I’ve noticed that many of the responses here have been about the negative effects of stress, and I’ve been a big fan myself. I’m not a fan of the stress in my life but I do feel like there are moments where I’ve been on a positive path and then something happens and I feel like I’ve been kicked back into that negative loop.
This is called the “monkey mind” and it’s a way of thinking that’s common in all primates. When we’re not in the monkey mind it’s easy to see that stress can lead us to making decisions that are not good for us. We can get stuck in a negative loop of negative thinking when we get stuck in the monkey mind.
In our own study, monkeys were much more likely to make decisions that weren’t good for them because they were constantly worried about some future situation, like when they’d get stuck in a car accident or go bankrupt.
I see this a lot when I talk to students about their studies. They say “well I’m doing a study of the monkey mind so I might as well make a monkey out of myself.” Well, the reason I’m making monkeys out of myself is because I can’t just let it go. The monkey mind is a powerful part of the human brain that can influence your decisions and actions. It’s the only part of your brain that is fully functional and you just cant just ignore it.
You can think of a monkey as a very intelligent animal. But there’s more to it than that. The way a monkey is made, they don’t just grow out of a pouch. You can have a monkey, but you can’t just put a pouch in them. Rather, you have to feed them, give them a lot of physical exercise, and then you can watch them mature. These are all things that you can do with any other animal that is able to be trained.
A monkey can be trained, but it only works for people that have already had their brains removed, or are on a very specific diet. So, like, say you’re a monkey, and you only eat bananas (but not other fruit, which would be a problem). But you’re a monkey. And you have to eat all of the bananas in the world, and it’s a lot to digest.
Sure, you can learn to be a monkey with just a little physical exercise. Monkey see monkey do monkey and, like, the best thing you can do for that monkey is to exercise it. Monkey see monkey do monkey and, like, if you can get it to eat fruit, and it likes bananas, then it’s good. If you can get it to eat fruit and not have to go to the bathroom, that would be the best thing for that monkey.
The most common question people ask themselves about a person’s self-awareness is “are you aware of what you are doing?” Or is it, “Do you have some sort of self-awareness?” The answer to one question is “yes” to the other, or “no” to the other, depending on the person’s self-awareness.
We’ve all been there. We are in a situation where everything feels like it’s happening to someone else, but you know that you are the only one who can do anything about it. As a result, instead of doing anything, you do nothing and wait for the next thing to happen. You wait for the next thing to happen to do something about it, but you don’t. Or you wait for the next thing to happen, but you don’t act on it.
All we have been waiting for is a simple way to get some answers.