Our brains are hardwired for a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, where survival and reproduction relied on close relationships, both with other tribe members and with the natural environment. But the more civilised, globalised and technological life has become, the more isolated from each other and detached from nature we’ve become too.
By incorporating unnatural, abstract processes into our lives like spending time on social media, binging on synthetic highs, or doing work we’re not emotionally invested in, we’ve created a huge disconnect between the way our minds are hardwired and the way we actually live, leading to neurochemical, biological and neurological imbalances that put our mental wellbeing in jeopardy.
In an attempt to help us reconnect with the world around us, I decided to put what I've learned from 3 decades of creating content designed to change thoughts and behaviours and began creating mindFRAMEs - mind hacks to declutter your life, life hacks to declutter your mind.
What is a mindFRAME?
A mindFRAME is a 5 step, psychonomic mind map that can help to frame a particular concept, challenge or situation and create a clear and purposeful process for working through it.
What does psychonomic mean?
Just as ergonomic design relates to the working relationship between body and environment, psychonomic design relates to the working relationship between mind, body and environment.
How do mindFRAMEs work?
The aim of mindFRAMEs is to reprogram our hunter-gatherer minds to better cope with modern life and to reprogram our modern lives to be gentler on our hunter-gatherer minds. Getting this balance right can help us to think and act more intentionally and mindfully and to live a more meaningful and rewarding life .
Put simply, the brain is hardwired to progressively filter data and build useful informational systems or narratives that inform behaviour, which it does in the following way:
· Attention - Detects and selects signals, responding reflexively.
· Anticipation - Interprets and predicts signal sequences, responding impulsively.
· Appetite - Identifies and categorises sets, responding instinctively.
· Agonism - Organises schemas of sets, responding emotively.
· Agency - Consolidates and implements systems, responding narratively.
Although the conscious parts of the mind orient us towards objects, outcomes and strategies, the mind as a whole is very much process-oriented, with each core function monitoring one specific aspect of each interaction or FRAME.
So, MindFRAMEs are psychonomically designed to work through a process by giving each of these 5 brain functions a specific job to do in line with its core competency. Wherever possible and provided that doing so doesn’t corrupt the MindFRAME’s psychonomic nature and functionality, MindFRAMEs are created using apposite, easy to remember, 5 letter acronyms, where each letter represents something that relates to the corresponding brain function.
· 1st letter (Attention)
· 2nd letter (Anticipation)
· 3rd letter (Appetite)
· 4th letter (Agonism)
· 5th letter (Agency)
The benefit of this is that it helps to align different brain functions and orient them towards a singular process, helping to maintain focus and increase productivity when working towards a particular objective.
Are mindFRAMEs scientific?
The MindFRAME concept emerges from FRAME Dynamics, a new idea in philosophy of science that identifies the common connection between all scientific disciplines, but involves thinking slightly differently about the nature of the world we live in. Instead of thinking of the world as being made of objects made of smaller objects, FRAME Dynamics is predicated on the idea that there are no objects, only manifestations of interactions between systems, which are themselves manifestations of interactions between systems. In short, where conventional science tends to focus on what things are made of, FRAME Dynamics focuses on how systems interact, identifying the principles that are common to all systems and all interactions at every scale.
There will be loads of mindFRAMEs on a range of different topics both on this site and across social media, so the best way to make sure you see them is to subscribe on this site and follow me on social media.