Over the years when I’ve asked clients this question, their answers have ranged from 15 (!?) to a few hundred.
Not. Even. Close.
Your “normal” person has 60-90,000.
Now, if someone is super- stressed, over-thinking, anxious or depressed, well… double those numbers and you’re closer to how many thoughts they have.
A lot of them “negative” too I’m guessing.
Imagine trying to track, analyse, label and filter all those thoughts.
Sounds bloody exhausting right!?
But a lot of us do it!
Truth is, you do not need to do that.
There is nothing “wrong” with any of us.
Our systems are all perfectly OK…
We are all working the way we should be…given what we are experiencing at that particular moment.
The problem is our preferences.
We really don’t like having certain thoughts or feeling things we don’t want to…
We don’t know WHY we are having these “negative” thoughts, scared, anxious feelings or low moods….
So we go on a hunting trip to figure out what particular thoughts or certain events have “triggered” us…
To find the cause of our problem…and take it out!
There’s nothing wrong with our thoughts. There’s nothing wrong with thinking either.
When we are awake (conscious) during the day we’re only aware of about 10% of those thoughts…
That’s like the tip of an iceberg.
That means, 90% of them, we’re not even aware of. (Carol Vorderman would be proud of my maths skills there right!?)
Now, 100% of our feelings/felt experiences come from thought.
Every single thought, and there’s a LOT of them, has a feeling attached to it.
Now, rather than search for that single thought that caused our “problem” (Which would be like trying to find your your mate who’s wearing a black t-shirt at a Metallica concert!)
Focus on feelings instead.
Feelings are FEEDBACK. (No…not like the type you get at the concert!)
They’re the minds way of informing you, letting you know exactly the types of thoughts you’re having….and to alert you that you’re probably doing too much thinking about those thoughts!
Focusing on the feeling we get and not the tens of thousands of thoughts, allows us to check in with ourselves.
Get clarity. Regain some control.
And then TAKE ACTION to create a different feeling.
A feeling we DO like and want to feel instead.
It really is a waste of time and a lot of effort trying to analyse our own thoughts.
We all innocently do it though, I know I’m guilty of it too sometimes!
Here’s something I use when I get too lost in thought.
The 5 “R”s
* Remember: Focus on how you’re feeling
* Recognise: How are you feeling? Don’t judge it! Just acknowledge it.
* Re-Assess: What’s the current “environment” / mood? What else could “this” mean? Put things into perspective
* Re-Frame: How do I want to feel instead? What is the opposite?
* Renew Priorities: Focus on a goal, project, treat myself!
Hopefully that’ll be useful for you or someone you know...