Imagine biting into a juicy orange. Can you taste it bursting onto your tongue and roof of your mouth? It’s just one small example of the ability of the mind to conjure up that sensation just by merely introducing the thought, sight unseen of any orange trees. Applying this to the broader spectrum of all your thoughts, we quickly realize our inner dialogue impacts our way of thinking. This self-talk is perhaps the most powerful influence on our attitudes and personality traits as the conversations we have with ourselves can ultimately transition to beliefs.
I know we all worship the genius of our smartphones these days, but our minds are infinitely smarter than Siri ever will be. Because it’s not just facts and figures that our brain stores neatly like a file cabinet but rather our minds powerfully affects moods, emotions, feelings and even chemical changes in our bodies that rival the most powerful drugs. I could write a novel covering each of these dimensions in detail, but there’s already a million out there so prefer to focus on just one critical area: the power of positive thinking because thoughts have wings.
We will all face varying degrees of adversity, negativity, loss, health risk, hardship and failure. It’s unavoidable on this journey called life. But often how we rise above it has as much to do with positive thinking and our reaction to these challenges as it does the circumstances themselves. The inner dialogue you use to describe what is happening to you and/or how you digest external events will determine the quality and tone of your emotional life. In other words, if you constantly have negative thoughts flowing into your brain, you will view the world in a negative way.
Think of your mind as infinite as the vast blue sky, with your thoughts rolling through your mind just as clouds float through the sky all day. It is estimated that our brains produce as many as 50,000 thoughts per day! But these are not always soft, puffy, happy white clouds on a lazy summer day: studies have shown the majority (70-80%) are negative thoughts, so what to do with these dark, ominous clouds? Just as the clouds continuously pass through the skyline, your thoughts pass through your mind virtually nonstop. But the fascinating revelation is you don’t own these thoughts – they randomly appear and disappear unless you choose to grab onto one, embrace it, ultimately believe in it and then start to dwell on its potential negativity. With enhanced self-awareness, we can monitor this constant chatter in our head with the power to purge those dark clouds and stay positive. We battle this stormy weather in our head all day but we have the unique power to decide whether to foster the negativity and allow it to influence our attitude.
The content and quality of these decisions to look inward and choose our attitude can ultimately shape our personality and outlook on life. We have the ability to manage this through present moment awareness so think positive to be positive. The mind is indeed powerful but we all can be inner stewards for our own happiness.