Change your thoughts to change your life

How many thoughts do you think you have each day: 100? 1,000? 15,000?
I was astounded to find that some researchers say we have up to 60,000 thoughts every day.
This means we have more than 40 thoughts every minute!
And more important, people who study the brain say up to 80 percent of the average person’s thoughts are negative.
Even worse, up to 90 percent of our thoughts are the same ones that we had yesterday and the day before—leaving little room for new and challenging thoughts.
Imagine 40 thoughts every minute, and 80 percent of them negative. That’s 32 negative thoughts a minute!
And 90 percent of those negative thoughts are the same ones you had yesterday.
The math is staggering. When you multiply the 32 negative thoughts you have every minute by 90 percent, that equals 28.8 negative thoughts a minute–the same thoughts you had yesterday.
Does this mean we’re stuck with those same old negative thoughts for life?
If the researchers are right, it’s amazing that we can function at all!
So after reading these statistics and remembering what author Earl Nightingale says, “You become what you think about,” I decided to consciously notice my thoughts for a few days.
Fortunately, I had many positive thoughts. For instance, I felt good when I thought about my wonderful dad who died 51 years ago. And I smiled every time I thought about our fun-loving “girls,” Amber and Nina.
But when I remembered the hurtful things people said last week or last year, I had negative thoughts. The same was true when I worried that I didn’t say the right thing, or when I read the news online and felt powerless.
Not only mental health, but physical health is at stake with too much negativity.
So what can we do to increase our percentage of positive thoughts?
In the first place, surround yourself with positive people. Keith Harrell says, “You don’t have to let what others say affect you negatively. Others may say the words, but you choose your attitude.”
That’s true, but it’s easier if you surround yourself with positive people and situations.
In the second place, check your thoughts. Begin with one day and consciously notice your thoughts.
Especially notice your negative thoughts. Are they the same thoughts you’ve had for weeks or even for years?
If so, it’s up to you to replace them with positive thoughts. Thoughts that make you smile and feel good inside.
Lecturer and best-selling author Louise Hay says, “The thoughts you choose to think and believe right now are creating your future. These thoughts form your experiences tomorrow, next week.”
In order to ensure a good future, Hay recommends positive affirmations. She says affirmations are like little reminder notes to the inner-self.
Some sample affirmations are: “The more love I use and give, the more I have to give,” “I love myself, therefore I take care of my body,” and “I see beauty in my surroundings.”
Try choosing a positive affirmation to focus on for a day. Every time you notice a negative thought, replace it with your daily affirmation.
Remember, the only way to change your life is to change your thoughts.
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at or visit

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