The Other 20%

So, not long ago I heard someone state this fact:

Our minds–made up of our thoughts, beliefs, and self-talk–are always “on.” According to scientists, we have about 60,000 thoughts a day. That’s one thought per second during every waking hour. No wonder we’re so tired at the end of the day!And what’s 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. Your mind is like a record player playing the same record over and over again… Talk about being stuck in a rut…Still, that wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the next statistic: for the average person, 80 percent of those habitual thoughts are negative. That means that every day most people have more than 45,000 negative thoughts… Dr. Daniel Amen, a world-renowned psychiatrist and brain imaging specialist, calls them automatic negative thoughts, or ANTs.” ~ Marci Shimoff from Happy for No Reason

I had to go back and try to find it again because I couldn’t remember exactly what the numbers were and I thought, “surely, I remembered that wrong. There’s no way that we think in negatives 80% of the time.” I don’t know how dead on this figure is, but the number is staggering. I thought about it in yoga yesterday morning because it’s something that my favorite instructor harps on every time we’re in class. “Let go of the negative and embrace your ability to just be.” He does a much more eloquent job of driving this point home, but the end result is still the same.

It’s tough to push past that negativity, and embrace the fact that you can just ‘be’. You don’t have to get it right on the first try. You don’t have to even have to get it right. It’s the being happy with the trying that’s important. Instead of dwelling on the negative side of everything – “I can’t do that. This will never work. I’m going to look silly.” – why not just do it and be happy with the act of trying? That was my moment of zen yesterday morning as I was twisted up in a heap on my mat, sweat pouring my face trying a new pose. It hit me – I AM happy right now. Happy because I’m trying. I’m trying my ass off at the moment and it seems to be working. I’m sure there are still 45,000 negative thoughts floating around in my head any given day, but I’m trying to pay attention to the other 20% – the good stuff.

Have a wonderful Thursday!

jp

show hide 3 comments

Erin Oveis Brant It seems the numbers are against us, but we do have the ability to focus on what we choose. I am with you…I’ll fight to keep my mind on the 20%, thankyouverymuch!! :) Well said, John!

wade billeisen I am going to try my hardest to make that statistic wrong. How about 80%+ and 20%- sounds like it will be a task. Why is it that we always dwell on the negative? Someone could tell us we look great, cool shoes, nice shirt and we brush it off as if it was never said. Say something negative and we brood over it for days. Seems like we are wired wrong. I am going to try a yoga pose right now, downward dog away!!!

Ashley Goodwin thank you. I needed this. Can’t wait to see everyone!

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