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If as humans we simply are how we think, could that thinking be the source of so much distress in our lives?

Research suggests that we humans have up to 80,000 thoughts in a single day, that 70% are negative, and 90% are repetitive.

Could that constant negative and repetitive thinking be at the core of so much stress, distress, and unhappiness in the world, in our lives.

And that’s what’s really hurting our brains?

And that might also be why the Brookings Institution has repeatedly called for the creation of a White House council on brain capital. Emphasizing that not only do better brains make for better people, but for better economies and countries.

Here’s just an excerpt of what they have to say.

“Brains are indispensable drivers of human progress. Why not invest more heavily in them? We seek to place Brain Capital at the center of a new narrative to fuel economic and societal recovery and resilience.”

“Brain challenges are jeopardizing our communities. These range from mental health to neurological and substance abuse disorders, loneliness, and now long COVID-19.”

“They result in economic hardship and are exacerbated by technology and ongoing global health crises. For example, social media platforms are driving significant increases in anxiety rates among teenagers. For others, social media is having a brain “hijacking” effect.”

“This means phones, apps, and social media, specifically designed to maximize your time using these systems by provoking mostly negative emotions, are fueling misinformation and disinformation spread. Misinformation and disinformation result in conspiracy theories, radicalization, and national security risks.”

These issues challenge our individual and collective economic productivity, and they lower our collective brain performance.

“If these brain challenges are not managed definitively, many societies will have a hard time sustaining themselves economically and socially in a cognitive skills-driven economy also known as “brain economy” that is evolving faster than we can keep up.”

“Our brains are under siege.”

“The brain economy is here to stay, and clear thinking is required to resolve the existential challenges we face. Therefore, Brain Capital should be at the heart of a systemic recovery, enabling a long-term, global, and whole-systems approach to boosting economic and societal resilience.”


More from the Brookings Institution


Combatting America’s crisis of despair by investing in brains

Build brains better: A proposal for a White House Brain Capital Council

Making well-being a policy priority: Lessons from the 2021 World Happiness Report