The average person processes between 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts per day (according to the National Science Foundation). That’s 35 to 48 thoughts per minute. Unfortunately, for most, those thoughts may not be focused on what’s truly important. Many of our thoughts involve worry, negativity, doubt, criticism, guilt, pride, complaint, comparison and just plain nonsense.
Thoughts are not isolated to our mind alone. Attached to each of our thoughts are feelings. Anxiety. Anger. Worry. Hopelessness. Judgement. Gratitude. Anticipation. Fear. Resentment. Love. Happiness. Etc. Fifty-thousand positive or negative, productive or useless, creative or logical, exciting or disappointing thoughts are filling your mind, per day, while a tsunami of feelings are flooding your heart right along with them.
You have the ability to choose your thoughts and in doing so, steer your emotions which eventually, lead to decisions that ultimately direct your life’s path. When your thoughts are thankful, you feel blessed. When you feel blessed, you are more likely to bless others. When your outlook is positive you feel hopeful and that hopefulness trickles over to others in the form of encouragement and kindness. When you are willing to release anger, guilt, pride and judgement you feel a sense of freedom and relief. That freedom allows growth, risk, teach-ability and possibility. Your thoughts and feelings guide your decision making. Your decisions determine the direction of your life.
Even the authors of ancient scripture knew the value of positive thinking when they wrote, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. (And to) think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (Ephesians 4:8) For mental and emotional peace, we must think on the good stuff because filtering the mind’s thoughts also guards the heart’s emotions which ultimately determine our life’s general direction.
Toxic thoughts, critical judgements, suspicious attitudes, negative outlooks, selfish pity, presumptuous entitlement and vain imaginations poison a pure heart and contaminate the atmosphere of your mind. Rethink your thoughts. Choose what you dwell on. View negativity like a disease trying to infiltrate your life, having the potential to slowly deteriorate the quality of your mental and emotional health. Avoid negativity like you would any cancer causing habit or contagious flu-like germ which holds the power to take your life through undesirable detours.
Change the critical self-talk your inner voice echoes. Recognize your mind’s default pattern. Release the thoughts that make you (or your view of others) feel unworthy, incapable, fearful, angry, inferior or rejected. Replace them with a teachable, humble, open-minded and thankful spirit.
Joyful and gracious living begins with sincere positive thinking, deeply rooted in gratitude, praise and purpose. Pay attention to your mind’s traffic. Bumper to bumper negativity leads to frustration and unhappiness. Always remember that you are in control of the atmosphere of your mind, the direction of your outlook and the measure of lighthearted living you experience, regardless of outer circumstances. Your positive thinking may not have the power to bring about world peace, but your personal peace-of-mind is a valuable treasure in the midst of whatever this world delivers.
Replace your negative thoughts and you’ll rejuvenate your emotions. That positive combination of thoughts and feelings, leads to better decision-making, which ultimately fills your own life, and the lives of those around you, with greater hope and happiness.