Why “Mad” Thoughts Can Be Completely Normal: An Uncommon Perspective

Have you ever had a sudden, bizarre thought and wondered, “Why did I think that?” or “Is something wrong with me?”

If so, you’re not alone.

In fact, these “mad” thoughts are a testament to the incredible complexity and activity of the human brain.

How Many Thoughts Does an Average Human Have Per Day?

Let’s start with a fascinating fact: An average human has between 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts per day. That’s approximately 50 thoughts per minute! With such a vast number of thoughts crossing our minds daily, it’s inevitable that some of them will seem strange, out of place, or even “mad.”

Are “Mad” Thoughts Uncommon?

No. Every healthy person might have dozens of insane or mad thoughts per day. The simple question is: Do I have to resonate with a crazy brain product – or “may” i proceed in daily business?

(The answer is: you may, and: You definitively should.)

Have you ever stood in a store and thinking about yelling at the other clients there? Or thought about kissing a random person in a bus? These are examples of what some might label as “mad” thoughts. But here’s the reassuring truth: Almost everyone has had such thoughts at some point in their lives.

Proof That Everyone Has “Mad” Thoughts

A study conducted by Harvard University found that most people have had unexpected, unwanted, and intrusive thoughts that might be considered “shocking” or “inappropriate.” These thoughts can range from violent acts to socially unacceptable behaviors. The key takeaway? Such thoughts are a common part of the human experience.

The Brain – a Non-Stop Context-Producing Organ

The brain is a marvel of evolution. It constantly processes information, makes connections, produces and tests contexts. This non-stop activity is a sign of a healthy brain. Just as the heart continuously pumps blood, the brain ceaselessly generates thoughts.

Some of these thoughts are based on experiences, some are responses to the environment, and others seem to come out of the blue.

What are Examples of “Mad” Thoughts?

“What if I shouted during a quiet moment in a meeting?”
“What would happen if I dropped my phone from this balcony?”
“What if I just started dancing in the middle of this supermarket?”

Devaluing “Mad” Thoughts: Side Effects of Normal Brain Activity

It’s essential to understand that many of these “mad” thoughts can be easily devalued as side effects of normal brain activity. They are often the result of our brain’s creative processes, playing out scenarios, or simply wandering. Just because a thought enters our mind doesn’t mean it holds any weight or reflects our true intentions or desires.

Incorporating the power of computational linguistics, researchers have developed advanced techniques, such as word embeddings and text classification methods, to analyze and understand the vast array of human thoughts and intentions. These tools can help in understanding the patterns and commonalities in our thoughts, further emphasizing that “mad” thoughts are a natural occurrence.

How to Develop a Problem: Rating a Thought as “Bad” or “Insane”

The real issue arises when a person starts to judge herself based on these thoughts. Labeling a thought as “bad,” “insane,” or “wrong” can lead to unnecessary anxiety and self-doubt. It’s crucial to differentiate between having a thought and acting on it. Remember, thoughts are just thoughts. They come and go, and most of them are harmless.

In Conclusion

Brains are wondrous, complex organs that produce a myriad of thoughts daily. While some of these thoughts might seem “mad” or out of place, they are a natural part of our cognitive processes. Instead of judging or fearing them, we should recognize them for what they are: fleeting and harmless products of our ever-active minds. If you ever find yourself troubled by your thoughts, remember that you’re not alone, and seeking professional guidance can provide clarity and peace of mind.

Sources:

Healthline – How Many Thoughts Do You Have Per Day? And Other FAQs

Psychology Today – Understanding Intrusive Thoughts

Fairbrother, N., & Woody, S. R. (2008). New mothers’ thoughts of harm related to the newborn. Arch Women Mental Health, 11, 221-229.