Did you know that we are naturally wired to think negatively and it’s perfectly normal to have negative thoughts? Yes, negative thinking is a human survival strategy that we use to protect ourselves from danger by looking for what is wrong so we can be ready to defend ourselves.
There is still some debate as to exactly how many thoughts the average person has in one day, but it’s estimated that it is well into the tens of thousands, and that the majority of our thoughts (up to 80 percent) are negative. Does that amount of negativity seem extraordinarily high? Not if you listen to the inner chatter that goes on in our heads.
Your inner voice
When you look into the mirror, do you say to yourself, “Wow, you look amazing today. You have a sparkle in your eye, and your hair looks great!” Ha! It’s more likely that you notice the things that you don’t like such as the wrinkles and extra fat.
We naturally notice what’s wrong. We hope the negative doesn’t happen, and we dwell on what is not right, or not working for us.
Since our thoughts create our reality, moving towards a more positive reality does not mean we eliminate negative thoughts, as many may think. Here is the strategy for creating more positivity in your life:
Keep negative thoughts
People often tell me “I have to stop thinking so negatively,” and yet no one can be successful at it because negative thoughts are a normal part of day-to-day human function. The more you try to stop your negative thinking, the stronger your negative bias becomes. Eckhart Tolle said, “Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist persists.”
Accept all thoughts
Instead, accept that it’s normal to have negative thoughts and that your thoughts are just thoughts. The key is to distance yourself from your thoughts by seeing your mind as simply a tool that is generating these thoughts.
So the next time you notice a negative thought pop up, don’t judge it, accept it.
Balance negative thoughts
Then immediately look for something positive to balance it with.
For example, when you notice you are judging your wrinkles as bad, add the thought about how it’s a sign of all the wisdom you’ve gained.
When you think how awful it is to have sore knees, balance it with the fact that you can still walk and not depend on others.
When you have the thought about the rainy weather, add the thought that it’s good you have an umbrella.
Find something positive about the negative. This will help your brain create more positive neural pathways. Before you know it, a more positive reality about your life your life and more happiness will emerge.
Alice Inoue is the founder of Happiness U. Visit yourhappinessu.com.