According to research we have 60k thoughts per day and 95% of these thoughts are just the same day to day. What’s interesting is around 80% of those thoughts are negative. I was reading a book by Dr. Daniel Amen, called these Automatic Negative Thoughts meaning we’re building habits or routine they automatically become negative thoughts. It means that over time you’ve built in little consistent patterns of always seeing what’s wrong in a situation. Always identifying what you don’t like about what’s going on. These negative thoughts keep you from doing what you want and slow you down.
How do you change that?
How do you change your automatic negative thought to automatic positive thought?
What are the benefits to this? If you are always looking what’s wrong in your life, what you focus on is what you feel. What you focus on is also what you move towards. How do I know that? When I went to racing school, they teach you wherever you focus on is where you go. If you’re driving a car 160–180 mph around the track and you start staring at the wall, you’re going to find your car drifting towards the wall. Usually someone in your ears is going to say, “Hey focus!” It’s a very simple thing but in life when you find yourself thinking about goal and goal and goal, you will find yourself moving closer towards that.
How to build your optimism muscle, let’s go to Dr. Martin Seligman (one of the forefathers of Happiness Psychology School of Thought) and he found out something interesting. He was the one who found out about Learned Helplessness, it is someone who has taught themselves how to be mentally and emotionally helpless. These people produce lots of automatic negative thoughts no matter what happens in their life, they find a way to figure out what’s wrong with it and what’s not right and how it will not allow them to do what they want to do. Learned helplessness is also not trying to make things better. This is based on our explanation styles, how you explain an event that happens to ourselves in our own mind.
There are 2 types of explanation styles: an optimistic explanation style and pessimistic explanation style — in 3 specific areas.
1. Permanence — it will always be this way
a. Pessimistic — it will always be this bad
b.Optimistic — eventually it will get better
2. Pervasiveness — is it everywhere or is just here?
a.Pessimistic — negative events are happening everywhere and no matter where you go you will always run into a negative event.
b.Optimistic — it only happens in one quadrant and it’s okay because it’s not everywhere
Optimistic — if something bad happens, it wasn’t them
Pessimistic — takes personal responsibility for the bad thing
If you want to train yourself to build more optimism in your, you have to train yourself to explain all events in your life by an OPTIMISTIC explanatory style.
5 Techniques you can do:
- 3 Gratitudes
- Journaling the best possible scenario to help boost your happiness advantage
- Random act of kindness to people
- Exercise 20 minutes of getting your heart rate elevated