Monday, January 9, 2012

On thoughts

Periodically the gym sends out health- and fitness-related emails, which I usually just delete. For someone who really likes to exercise, I really dislike reading about it.

But I happened to open one of them the other day and in it I was informed that people average 60,000 thoughts a day. The gist of the email was that most of those thoughts (80 percent, supposedly) are negative. It suggested replacing those thoughts with a "positive, soothing message," for example, "when you feel overwhelmed, think, 'I trust in the process of life.'" This is why I usually delete these emails.

But let's go back to the interesting part: 60,000 thoughts. My first, well, thought was, That's a huge number! And that got me to wondering how you could even begin to estimate the number of a person's thoughts per day. Where does one thought end and another one begin? Are other people's minds way more streamlined than mine?

I think it's fascinating that we all have these constant inner monologues and memories and connections and ideas coming and going and even though it seems so normal to us, it's incredible how much we're processing at a million miles a minute. And I think it's cool that none of us knows exactly how that plays out in anyone else's head.

I almost always have a song going, plus a bunch of works in progress -- a shopping list, an email response, a phone call, a blog post, the logistics of an afternoon. I think most of my thoughts are on the present and future, not the past, although those are definitely there. No way are 80 percent of them negative, and it's a good thing, because I'd spend all day rolling my eyes if I had to add incorporate positive affirmations about "the process of life" to everything else going on in my head.

1 comment:

Kaitlin said...

Interesting! I think one of the reasons that I cannot get into yoga is because I never stop thinking. It is impossible to turn off my train of thought.

Another thing: I, too, cannot stand reading about fitness. And to an extent, even reading about running is annoying.