More and more often I find myself lost in what I call “non-thoughts” since I can never pinpoint just where my mind has been. Surely, it had to be somewhere. Right? Is it possible to have long periods of time where your mind literally has nothing on it? I don’t believe so. That being the case, how do I find out what has been keeping my mind occupied?
For instance, I will read a page or chapter of a great book that I’m really enjoying and suddenly realize that I have no clue what I’ve just read. Seems unlikely since I thought I was concentrating on the words on the page, but alas, I couldn’t have been. Right? So where was my mind? I have no conscience thought as to what had me distracted. I can be sitting at the computer or the television and suddenly become aware that I’m not watching the screen at all, I’m staring out into space. Most of those times I am only jolted back to the here and now when someone asks what I’m thinking about or one of my pets come to me. Why? What is out there that had so captured my attention?
When we were children in the classroom, this was called “daydreaming” by our teachers. Was this what was happening? Were we purposely gazing out the window and thinking of other things or was our subconscious taking over and occupying our minds? Better yet, is there a difference? Can this phenomenon be controlled so that we don’t “drift off”? If we cannot control it then why did we, as children, get in trouble when it happened in school?
I am of the opinion that the subconscious never rests and that we are only able to rest our conscious minds through sleep. That is why sleep is so very important for our mental health. However, if you are like me and millions of others, sleep is erratic and sparse at best. Getting more than 2-4 hours sleep at a time is rare. Not having the chance to enter REM sleep and truly resting our minds we over-work both our conscious and subconscious mind. What hazards lay within that I do not know but it surely cannot be healthy.
Perhaps this is the cause of many mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, phobias, not to mention stress which has a myriad of problems in itself. High blood pressure, heart attack, maybe even diabetes. So then I wonder about the drugs given to alleviate those issues. Perhaps, doctors need to look deeper and resolve their patients sleep deprivation problems and thereby eliminating the need for all those other drugs. Mind altering, mood altering, stabilizing, drugs could be stopped if only we could properly sleep. Sleeping pills aren’t the answer either. I take them and find that they provide only minimal sleep and eventually stop working altogether.
In this new world of ours, we are always plugged-in, tuned-in, and turned-on to constant information which overloads both our conscious and subconscious minds. This makes long term sleep nearly impossible. So, what is the answer? How do we, in this day and age, get the needed 8-10 hours of sleep per night without drugs?
I don’t know the answer to this, I sure hope someone does and that I can find it on the internet as I sit here and surf all night, unable to sleep.