"Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony." – Mahatma Ghandi
The power of positive thinking is talked about by many. Have you ever made a conscious effort to implement a process by which you change your thoughts each day?
Recently, I read a statistic by Jennifer Hawthorne.
“We humans, it seems, have anywhere from 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. But according to some research, as many as 98 percents of them are exactly the same as we had the day before. Talk about creatures of habit! Even more significant, 80 percent of our thoughts are negative.”
I have to say that’s a massive “spring cleaning” undertaking!
One of the strategies that work when a project is so daunting is to breakdown the overwhelming task into manageable steps and take them on one by one so here are 4 tips:
Grab a small notepad or journal and for the next week, write your negative thoughts. Here are some examples of negative thoughts:
“Why when I go to the bathroom, the toilet paper is always out?”
“I feel overwhelmed when I wake-up each day and have not even had coffee yet.”
“I am So frustrated that my teen cannot keep their room clean.”
“When did dinner become my responsibility every day?”
“Why can’t my partner, spouse or significant other…..”
“Traffic is so frustrating. why can’t people just drive?”
Do any of these resonate with you? Make sure you don’t skip this step because it is the foundation for change. We cannot change something that we are not consciously aware of the actions.
2. Organize Your Negative Thoughts
In a subconscious way, you are already aware of the routinely negative thoughts from the last 7 days. Let’s take the top 10 thoughts and divide into two categories: In My control and Out of My Control. Here is an example:
|Old Negative Thought||In My Control or Out of My Control – Rate 0-10||New Positive Thought|
|“Why when I go to the bathroom, the toilet paper is always low or out?”|| |
Out of My Control
Scale: 1 - Low
|“I am grateful to have indoor plumbing” |
I will explain that not replacing the toilet paper roll upsets me and see where that goes…
|“I feel overwhelmed when I wake-up each day and have not even had coffee yet.”||In My Control|
Scale: 9 - High
“I am grateful to wake up each day.”
I will examine why the mornings are so rough. Maybe some small changes will make a big impact.
For example: Preparing as much the night before, reviewing to-list before bed and prioritizing what’s most important…
|“Traffic is so frustrating. why can’t people just drive?”||Out of My Control|
|“I am grateful to have a job, transportation and a way to support my family.”|
We cannot control the traffic but can find ways to enjoy the ride. Be on time, listen to motivational speeches, podcasts, and audiobooks. I would suggest avoiding talking on the phone.
Move your own personal negative thoughts into positive thoughts by starting with the Top 10. It’s a great way to make you more aware of your own personal situation. Remember “Hit Delete” on the negative thoughts once you have converted them to a positive. Repeat until you feel as though this exercise is making a difference in your ability to think positively. By doing this important exercise you are creating the positive affirmations that are unique to you!
3. Add a “Time -Out “to Your Day
We are bombarded each day with a lot of information. Did you know?
“The average attention span for the notoriously ill-focused goldfish is nine seconds, but according to a new study from Microsoft Corp., people now generally lose concentration after eight seconds, highlighting the effects of an increasingly digitalized lifestyle on the brain.”
Taking time from your hectic day to refresh is vital! Maybe it’s the car ride and you sit in silence, maybe during lunch, you take a walk when the weather is pleasant or just maybe you go into your room and close your eyes for 10 minutes. Make sure to read my blogs about sleep too. A restful night will make such a difference in how you approach the next day!
4. Connect with Family and Friends
Realizing that we are not alone in our struggle to battle our negative thoughts is important. When we are with family and friends, we remind ourselves of our deep connections. We will experience various emotions like laughter, happiness and just simply having a good time. Please, please, please – leave that cellphone out of the conversation. It will show the person that you a fully present with them. Engaging in this action will bring positive energy into the relationship.
Change is not easy. We are creatures of habit. Spring cleaning can be exhausting, but necessary if you are truly looking for a change. Love to hear your thoughts – please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ll sign-out with this one last thought:
Abraham Lincoln once said, "Most folks are about as happy as they want to be."