It most likely isn’t exactly the norm for us to “think” about “thinking.”
Thinking just happens . . . scientists say that on average, we have between 50,000 and 70,000 thoughts per day. Of those thoughts, approximately 80% are negative.
You may think, “No! I’m not negative . . . in fact, I’m one of the most positive people I know!”
Prior to doing research for this message, I would have said overall, that I’m generally a positive person. Sure, there are things that bother me. But they have to be pretty BIG things!
If I feel disrespected, like I’m being treated unfairly, or if I am lied to, my hair stands on end. Or even if multiple negative things happen to me all in one day, sometimes that pushes my buttons and I experience significant negativity.
But other than those things, I’m pretty “happy go lucky.”
Traffic on 77 and 150 doesn’t generally make my blood pressure rise.
The Chick Fil A line that stretches from the Chick Fil A at Exit 36 all the way to the Virginia/NC border also doesn’t bother me.
So this doesn’t apply to me, right? (Maybe that is what you thought when you read that we have approximately 50k – 70,000 negative thoughts per day.
Scientific research shows that whether we want to admit it or not, we have a negativity bias.
Because of the ways our brains evolved, research shows that our brains react much more strongly to negative experiences than positive ones. Initially, back in the caveman days, it kept us safe from danger. But since we aren’t roaming the countryside having to kill our dinner with bow and arrow, we don’t need that same instinct and defense mechanism that we once did.
Over the past week particularly, I started paying attention to my thoughts, and guess what? They are right! Even if I think about something quick, like, riding to work, I find that my thought is negative instead of positive.
“I should have left home sooner.”
“I have too much work to do to get finished by when I want to. . .”
You get the picture!
As we talk through the power of positivity this week, let’s first start with recognizing that we probably are not as positive as we’d like to be. And that affects everything from our physical health, our mental well-being, our relationships, truly – just about everything.
Catch yourself today.
Watch your thoughts. Be intentional about what you are thinking! Awareness is the first step in transformation.