kNOW your Mind – Thoughtful Thoughts and Relevant Reminiscing
kNOW Your Mind‘ Series: Thoughtful Thoughts and Relevant Reminiscing.
Welcome to the second blog in the ‘kNOW Your Mind‘ Series: Thoughtful Thoughts and Relevant Reminiscing.
So happy to have you here, giving yourself some precious positivity time. You deserve it.
In my previous blog here I mentioned how we can repeat up to 98% of our thoughts from the day before.
This is wonderful if life is working. NOT so much if we are miserable.
This blog explores the number of thoughts we have every day and how many of them might be VERY unhelpful. I don’t want to be all negative or anything but you’re about to see we tend to tip the negative way.
I will also explain how Knowing your Mind through Thoughtful Thoughts and Relevant Reminiscing can be key to changing our negativity bias.
Awareness is everything
Apparently we have between 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. It’s true. You can look it up. There is some variation in that figure but in general this is about the consensus.
It is also estimated we have approximately five negative thoughts for a single positive thought. That’s far from a perfect balance. So we are starting from a negativity bias driven by our primitive brain – not good huh? (opps there’s another one). If we base our math on the 60,000 thoughts per day figure, this would mean we have 50,000 negative thoughts and only 10,000 positive ones.
Just a leeeeetle lop sided right!
Most of us would elect for a little bit more weight on the positive side of the scale yes?
I want to show you how insidious and silly this negative thinking can be.
Here is a tiny sample of some of my negative and repetitive thoughts and the corresponding emotions just from the last hour.
“WHAT? Laundry again? I’m so sick of this!” – Frustration
“I have to wash the dishes already???” – Irritation
“OMGeepers the dog has thrown up – why is she even inside???” – RANT, RAVE, BLAME, WHINGE.
‘What on earth am I thinking? I can’t possibly make a positive difference in anyone else life’ –
Not pretty. In fact it’s shallow, time wasting, redundant and self defeating. Not only that, negative thinking has far more impact that just feeling lousy and rolling around in the emotion of it. Over time and with increased levels of stress associated with this way of operating, all the systems in our body are effected which impacts every aspect of our health and well-being. This also creates more and more pressure. We actually decrease the production of ‘happy hormones’ when we are stressed that are needed to experience positivity and create some semblance of balance.
The negativity cycle continues to expand and thrive and we are addicted
Perversely we can become addicted to the negativity because the hormones released into our system associated with stress (adrenaline and cortisol) are highly addictive. And so it grows. Which is pretty scary when we know how the negativity bias doesn’t help us grow beyond our primitive brain.
Oh, I almost forgot to include the one positive thought in my addiction to the negative!
“WOW Linda, you did a great job today. – HAPPINESS”
RANT, RAVE, MOAN, WHINGE
Did you notice with the negative thoughts above the additional negative energy lumped on the end? (RANT, RAVE, MOAN, WHINGE). Our negative thoughts tend to last longer and be stronger.
In contrast with the positive thought, there was just the one positive add on (HAPPINESS). Although this is a powerful feeling, without practice it can easily be derailed and the negative cycle begins again.
So what can we do to interrupt this bias?
Well, I choose to think of all 60,000 possible thoughts as OPPORTUNITIES.
That’s right the more we pay attention to what we are actually thinking the more opportunities we have to change it.
My favourite method is this.
I notice I am having a negative thought (or five).
Address the thought directly, like a friend who has breached an agreed upon boundary and say “thank you for coming you can leave now”.
Simple. But highly effective. If you practice it.
Additionally when I notice positive thinking I spend time in it. I deliberately roll around in it a little and really flesh it out by contemplating all the things I did to reach the culminating thought. I make it last and I actively reminisce about that thought and that positive feeling as often as I can.
I call this relevant reminiscing because positivity is what I wish to cultivate in my thinking. You get what you focus on.
I practice my positive thoughts and feelings to make them stronger. I chemically hack my neurology with intention so that it builds stronger connections to the positive, releasing a greater amount of positive hormones, strengthening my entire system and reconfiguring my brain the way I choose it to be.
And you can to. It’s just a choice to lead your thinking rather than be led by it. It’s a thoughtful choice.
Happy positive thought cultivation Explorer.
Dr Linda Wilson is a Mindflow Mentor, Author and Presenter. From neuroscience to energy psychology, habits change to emotional management – let’s have a chat about you, your team or your business. Are you looking to find your way through, around or over something? Are you in need of a course correction and need support. Make a time to #connect firstname.lastname@example.org
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