification for getting rid of this mental trap is to learn the art of detection. But learning to detect and recognizing aren’t enough to put an end to them. We also need to be assure that they are useless and injurious. But the irony of life is that most of the time mental traps are often mistaken for absolutely indispensable activities without which life would become chaotic and threatening. Having learned to identify the traps and having been convinces that its is in our advantage to get rid of it and if still we continue, it is nothing but a case of ” Bad Habit”. Lets take the example of smoker, every smoker is aware that smoking is injurious and it is something very difficult to get rid off, still continuous to smoke as it has become a ” Bad Habit” which if they really try can get rid off, but how many actually does?
The mental traps which we are going to discuss today might not feel like traps but when we study them in detail we realize it is difficult to come out of them as many people do not consider them as traps.
The first trap, Persistence, is to work on a task which has actually lost its value. Some times you start reading a book because someone gave a great review about it but the second motive is , the need to complete what was began. Were great review the only motive to read, we would quit immediately if you find it boring , but the second motive to finish what was began, just because it begun , makes us persist.
The second trap, Inflation, is the trap of working harder than necessary to achieve our aim. Doing too little can be an error but too much is also a mistake. There is a certain amount of work appropriate to each of life tasks. If we do too little, we fall short of the goal. And if we do too much, we dissipate our resources. For example making more money than we can spend is a trap if our aim is to be able to buy what we want. But the same activity may be fully in accord with our values if we engage in it for the pleasure of playing the money game.
The third trap, Prediction, is the trap of starting too soon. It is true that if we start too late, we may not have enough time to finish. But their are also penalties for starting too soon. When we predict, we render ourselves to overworking, preworking and working in a vain. We overwork if we act now when the same result can more easily be achieved at a later time. For example, expecting a letter of acceptance or rejection , we compose two replies, one for each possibilities. Has we waited until the letter was received , we would have needed to do only half as much work, and the result would have been the same. Hence we overworked.
The fourth trap, Resistance, we continue with what we are already doing when it would be better to quit. In this trap we ought to quit because something more important or more pressing has come up. For example we resist if we continue to play when there is a fire in the kitchen. It will be foolish if we resist under two conditions, one is emergency and second one is opportunity. We should drop the task at hand when we are faced with an emergency as we may suffer a penalty for the delay. For example, it would be unwise to occupy ourselves with boiling coffee when we are struggling with a masked gunman in the living room. Second we should drop the task at hand when opportunity comes knocking. For example missing an official dinner which can help in networking for finishing a task which can be done tomorrow or next week .
The fifth trap, Procrastination, delay or giving excuses for not doing something by indulging in something which gives temporary pleasure. Some procrastination lasts for only a moment but some last for days, months and years together. Conditions never seems right for the initiation for any task. For example we want to write a letter , we already decided that we will write it and still we hold back.
The sixth trap, Double mind, when we try to attend to two things at once. We participate in a conversation while at the same time trying to solve a financial problems that’s been praying on our mind. Sitting and reading a book when we are attacked by hordes of extraneous ideas relating to other tasks like, bills to be paid, kids to be feed and so on. This is a state or chronic division, always trying to hold all our unresolved problems in consciousness simultaneously instead of setting the burden down and picking up one item at a time. Remember that the technique of saving the best for the last is ineffective in case of chronic division. The attempt to get everything settled before enjoying the best of life results in the perpetual postponement of pleasure.
So how to get rid of these mental trap? Well there is no sure shot technique but by following this process you can help yourself not to get too involved in these traps.
- Be conscious while detecting and recognizing these traps.
- Convince yourself that these traps can be harmful and do not let them become your habit.
- Identify accountable partner someone you can trust completely. It could be your guru, your mother or someone you think credible. The external authority should be assertive, someone who is strict and sensible at the same time and aid you to take right decision at right time.
- Always try to be in focused thinking mode, because once your thinking goes into diffuse mode you will have no control over your mind and sub conscious mind have no limits when it comes to imagining things.
- Meditation can help you to be more focused and will give you a sense of calm ,peace and balance that can benefit your mental well-being.
- The last step in this process is ” The practice of thought watching”- The only equipment needed for this is a spot reasonably free from external distractions. Sit quietly and watch your thoughts. That’s all. Here we do not try to think about anything in particular, but neither do we try to block or interfere with the thoughts that happen to arise. We just watch , as though at a movie. While doing this we learn a very important lesson about the mind: thoughts arise by themselves, even if we don’t strive to will them into existence. We can observe in the full light of consciousness how thoughts come and go without the benefit of our assistance.
Once you understand and become more aware about your thought process it becomes easier for you to keep a track on your thinking and your emotions. Mental trap can hold you back for sometimes but cannot hold you forever if you find the key of conscious mind.
This Post is part of Blogchatter’s #Cause a chatter.