Humans, and our brains, have evolved such that we are capable of language, something no other mammals have,” explains McLean’s Lisa W. Coyne, PhD.
“Our ability to speak, think abstractly, and reason gives us the ability to plan, problem solve, collaborate in groups, and learn indirectly, in the absence of our direct experience. For example, you might have learned not to touch a hot stove because your parents told you ‘Don’t touch, it’s hot!’”
People run into trouble when they get stuck listening to their mind solely, rather than being out in the world and noticing that sometimes the mind isn’t correct about what it thinks,” Coyne states.
The critical voice can cause people to focus solely on avoiding unwanted thoughts and to avoid situations that trigger those thoughts. This is defined as “experiential avoidance.”Approaches like acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) or acceptance-based behavior therapy can also be helpful. These methods, Coyne says, “help you change your relationship to your thoughts, such that you become more skilled at noticing them mindfully and making a space for them without reacting so that you are no longer hooked by them.”https://www.mcleanhospital.org/essential/negative-thinking