Following up on choosing my thoughts wisely, I read that a study in 2020 by a New Zealand research group found the average person has more than 6,200 thoughts every day.* Other research studies have noted that of the thoughts we have, from daydreaming about dinner to having an itch on your nose, a high percentage are negative.
Crazy to imagine that so many of our thoughts can be the same every day and many are negative. We can thank our egos for using negativity to protect us yet imagine how embedded these become. Yet negative thoughts can cause your motivation to slump.
“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.” Mahatma Gandhi**
Makes sense that we are what we think. The key becomes focusing on the good thoughts and neutralizing any repetitive, negative ones.
Try This: In a Slump? Time for a Thought Dump
Sometimes it's hard to get rid of negative thoughts and focus on positive, forward focused ones. Once you recognize you need to dump some negativity to open up your motivation, try this exercise:
- Quiet Place - Turn off distractions and sit in a comfortable chair.
- Pen and paper - With a notepad ready, create two columns. One labeled Down and the other Up.
- Candle - Light a favorite scented one or use a small tealight.
- Timer Starts - Set it for 10 minutes.
- Write - In the Down column jot down thoughts that are stressing you or making you feel at risk. In the Up column, put a positive thought across from each of those negative items.
- Timer Dings - Put your pen down and review the two columns for a few minutes.
- Toss - Crumple up the paper and dump it in the trash.
It's fun to let go of old beliefs that are no longer relevant. These tend to hang on in your psyche because they have become stuck in your more than 6,000 thoughts today.
*New Zealand study, https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/lifestyle/2020/07/new-study-reveals-just-how-many-thoughts-we-have-each-day.html
*Gandhi quote, https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/mahatma_gandhi_125863