The Self Correcting Mind

Before I get into what the self correcting mind is and how it works, it’s might be important to know that this information I’m sharing hasn’t come from scientific evidence. It’s come from my personal experience. Calling the mind a self correcting system is just an accurate representation of what goes on when our minds naturally gravitate back towards a centre of balance when our inner state has been temporarily disturbed by distressing thoughts or emotions.

Below I’ll share an analogy which will makes things more clear.

What is the self correcting mind?

When you get a cut on your hand, you don’t have to consciously think your way into healing the cut. The healing process happens all by itself, meaning we don’t have to do anything for the body’s intelligence to kick in and send new skin cells to the wounded area.

Obviously it is required that we don’t pick at the scab during the recovery process or do stuff which infects it. There’s clearly an intelligence at work which is far more powerful than we think, in fact we take it for granted. We don’t even notice it much of the time simply because it happens whether we’re aware of it or not.

On the other hand, you could get a plaster, sterilisation strips, stitches or whatever is available to help stop the wound from becoming infected. But are these things going to close the gap of the cut? No of course not. The only thing which will heal the cut is the natural ability of the body to send new skin cells to close the gap. Without that happening then the cut would never heal.

So it’s pretty clear that we have a physiological immune system. However, It works the same way for your psychology as it does with your physiology. This is why (in my experience) talking therapies, positive thinking, personal development techniques, medication, CBT etc don’t actually return you to your natural state of balance.

These things are like the plasters or the sterilisation strips for the cut on the body. They may help in the short term, but they often just get in the way of our psychology’s ability to self-correct.

How can you know for sure that you have an inbuilt mental immune system? Well you can experiment with this yourself. You don’t need to be told that you have a psychological immune system beforehand, you can come to this conclusion yourself.

Here’s how – The next time you are experiencing unpleasant thoughts, instead of trying to get rid of them by replacing them with a positive thought or whatever, just do absolutely nothing about your thoughts. Let them be as they are, give them the freedom to be in your mind.

Like you don’t scratch the scab of a wound, don’t scratch the thoughts or feelings and after a while, your mind will find it’s way back to balance.

And to help this process happen quicker, remind yourself that any thought you have cannot harm you in any way.

They won’t be there forever, it’s impossible because the nature of thought is transient. We are not supposed to cling to thought, they’re designed to pass by like clouds in the sky. It’s only us who grab hold of them.

Most of the information I share with you is backed up my scientific research and my own experience. You don’t need scientific evidence for the minds self correcting mechanism. You can be the evidence by experimenting with it in our own life. You know what to do, just take your hands off the ‘illusory’ controls of the mind and allow it to find it’s own way back out of an unpleasant state.

Why external intervention isn’t necessary

There have been many things I’ve experimented with over the years to try and get myself back to a place of psychological balance. However, everything I’ve tried hasn’t actually worked, at least not in the long run. I’ve tried positive thinking, meditation, hypnotherapy, talking therapy, CBT, medication etc etc.

But what I’ve found is that all of this well meaning therapy and technique hasn’t actually done what I was looking for.

There’s a simple reason for this and it will save you lot’s of time, money and energy. It will save you from trying out all of these practices which just add more thought and confusion to an already contaminated mind.

The reason why using external intervention to calm an imbalanced mind isn’t often successful is because our psychology is designed to self-correct. Our minds are designed to find their own way back to psychological equilibrium.

The only thing which blocks the ability for our psychology to return itself to balance is by us getting in the way. We’ve made a conscious behaviour unconscious. We’ve practiced getting in our own way for so long that it has become instinctual for us to try and fix our psychology. We haven’t left our minds alone long enough for it to self-correct.

We have to practice a new habit. The habit of not doing anything about our thoughts and feelings. The habit of leaving the mind alone. When we learn to leave the mind alone, it will find it’s own way back to mental and emotional balance.

The truth is we don’t have to do anything about our minds. We don’t have to change our thinking, we don’t have to stop or try and escape from our thoughts because by doing this, we’ll just perpetuate suffering. Whatever you resist, will persist.

The only reason why people experience suffering for more than they should is because they haven’t left their minds alone long enough for nature to kick in and self-correct.

We feel our thoughts

We feel our thinking as well as our external circumstances. People say that we don’t feel the external world, we feel our thinking. In my opinion, I think we feel both.

We can have an emotional response to something external in our environment. Such as a barking dog running at us at full speed or a man jumping out at us from a dark street corner with a gun to our heads. These things happen before we have time to even think about the consequences because we have an inbuilt alarm system to deal with threat, it’s autonomic. I’m sure you’re aware of this, it’s the emotion of fear, the flight or fight response designed to keep us safe.

Below is some information about the Neuroscience of emotion I found on

Emotions, feelings, and moods

“Largely, we experience emotions in response to a specific external stimulus, but that isn’t always the case. Our thoughts can also trigger emotional responses. If our human brain conjures up a thought, or a memory, of a time we felt shame or anger for example, mammal brain can be triggered into producing a physical emotional reaction. These are feelings. Feelings are different from emotions therefore in that they can be rationalised. An emotion happens very quickly; feelings are responses to the environment combined with our thoughts, interpretations, or inner beliefs about the situation. For this reason, our feelings are more manageable than our emotions: we can question our feelings, reflect our thoughts back to ourselves and question their validity.”

So emotions happen without conscious choice, they are a response to an external stimuli, like when you watch a funny film you would laugh and feel happy. Or when there is a threat in your environment, you would automatically respond with fear as we have evolved that way.

So when there is no threat present in our environment, when there is nothing to activate the reptilian brains ‘flight or fight response’, we are just left with our thoughts and depending on how we perceive a thought, we can have an emotional response to our thoughts. So this is what I mean when I say we feel our thinking as well as having an emotional response to our external environment.

When you feel out of balance, you can check your emotions to see how you’re feeling. Because if you’re feeling unpleasant, it will probably mean that you’re having unpleasant thoughts, if there is no external threat present.

If there is an external threat present in your environment, then you will know what is causing your emotion.

But remember you don’t have to change your thoughts because when you understand that thought can cause unpleasant feelings, you can remind yourself that you’re getting caught up in your unpleasant thinking and that by getting out the way, your mind will clear itself naturally of these thoughts and thus the unpleasant feelings will go too.

We don’t really have any control over our thoughts, they come whether we want them to or not. How do I know this? Well we wouldn’t consciously ever choose to have a thought that upsets our mental balance would we? And yet unpleasant thoughts still pop up in our minds from time to time.

When you do this, you are helping your psychology or neurology as it’s referred to in this program to find it’s own way back to  balance. Nothing of you is required in terms of managing your inner state. You don’t need positive thinking, talking therapy, CBT, Meditation, Medication etc etc. In fact these are counter-productive. All of these things are of good intention but they are just not necessary as our bodies and minds are designed to reset back to balance on their own.

It’s an effortless process and is a hell of a lot easier than trying to control or manage your psychology.

The only thing required is for you to practice leaving your mind alone to it’s own devices and focusing your attention on something that diverts your attention.

The reason why it’s important that you have diversion in your life is it teaches you new behaviours. The idea is to learn the behaviour of leaving your mind alone for it to self-correct. Diversion is a surefire way for this to happen and happen much more quickly.

During times when we’re experiencing negative emotional states, we become very self-introspective and this can often block our self-correcting system. It’s like constantly picking at a scab of a cut on your body. What happens when we stop picking at the scab? We allow our bodies to heal it.

It’s the same way with the mind. If you keep getting in the way by trying to control or stop your thinking, you will be picking at the scab of your unwanted thoughts. All you have to do is leave your mind alone and focus your consciousness on the external world, preferably an activity that distracts your attention away from your habit of trying to change your inner state.

Lawrence Gregory

Hi I'm Lawrence. I write about what has helped me heal/recover from high anxiety and panic attacks. Everything I share here comes from personal experience and what I've learnt from others. I write with honesty and with readers in mind, so you'll never see me share something I haven't had any experience with myself.

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