These past couple of years have been a journey that I never could have imagined. I didn’t have to travel across the world or visit a secluded location either to experience the expedition. This excursion just happened to take place in my own mind— at work, at home, while hanging with friends and family, and even during our weekly Positively Caviar, Inc. team phone calls. I was solely focused on one thing— mental self-exploration. I wanted to understand my habits, my beliefs, how to combat adversity, and how thoughts, both positive and negative, influenced my life. It was not an easy process but it was worth it to ensure that I obtain my highest self to adequately provide for my family, friends and colleagues.
A couple of years ago, I read a study by The National Science Foundation which said that the average human has roughly 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those thoughts, approximately 80 percent are considered negative and most of them are repetitive. I was absolutely fascinated by this study and began to monitor and become aware of my own thoughts throughout the day.
Sure enough, it became very apparent that negative self-talk was much easier than positive self-talk while at work, at home, and attaining my goals.
In fact, scientists have confirmed that our brains are wired with what is known as “negativity bias.” This is because our ancestors utilized this technique to stay on constant alert to scan and avoid danger, which posed immediate threats to their lives. Essentially, the human brain is wired to believe that if we expect that something bad will happen then we can be better prepared for survival.
Since then, this innate function of the brain has not changed much and affects nearly all of us today. In the 21st century, I realized just how much of an impact this same brain and way of thinking could have on our relationships, worthy goals, and mental and physical health. I became very curious about my own brain and begin to shift my focus.
So, I did what the experts said to do; I started meditating every day for at least 15 minutes and performed mental self-actualization exercises like the astonishing Rice Jar Experiment, which I personally recommend. I even put myself through mental and physical strife by participating in many long-distance races. You can read about my first marathon experience story in The Baltimore Times’ May 2019 issue titled “How I Discovered Mental Peace While Running 26.2 miles.” This marathon taught me two things about life that I will never forget.
Throughout this process, not only did I become very conscious of my own mental lifecycle of my thoughts and emotions but I began to witness the true hidden power behind positive and negative thoughts. Optimism and positive thinking is at the center of happiness, being successful, having loving relationships, living a fulfilling life, and bringing any dream into fruition. Taking the time to know whom you are, how you think, and how you make decisions is one of the powerful choices you can make to discover just who you really are. As the Ancient Greek Philosopher Socrates would say, “to know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.”
This process of mental self-exploration increased my ability to remain calm and think sharply during times of stress and adversity in my life. It has provided me strength, clarity, and the awareness to select thoughts that support my desired outcome in any given situation. I have found true happiness and abundance, but most importantly I have found peace.
Reality is significantly determined by our internal dialogue or self-talk. Taking time to become conscious of this very conversation is the most empowering decision that a human being can make in their lifetime.
Remember, you become what you think about all day long. You wake up with it, you walk around with it, you go to work with it and you go to sleep with it— eventually you are going to act on it, good (positive thoughts) or bad (negative thoughts). Become conscious of your self-talk through strategies like mediation and mindfulness by using apps like “Calm” or “Headspace,” and use it to find clarity in your mind, which will have a compounding effect in every aspect of your life. Your life will move in the direction of your thoughts and words. Speak victory, not defeat.
Positively Caviar, Inc. (PCI) is a grassroots nonprofit organization focused on instilling mental resilience by way of positive thinking and optimism. Each month, a member of the Nucleus Team features a column focused on mental and physical health tips, scientific studies, nutritional facts and stories that are positive in nature to support a positive and healthy lifestyle. To learn more about how you can support, volunteer or donate to Positively Caviar, Inc. visit: staybasedandpositive.com.