I have been thinking about cognitive dissonance and mulling over in my mind how to put that into a post that would influence your and my behavior. My minor in college was psychology and I taught it at the high school level for a few years. It has always fascinated me how our minds can be powerful enough to heal our bodies. Our minds can also take us to hell on earth. Being a Christian, I believe our minds are where the Spirit is expressed in our lives.
Our cognitions are our thoughts, bits of information, facts, etc. As this article points out, when two of our cognitions are dissonant, such as wanting ice cream and losing weight, we try to resolve the dissonance.
Here is a very meaningful part of the article:
There are several key ways in which people attempt to overcome, or do
away with, cognitive dissonance. One is by ignoring or eliminating the
dissonant cognitions. By pretending that ice cream is not bad for me, I
can have my cake and eat it too, so to speak. Ignoring the dissonant
cognition allows us to do things we might otherwise view as wrong or
Another way to overcome cognitive dissonance is to alter the
importance (or lack thereof) of certain cognitions. By either deciding
that ice cream is extremely good (I can't do without it) or that losing
weight isn't that important (I look good anyway), the problem of
dissonance can be lessened. If one of the dissonant cognitions outweighs
the other in importance, the mind has less difficulty dealing with the
dissonance -- and the result means that I can eat my ice cream and not
feel bad about it.
Does any of this sound familiar or is this something you have overcome?
We have all fought this battle - we want to overeat or eat the wrong things and we want to lose weight. What determines the choice we make? How do we resolve this dissonance? How do we "make up our minds"? Have you ever known someone who cannot make a decision? Those people drive me nuts. In the second paragraph above the words "if one of the dissonant cognitions outweighs the other in importance" are pretty meaningful. If overeating is more important than losing weight, we will overeat. If losing weight is more important than overeating, we will not overeat.
Let's truly diss the dissonance and make up our minds to do what's most important, not what is the easiest.
Blogging has been scarce I know. We are in a terrible drought and I am going to have to have watering cans amputated from the ends of my arms for sure. I have lost so much in my yard. I lost my pink dogwood (and I was watering the durn thing). My twisty baby locust tree is brown and crispy (paid $140 for it and it was 3 years old). My red horse chestnut is also brown and crispy (paid $90 for that), and my hemlock has died (6 years old). This is in addition to the three fruit trees we had to cut down and a mimosa tree that died. My ninebark bush died as well. The lack of rain is getting pretty discouraging and we don't know how safe it is with the well. We had our well "witched" and the guy who did it said we hit an underground lake and could run a motel here so we are counting on that.
I have also been working extra but get home at 2 p.m. so that leaves time to carry water to the things that the sprinklers miss. We have bought more sprinklers and leave them stationary and take hoses to them alternating areas in the yard each day.
The kicker is I am still planting things and remodeling areas of the yard. I need my head examined don't you think? Let's see, the cognitive dissonance here would be I am sick of carrying water and I love planting things and watching them grow.