DfE approved Senior Mental Health Lead Training AVAILABLE

Infinite Thinking

Did you know? 

Not knowing everything is part of being human. Think about the question: ‘What is the biggest number?’. Depending who you ask, you will get a lot of answers to that question. A young child may answer 10, or 100 or 1000 depending on their age and stage of development. An adult is more likely to look perplexed and think about it. Some may answer ‘googolplex’ or ‘Graham’s Number’ or another famous big number. The answer is, there is no biggest number as we can always add one. The same can be said for our feelings. There is no end state… we can always add (or take something away) to change how we feel. Staying curious is key. 

Seek Out 

The concept of the universe being infinite opens up a whole host of opportunities to find wonder. When we look outside of ourselves, we sometimes find that our own feelings of fear or self-doubt can minimise. One experiment found that the following were most likely to trigger wonder and awe (in this order): 

  • Natural scenery
  • Great skill
  • A religious experience
  • Great virtue
  • Buildings or monuments
  • Inspirational leaders
  • Great ideas
  • Music
  • Art 

 Yaden, D.B. et al (2018) ‘The development of the awe experience scale: a multifactoral measure for a complex emotion’.

Add in

Sometimes our current situation may be improved by adding something to it. That may be in the form of another person or another thing. For example, we may be spending too much time alone and need to reach out for connection or we may benefit from adding an extra glass of water or an extra hour of sleep. If we are feeling particularly low, the rule of three can work well: try to do three things in quick succession that bring about pleasant feelings and nourish you. For instance, walk in nature and then complete a gratitude journal and then have a relaxing bath or shower. 

Take Away 

We live in a world where there is ever more on offer: more types of food, more clothes in fashion, more places we can live, more experiences we can have, more people we can meet, more technology we can use. Sometimes the choices can be overwhelming and bring on decision fatigue. In these cases it might be that our lives would benefit from taking something away rather than adding something in. Ask yourself ‘what could I take away that would improve my day to day life?’. It could be some clutter, a belief about yourself or others, a social media app etc. Just because things exist, doesn’t mean we have to engage with them.