‘We humans, it seems, have anywhere from 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. But according to some research, as many as 98 percent of them are exactly the same as we had the day before. Talk about creatures of habit! Even more significant, 80 percent of our thoughts are negative.’ ~ Jennifer Read Hawthorne
I was shopping last night when I approached an aisle where a girl was talking to herself. She was stocking shelves and I wasn’t sure if she was making small talk with me as I passed or voicing her thoughts out loud. She seemed agitated and was saying how she must be crazy because she was sure it was right in front of her. I smiled as I passed.
There were so many things this week where I became more evidently aware of the things we say in our heads (and sometimes voice out loud). I watched the movie, ‘What Women Want’ last weekend, where, as a result of a mishap, a man was able to hear the thoughts of all the women around him. It first drove him crazy, until he was able to use this situation to his advantage.
With the tens of thousands of thoughts that apparently pop into our heads, every single day, it is no wonder we say some of them out loud. The thing that concerns me; however, is how often the thoughts are toxic, self-defeating and derailing.
Let’s take, for instance, an individual who is looking for work. The task is gruelling, at the best of times, but it wears on your spirit, your energy and your optimism, especially when the process drags on. Over time, you will hear people say how there are no jobs available, how this city sucks, how no wonder people move away.
Although there is a lot of validity in those statements, the thoughts, words or phrases actually cause the person to feel physically drained and they end up stressed, frustrated or hopeless.
The problem is that this vicious cycle ends up creating our reality because we create an energy field around us that are like a bubble, holding in all of our thoughts, words and phrases. Could you imagine if everything we thought was visible to people around us?
Are we carrying a bubble that is nasty, toxic, negative and dark? Are we filled with thoughts that are poisoning our mind, our body and our opportunities? Who wants to be near a person who carries this kind of energy? Unfortunately, this energy can be felt by others, whether intentional or not.
Carrying a toxic bubble around you is like being in a room with pepper spray in the air. Trust me, you don’t want to see what comes out of every orifice of your body when you inhale that stuff!
Studies have shown that even looking at negative images has a physiological impact on our bodies. The impact of thoughts and words can be even more detrimental than that.
So, what do we do about it?
At a conference I attended in California with speaker, Mark Victor Hansen, who is the co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul empire, he handed out printed elastics to put on our wrists. He advised to snap the elastic every time who have a negative thought and then reword it, in our head, to something more productive.
For instance, if you think, ‘I look so fat in these pants’, you are more likely to sit down with chocolate or ice cream and drown your sorrows. Instead, you can snap the elastic and replace it with, ‘I am in the process of getting healthier and I will get outside for some fresh air today’.
Another common phrase might be, ‘I hate my job’. We can snap the elastic and replace it with, ‘I will head to the job centre this afternoon or research upgrading my education or skills to get the job I really want’.
Words can change our energy and allow us to refocus our attention on something that is more empowering. I know that it is tough to get out for a walk when I am beating myself up over extra pounds or why I have to eat so much. Instead, when we need to getting moving on something we joke, ‘Get our butt off the couch and the rest will follow’.
We laugh every time we say that and then proceed to do what we have to do. Switching up our thoughts and words can switch up our lives. Imagine that there is a device recording every thought that you think and word that you say. What would that recording sound like?
I find that the other key step of changing our thoughts and words, is gratitude. If you can list the things that are good around you, you will find your energy will shift. Fill your bubble with those thoughts and watch what starts to happen in your life.
By the way, I have a whole bag of elastics, if you need one…
‘You control your future, your destiny. What you think about comes about. Put your future in good hands – your own.’ ~ Mark Victor Hansen