Ok. It’s hard enough to believe we have up to 75,000 thoughts a day, but the fact that 75% of them are negative is really crazy. Does that number get even higher if we are hormonal, can’t sleep, or Amazon Prime goes missing?
Thank goodness for Dr. Rick Hanson, who I was privileged to interview in my book, Soul Models, Inspiring Stories of Courage and Compassion. Rick came up with this ten-second practice (among many others) to help us reverse the spiraling negative thought trend, default to more positive thoughts, and literally hardwire our brains for more happiness.
How it works:
All thoughts, positive and negative, forge new neural pathways in our brain. These pathways are like anything else – we keep the ones we use and lose the ones we don’t, in a process called “neural pruning,” that actually begins in the womb. We also continually create new neural pathways – Rick figured out how we can consciously forge these pathways in positive thoughts, and basically think happier thoughts more of the time.
How to do it:
RELISH. Not the condiment; the moment. Every time you have a positive experience, really let it sink in – deeply, and for ten full seconds. Something beautiful you see, a hug, the smell of a flower or something good on the stove, a funny or inspiring story; whatever it is – close your eyes and really notice how wonderful it feels to take it in. Stay with these good vibes for ten full seconds. Voila! New neural pathway, forged in positive thought.
Even if you have to count, “One Mississippi, Two Mississippi” the first few times, you’ll get the hang of it quickly – and reap the results!
Big thanks to Rick. To learn more about his incredible work, visit www.RickHanson.net.