In 2005, the National Science Foundation published an article that found the average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day, of which 80% are negative, and 95% were repetitive thoughts from the previous day.
Our minds too often focus on the negative, and even worse, create a playlist that loops daily.
Another study that same year (Leahy, Study of Cornell University), identified 85% of our worries never materialize and that 97% of our worries are baseless.
Not all negative thoughts are created equally. Being aware of danger can help us survive, but most negative thoughts only serve to create pessimism and useless drama.
Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny. — Lao Tzu
So how can we surface and nurture positive thoughts?
The highlight reel, an exceptionally powerful tool from David Nurse's book, Pivot & Go, shifts our thoughts from negative to positive:
Accessing a reel is an effective strategy in a difficult moment, but if we want to get the most out of this process, we should habit-stack our highlights at least three times a day during routines like brushing our teeth or driving to work.
This isn’t an aspirational model. We can actually do what we are imagining and pivot our self-talk thoughts into being mostly positive.
Imagine the possibilities of replacing our tired negative playlists with positive highlight reels.