Everyday we experience approximately 60,000 thoughts. That’s roughly 41 thoughts every minute, but if you factor in 8 hours sleep it’s around 62 thoughts per minute! That’s without taking into consideration all the other processing our brain is doing alongside these thoughts.
Around 90% of these thoughts are similar to the previous day; we very easily become stuck in a cycle of thought patterns. As a result, we will make the same decisions, display the same behaviours, and experience the same emotions day after day. This is fine if we’re lucky enough to have only positive thoughts floating around in our brain. But it’s likely that you’ll experience some negative thoughts, some of which may be deeply ingrained in your thinking. It’s harder to break the cycle of these, but becoming aware of the physical responses these thoughts give can help you to respond in a different way.
Our thoughts, feelings and physical feelings are all connected. The body often gives us an early warning that you’re experiencing negative thoughts. These are often physical manifestations, and you may have experienced them. Sweaty hands, shaking, racing heart, feeling nauseous, feeling dizzy, shallow breathing, dry mouth, tingling, numbness; it’s not an exhaustive list, but these are some examples. We can then become overwhelmed by the physical sensations we are experiencing.
As you begin to notice these sensations, this allows you to step back from what you are feeling and experiencing, and label the thoughts. Over time, you will begin to recognise when your thoughts are taking over, and acknowledge that they do not control you.