Skip to main content

Thinking Filtered – Part 1

Scientists have found that our five senses feed our brains a staggering 11 million bits of information every second. But did you know our conscious minds can only process 40-50 bites of information per second?

Do you really know the whole picture? Can you size up any situation completely?

Aha – think again! …………….pun intended 😉

We can’t “know” the whole story. The truth is, at best, we can only size up a fraction of a situation.

So what are we missing?

What are we filtering out mentally to get to our 40 to 50 bits of information per second?

Without going deep into neuroscience (see your RAS or Reticular Activating System in your brain), our minds filter much of our reality based on the stories we tell ourselves and the experiences we hold on to (consciously or subconsciously).

A famous story, “This is hard.”

Your mind will say – “Yes, boss! Confirmed! This is hard,” and start filtering your 40-50 bites of info/second towards proof that life is hard.

What about this story? “I am who I am – nothing can change me.”

According to science, the truth is closer to “I am how I choose to experience the world.”

– – But hang on a second.

Before you start smacking your head for how you are experiencing your world – have a bit of self-compassion.

We haven’t been taught much of this at an early age – how uniquely powerful our minds are, how beautiful our configuration is, and how many internal tools we have.

My mother always smiled and said, “When I was young, I thought I would know it all. Now I find that the more I know, the more I realize I don’t know.”

So what now? If you aren’t happy with how your mind experiences a part of your world, START NOTICING.

What? Just notice?

Yep – one of the most significant parts of changing how you experience your reality – your world – is noticing your thoughts.

Ask yourself: “What is the story I’m telling myself about this right now?”

Heck- yesterday, I caught myself growling, “I had to pick up the kids, so I don’t have time to check these things off my list and cook this food, so that sucks, and I’m behind, and life is hard.”

What was I not noticing? Instead of sweating and prepping food in the kitchen all night, I had my boys in the car, chatting with me, opening up about their lives while the glorious sun was setting over the Burrard bridge in a wash of golden, rose-coloured light surrounded by the deepest blue sky. Yeah – rough, Teresa!

If you wish – after you notice your “filter” or “story,” you can also ask yourself, “What else can I see or experience here?”

Stay tuned for Part 2 in the next post for what to do next.