In the News (from the Ohio State University): “Bothered by Negative, Unwanted Thoughts? Just Throw Them Away.
“If you want to get rid of unwanted, negative thoughts, try just ripping them up and tossing them in the trash.
“In a new study, researchers found that when people wrote down their thoughts on a piece of paper and then threw the paper away, they mentally discarded the thoughts as well. On the other hand, people were more likely to use their thoughts when making judgments if they first wrote them down on a piece of paper and tucked the paper in a pocket to protect it.
“’However you tag your thoughts – as trash or as worthy of protection – seems to make a difference in how you use those thoughts,’ said Richard Petty, co-author of the study and professor of psychology at Ohio State University. …
“’At some level, it can sound silly. But we found that it really works – by physically throwing away or protecting your thoughts, you influence how you end up using those thoughts. Merely imagining engaging in these actions has no effect.’
“The findings suggest that people can treat their thoughts as material, concrete objects, Petty said. That is evident in the language we use.
“But how important is the physical action of throwing these thoughts away or keeping them in your pocket? To find out, the researchers conducted a third experiment using computers. In this case, 78 Spanish college students wrote their thoughts in a computer word-processing document. Some later used a mouse to drag the file into the computer recycle bin, while others moved the file to a storage disk.
“Just as in the previous studies, participants made less use of negative thoughts that they had trashed — by dragging them to the recycle bin — than did those who saved the thoughts by transferring them to a disk.”
My Comment: The thought is not only material, it is also much stronger than any corporeal action, and in addition, it remains forever in the network of spiritual connections between us.