What you will find in this article
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Did you know that a study published in the journal “Frontiers in Psychology” in 2014*, found that most people have an average of around 50,000 thoughts per day? The study also found that approximately 80% of these thoughts are negative and repetitive, and 95% are the same thoughts as the day before.
Think about it for a second. Is this also true for you? And be honest with yourself. Because most likely you are among the people in this group. Just like almost everyone else.
It’s Time For a Mind Upgrade!
By the end of this article, you will understand exactly what you need to do to elevate your mind and maximize your mental strength. I will show you a step-by-step method that will enable you to take full control of your thoughts, direct, and re-direct them so you can become a much more efficient thinker and create a more positive and empowering mental environment that will allow you to, first of all, have a much more satisfying and meaningful perception of your life, and second, to create a new and more enjoyable physical experience in your external world.
The Impact of Your Thought Patterns
Before we dig into how to take ownership of your mind it’s important to understand why so far it has been so difficult to make and establish changes and improvements in your life. It’s very simple. Let’s say you are the average person, thinking 50,000 thoughts per day. If 95% of those thoughts are the same as the day before that means you are repeating 47,500 thoughts day after day after day. And you only have 2,500 new thoughts that could lead your life in a new direction. What would happen if you were able to change the ratio between the two?
And what would happen to those 40,000 negative thoughts you think every single day? What if you were able to have more positive than negative thoughts? How would that impact your life?
And listen, this has nothing to do with the law of attraction. It’s just common sense. When you think more new thoughts, you’re much more likely to become inspired, curious, energized, and motivated to undertake new things to explore those new thoughts and put them into practice in real life. Only doing that, will already provide you with new experiences in your physical external world.
The same goes for negative versus positive thoughts. The more positive thoughts you have the more your energy changes, the more attractive you become to other people, and the more risk you are willing to take because you believe in a favorable outcome. And of course, your experience of life itself will be much more pleasant. I hope that speaks for itself.
Maximizing Your Mental Strength
So, where do you start? How do you change a habit of negative and repetitive thoughts into one of new and positive thoughts? Do you do positive affirmations? Do you visualize your dreams? Make a vision board? Write down your biggest desires and burn the paper at full moon?
You can try… and then come back to this article half a year from now because you’re still living the same life, day in and day out. Or you can start to understand that your mental health and strength take a little bit more work than that.
It’s time to realize the only way you can change your thoughts is to take full ownership and responsibility for them. Understand they are yours. They will never change through an event that happens in your external world. The change needs to come from within. You can do a thousand positive affirmations every single day. But if you don’t believe in them, you’re only reinforcing your negative thoughts. When you have a positive mindset, you don’t need to do affirmations. You become an affirmation.
Step 1. Make Space in Your Mind
For most people, the jump from having a negative mindset to a positive one is way too big. You can fake thoughts but you cannot fake beliefs. So, even when you think positive words in your mind, when the belief behind those words is negative, it’s still a negative thought. And it still contributes to your negative mindset.
Instead of forcing yourself into a seemingly positive state of mind, make space in your mind. What if, instead of 50,000 thoughts per day you would only have 30,000? Even if you would still have 80% of negative thoughts, you would have 16,000 fewer negative thoughts than before. You can see how that will eventually create space to consciously fill those empty spaces with positive thoughts.
How do you create that space?
Meditation. Observing your mind. Observing your thoughts. Sit with them. Let them pass. Don’t play with them. Don’t engage with them. Just let them be.
This will also reduce the number of repetitive thoughts. Because repetitive thoughts usually come from your active engagement with your unconscious thoughts, consciously repeating the same energetical thought patterns over and over again.
Start dedicating at least 10 to 15 minutes a day to the creation of mental space. Do this for at least a week or two, and you will inevitably notice how you feel more peaceful, calm, and in control of your thoughts and emotions.
Step 2. Cultivate a Positive Mindset
Once you’re in that more calm and peaceful state of mind, you’ll notice that, most likely, the proportion of negative versus positive thoughts is much closer to fifty-fifty, or maybe the balance is in favor of the positive thoughts by now.
This is when you can do two things to cultivate a permanent positive mindset. You can either simply continue to add time to your daily meditation practice. Instead of 15 minutes, try to extend it to 20 or 30 minutes. Continue to create more and more space between your thoughts. Engage less and less with them and simply enjoy the bliss of what is also called “the gap”, pointing at the gap between thoughts. A void where you momentarily return to having a blank canvas of thoughts, or non-thoughts, like when you were a child.
The other thing you can do is deliberately introduce positive thoughts into the space you have created for yourself. I don’t recommend doing this while you meditate. You should keep your time of meditation and the creation of mental space separate.
Meditation should be your daily practice. It should be one of the main priorities in your everyday life. Because it’s the foundation for a well-balanced and positive mind.
And when you have time and feel like it, start exploring your beliefs. How have they shifted from before, when you were not meditating and did not have space between your thoughts at all? Stop as soon as you encounter a negative belief. And once you’ve confirmed the transformation of your beliefs you will notice you do not need to consciously think positive thoughts anymore. They have now become an unconscious habit. No need for positive affirmations, because you have become a positive affirmation.
Step 3. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
The third step is the best, just repeat this process. Make meditation one of the core necessities in your life, just like breathing, drinking, eating, sleeping, and exercising. Never skip a day, you now know how fundamental this practice is and how it can impact your life and the life of the people around you in such a positive way.
Don’t believe it? Or have trouble putting it into practice? Reach out to me through the contact page or book a coaching session with me directly and I’ll support you on your journey and we’ll get you right on track toward a more enjoyable and peaceful existence.
*The Nature and Function of Self-Referential Thinking” by Dan Ariely and Klaus Wertenbroch published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology in 2014