May 15, 2020
On average, humans think between 60-80,000 thoughts per day. That’s up to 3,000 per hour. Of these, 95% of them are the same thoughts you had from the previous day, and before that, and so on, and so on. Here’s the kicker; 80% of these thoughts are negative! We are subconsciously peppering ourselves with a negative feedback loop on a constant basis.
Science has established the connection between the mind and body. Scientists, as a sweeping generalization, have an aversion to things that necessitate a leap of faith, but I think we can enthusiastically invite “spirit” into the mix and agree that our health, contentedness and peacefulness is the bi-product of our ability to keep the mind, body and spirit harmonizing like a Beach Boy.
How can we expect to do that when we’ve got all of those pesky negative thoughts hammering away at us as we navigate life?
STEP 1: MEDITATION
A friend and fellow Charity Bomb Squad member asked me about my routine for calming a few days ago. Here’s what I’ve got:
I get in the shower -the first of only two opportunities to be alone (the second literally being while doing #2). I dial in my optimal temperature and sit down in the yoga pose also known as “Indian style,” close my eyes, and repeat the mantra, “I feel good, I feel happy, I feel great.” I’ll get the occasional “Hey, F you loser!” or “Ah ha, you are such a disappointment” from that mysterious, unknowable place where thoughts come from. After about ten minutes, they’re inevitably pushed away .
I will also visit sensory deprivation tanks from time to time. It’s fascinating to experience the flood of thoughts crashing into each other while the internal armchair quarterback offers his snarky, insulting commentary. Again, after a several minutes, they slow to a crawl and vanish. I leave with a completely blank slate..which is just what I needed.
STEP 2: INTERNAL DIALOGUE
Picture this: You have an empty room, doors are about to open, and there’s a line- a mile long, wrapped around the corner of the building. This time, you are the security guard and you’re checking some thought IDs. Some bad guys will always sneak in, but remember, you have 5% of your daily thoughts that are different from the previous days’ thoughts . Let the good ones in. “You rock,” “You are not good, you are incredible,” “Make it happen“ get all the cliches in there. It works.
STEP 3: PERSPECTIVE
When you’re at the end of your life looking back, is what you’re currently stressed or anxious about really going to matter? A healthy perspective is invaluable and necessary. We humans are continually hunting for love, while dodging fear. If I think about all the fears that have infested my mind, I’m still here, I’m still fine and I always will be. I’ve survived 100% of my hardest days and you will too. Step away from your situation and try to look at it as a small piece of a really big picture.
STEP 4: DO WHAT YOU ENJOY
However ludicrous it may sound, you can and must make time for yourself. I know, everybody says it. I’ve learned that cliches are cliches for a reason, because they work. In order to create the harmony of mind, body and spirit, everything needs to be in balance. Nobody is THAT busy, and everybody deserves it. Be with, speak with or engage in your community. It’s so critical that you do this. Remember, if you can bring five minutes of your best self to a situation, it’s a million times better than an hour of your worst self. Take care of Y-O-U and the rest will follow.
Peace and Love,
Matthew, CEO @ Charity Bomb