“According to scientists, we have about 60,000 thoughts a day. That’s one thought per second during every waking hour….And what is even more startling is that of those 60,000 thoughts, 95 percent are the same thoughts you had yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that….and for the average person, 80 percent of these habitual thoughts are negative. That means that every day most people have more than 45,000 negative thoughts….” from Happy for No Reason by Marci Shimoff. Amazing book by the way – very much recommend it!
Usually when a new client comes to me, I start the process by helping my clients recognize that thoughts are habits – a habit that often holds us back. I help them see what their thought processes are, or see their habitual patterns of thought and they they are not their thoughts – meaning they do not have to believe the thoughts that they think. The brain is a complex organ and responds to both external and internal stimuli to generate thought.
What I see really often in women is that we engage with each and every thought that we think. Every random thought that pops in our head we give time and energy to – believing in the truthfulness of what our brain is generating.
People feel insanely liberated when they realize they have choice – literally a choice of what they wish to think. In every moment, there are always more than 1 choice on how to interpret what is happening in your life. Let’s take an example from my life….
It is 5pm and the kids are home from kindergarten and school and mama is in the kitchen, at the stove, trying desperately to get dinner on the table without stomping on the little one who has attached himself to my pant leg…the stress of it all, my biological reaction to his crying sends me off the deep end – thoughts like,” I don’t want to be here”, “God, why does he have to be late again from work today”, and “Just make them stop”! are fighting for space in my head.
Until I stopped…
And realized that I had a choice. What do I want more of in this moment? Harmony, peace, quiet…I start thinking thoughts that resonate with these feelings. “It’s ok, this too shall pass..”, “I am sure he is right around the corner”, “I can’t wait to feel my lovelies, so they will be happy and balanced again”.
My energy shifts right away…and soon after this energy reaches the little ones, and they miraculously calm down too. Soon after, Daddy walks in the door and we all sit down to a lovely family dinner.
What we, as a society, as a people, don’t realize is that our reality is SOLELY based on how we think, and the emotional charge behind these thoughts. Read this article for the scientific evidence for this – How do Thoughts Create Reality by Debbie Friedman, M.S., C.Ht.
You know, I know people that strongly defend their right to be miserable. They fight for their right to be “realistic” when that only involves for example, being scared to walk out of your house, fearful about how much money they are loosing, and afraid to travel…They fight for their right to keep their bad habits “Hey, I am going to die someday anyway, why should I stop smoking!?” Why do people want to be miserable? I don’t think they do, I just don’t think people know that feeling happy or other really awesome feelings (bliss, joy, contentment, connection) on a consistent basis is so extremely possible and achievable. We are not taught these skills – we don’t actually know that this is even an option.
Those are large scale examples, but how can we want greater happiness, less stress, happier relationships, more money, better health, etc..and not realize that our thoughts have a key role in whether we get these things or not. Our thoughts will ultimately fuel our desires or hold us back from them.
We HAVE to take the plunge and start contemplating this concept if we say we want life to be filled with more pleasure – and it can be filled with SO much pleasure! The problem that you may be sitting there considering is HOW do I get started?
In this post, I am going to start you on this process of claiming the wheel of our mind – step 1. In my next post, I will continue the process, and provide you with step 2.
Begin getting used to this practice by meditating each day. Just 5 minutes of basic meditation, will allow you to get to know the process of noticing your thoughts.
As you understand more fully what this means and get better doing it during your meditations, begin noticing your waking thoughts throughout the day. To do this you may want to, as you wake in the morning, consciously set the intention to notice your thoughts throughout the day or you can write a short message on a post-it note and hang them throughout the house (I am the observer of my thoughts!).
Begin writing these reoccurring thoughts in a journal. Becoming aware of these habitual negative thoughts is the start of doing something about them!
Spend some time on this – at least 2 weeks and look out for Step 2 – to be posted soon!