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If you've never taken the time to monitor your thoughts, go ahead and give it a try. It's estimated that your brain will produce approximately 70,000 thoughts per day. Clearly, your brain is going to think whether you're aware of it or not, and if you spend just 10 minutes monitoring your thoughts, you might be surprised by how negative you can be.
We think anything from, “Oh, why am I at work on such a beautiful day?” to “My sister hasn’t called me yet… I hope she’s ok”. Basically, we're habitually negative without even realizing it. The power of positive thinking has been studied, talked about and documented time and again. But how do we stop ourselves from thinking negative thoughts if we don’t even realize its happening?
The answer: train your brain. At one point, we trained our brains to think the way they do. The good news is that we can retrain ourselves to think positively. Here are five tips to make sure you're using your 70,000 thoughts in a positive manner:
1. Observe your thoughts.
Even if it is just for 10 minutes. After all, you can’t fix a problem you don’t know about. Once you observe your thinking, you will know where to start.
2. Choose a mantra for the day.
In the morning, decide on a mantra.You'll repeat it silently to yourself as you go about your day. Maybe it’s something as simple as “Today is beautiful” or “I'm a happy person.” Using a mantra will not only give you something positive to think about, but it also takes up time your brain might otherwise use for negative thoughts.
3. Use an app.
In today’s technologically based society, there’s an app for everything — including positive thinking. Check out apps like Louise L. Hay’s Stress-Free Life and I Can Do It 2013 calendar. Each of these apps provides an affirmation for the day.
4. Transform a negative into a positive.
All of us have one thought that dominates our mind. For some, it’s that extra 10 pounds we have been working diligently to get off. For others, finances can weigh us down. Take that main issue and turn it into an affirmation. Instead of focusing on the extra weight, say to your self, “I'm beautiful just the way I am.” No, it won’t make that pesky 10 pounds come off, but it will give you confidence and motivation.
5. Make a gratitude list.
On one of those off days, sit down with a piece of paper and come up with five things you're grateful for. Is the A/C in your car the perfect remedy for the summer heat? Are you reading a good book? Believe it or not, all these things and more are something to be grateful for. Making a gratitude list can alter your mood and keep you focused on the positive in life.