“Be vigilant: guard your mind against negative thoughts.” -Buddha
It took me 82 days at the beginning of this positivity quest to stop having my negative words and thoughts control me. I had no idea when I began how many negative thoughts I was even having in a day, but I did a little research. Humans have on average between 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts per day, or approximately a new thought every 1.2 seconds. Other research has suggested that for many people 80% of these thoughts are negative.
This seems a little unbelievable at first glance, but truly spend one day watching and you will be surprised. Actually just read the newspaper or watch the news and the statistics will find their factual basis. The miracle in this is that you can turn this bad thinking habit around with a commitment to do so and a vigilant practice to eradicate these thoughts.
During my study I found the wristband technique, which helped me ground the practice in the physical world. Choose a bracelet or wristband that is inspiring and that you can actually feel/notice when you wear it. Each time you have a negative thought you move the bracelet to the other arm. It may seem like a few days that might be all you are doing.
I am a walking testimonial to the success of this technique. Start watching what you say to others. This is the first level of getting rid of negativity. You will be amazed at the impact this one practice has on all your relationships. The more challenging practice is bringing the elimination of negativity internal to how you talk to yourself.
Negative self talk can be so insidious that you don’t even see it coming. Truly as amazing as it is to change your thoughts with others, it is even more profound on yourself. Getting rid of the onslaught of negative self talk gives the positive thoughts a chance to grow and thrive. A single positive intention can wipe out hundreds of negative ideas but often the positive thought is not given the chance to take hold.
The Dalai Lama summed it up like this: “Basically we are all the same human beings with the same potential to be a good human being or a bad human being… The important thing is to realize the positive side and try to increase that: realize the negative side and try to reduce. That’s the way.” Life potential is waiting just beyond the negativity that is nothing more than a bad thinking habit.