Ive read in many places that the average person has around 70,000 thoughts per day. You may have already heard this. That is a huge number! Seventy thousand.
Its also been said that the typical person has more negative than positive thoughts. And for those of us diagnosed with bipolar disorder, there is a good chance that we may be having more negative thoughts than the average person out there.
What does this mean?
It means that for people in various stages of their bipolar disorder journey, there is a possibility that the majority of their thoughts are negative. This could be for those persons recently diagnosed. If could be the default mindset for others who have had another manic episode and are struggling to get back to being mentally stable. Or people who have never had mental stability after initially being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Tell me something that I dont know!?
For some people reading this you may be wondering why I am writing about the obvious, that many people with bipolar disorder have predominantly negative thoughts. You may be thinking isnt it normal for someone for bipolar disorder to have mostly negative thoughts? After all, living with bipolar disorder is at times very challenging, weve been through incredibly difficult experiences, and our illness is in our minds and not easily measured or seen.
I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2000. For the vast majority of that time my default mindset was negative. I am grateful to have implemented various tools and strategies into my life to change to a default positive mindset. My life is not all rainbows and butterflies, however I can say that I have a positive mindset the vast majority of the time. I share my story as proof that change is possible.
How do I get a default positive mindset?
This is a very large topic and this blog post is not the space to provide an in-depth explanation. That being said I will share a few things that assist me.
1. Meditation – I meditate every morning for about 5 minutes. This allows me to begin my day slowly and not in chaos.
2. Get my body moving in the morning – For me this is almost always a very short yoga session including some body weight exercises (planks, push ups, etc). This gives me a sense of accomplishment and also gets the blood moving.
3. Watch a short positive video or read an inspiring book – I do this while eating breakfast and it feeds my mind with good stuff before Im out my door facing the world.
4. Observe instead judging – I do my best to simply observe people and situations around me instead of judging them. Judging is a very negative mental mindset. This is something I am getting better at and not doing all the time.
After reading the four suggestions above how do you feel? Overwhelmed? Inspired? The first three take me literally 20 min per day. I strongly encourage you to set your alarm 20 min earlier and incorporate those three things into your morning.
Did you get value out of this post? Id greatly appreciate any feedback.
Read more of Scott’s blog posts for IBPF here or visit his personal blog.