I know that many people find themselves daydreaming or experiencing negative thoughts throughout the day. In fact ” Each person has an average of 60,000 thoughts a day! That’s one thought per second in every waking hour! Amazingly, 95 percent are the same thoughts repeated every day. On average, 80 percent of those habitual thoughts are negative. Unfortunately, our brains are hardwired to pay more attention to negative experiences than to positive ones. That’s right, our brains are designed to take in and register negative experiences more deeply than positive experiences. This served us well—in fact, it was critical for survival—when we were foraging for food centuries ago, paying close attention to anything that might place us in danger, like a saber-toothed tiger. We even have a name for this type of thinking—negativity bias—and it’s not a great prescription for happiness.” 1 These are the facts but I prefer to deal with a positive life and finding solutions that enhance the quality of your existence. Too many people lose the battle between the ears but here are three techniques you can use to change your thoughts instantly.
Exercise has a profound impact on your physiology. When you start to move, specific hormones get activated, the blood and oxygen begins to circulate more rapidly, your neurotransmitters start firing better and your overall mood improves. ” Physical exercise influences the central dopaminergic, noradrenergic and serotonergic systems. A number of studies have examined brain noradrenaline (norepinephrine), serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) and dopamine with exercise. ” 2 I find that when I am stagnant or not in the creative flow, I will get up and workout for twenty minutes. This change in state and physiological adjustment immediately changes my thought process and subsequently my effectiveness in performing the task at hand. I discuss this in my second book “How To Restore Your Health” and how exercise targets key hormones for growth and development.
The second way is to change the way you view your situation or day. Your outlook on an event or person can be drastically changed by the way you approach it. For example, you can say oh jeez, I have to wake up at 6 a.m and see ten patients today or take the positive approach and say I am blessed that I actually woke up today and have the privilege of helping ten people while making a living at it. The way you “frame” your situation is extremely important and can make all the difference in the world. Two people can look at the same event or object and perceive it two totally different ways. I suggest spending the majority of your time framing scenarios with a positive outcome and this comes from neural conditioning. Start with one small event, then two and so on. You will begin to build in positive habits and affirmations that will eventually turn into your subconscious way of life. This is very similar to gratitude and being thankful each day for what you have.
The third and final approach is take a cold shower. I have mentioned the term cold thermogenesis and immersing yourself with cold water but it changes your sympathetic nervous system and thought process. A ten minute cold shower can improve your immune system, your blood circulation, increase testosterone levels and of course mood enhancements. “Cold showers can stimulate noradrenaline secretion in the brain, which is associated with improving mood disorders like depression.” 3 A final benefit of cold showers or using cold therapies is fat loss. Dr. Jack Kruse speaks a great deal on this and I will save that for another article. ” Applying water of different temperatures to our skin can change our physiology and mood. When humans take a cold swim, once over the initial shock of the cold, it is usually very invigorating. This is because wet and cold causes our surface vessels to vasoconstrict (tighten up) making blood move from the surface of your body to the core, as a means to conserve heat. Not only does it conserve heat, it also reflexively bathes the brain and vital organs in fresh blood” 4. People should not have to live their life with predominantly negative thoughts so here are some techniques that have worked for me and my patients and backed by science as well. Enjoy.