All Those Thoughts…

A new study suggests that we have over 6000 thoughts a day and other researchers believe they are the same ones we had yesterday.  Our minds are incessant with ideas and can lead to a life like a larvae stuck in our cocoon, unable to connect to the rest of the world.

To worsen the situation, many of our thoughts are driven by the negativity bias, which means that we are overly focused on making sure bad things don’t happen.

Let’s try a little thought experiment to see if we can remedy that situation.

I am going to ask you to reflect on two words. The first word is “anxiety.” Go ahead and mentally repeat that word to yourself and notice what happens in your head and to your body.

YES, GO AHEAD AND ACTUALLY DO THAT!

Thank you. Now go ahead and shake off that anxiety and let’s place the word“joy flow through your head.

YES, GO AHEAD AND ACTUALLY DO THAT!

What happens to you when you let joy flow through your body.

When I did this exercise, I noticed that I felt tension when I thought about anxiety (I “think” I have a lot to be anxious about, but I really don’t) and I felt ease and even a little delight when I allowed joy to be front and center. I thought of some of the simple things in my life that help me experience happiness.

Our thoughts are a kind of augmented reality. They contain some truth but not usually the whole truth. We fill in gaps and those are often negative. When we look for silver linings, reframing negatives into positives, and reject unfair perspectives, we discover gifts that change our perspective and strengthen our resilience

Being in a cocoon is a nice place to be because it is safe and secure. We must emerge sometime and when we do, we get to be butterflies.

© Richard Citrin 2022

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