Research on mindfulness has shown that the average person has 12,000 – 60,000 thoughts a day, 95% are the same as yesterday but more staggering is 80% are negative. Therefore, based on this data we have on average 3.5 – 17.5 Million negative thoughts per year!! NO F’ING JOKE. Who wants to live like that?
Self-Care Hack #22
Notice when you are stuck in negative thoughts. The first step is awareness. This can come from getting quiet and just witnessing your thoughts. Just notice without judgement, as the witness. As you continue to practice this, you will start to be able to change your relationship to your thoughts. Ask yourself which ones you would like to entertain (choose the positive ones) and which ones you want to let just go by without getting caught up in them or waste time and energy on them (these should be the negative thoughts). When Elizabeth Gilbert said in Eat Pray Love that you can choose your thoughts, I thought she was crazy. And then I started giving it a try.
Another helpful practice is to reframe the negative to a positive. I like to look for the lesson learned, the opportunity that might be presenting itself. I also ask myself, is this really what I think or has this negativity been handed down or passed onto me?
One of my favorite exercises is about reframing the “What If’s”. Write down your 3 most thought of “What If” statements. Then re-write them again with a positive outcome. For example. Change “What if I don’t get that new job I am applying for?” to “What if I not only get that job offer but they offer me twice the salary I desired plus the opportunity to work from home!” You get the idea!
Ditching the negative is a big self-care tip. It does nothing for you to focus on the negative or to be unkind to yourself, even if it is just in your head.