Stop self wind-ups!!

I have to admit I am a Friends “junkie” and has been so for many, many years. I even cried after the last episode and mourned for a few days. From that day, every time I see Friends is on, I have to watch it; it’s like a responsibility, a way to honor the 6 guys that gave me so much for 10 years. They got me through my teenage years, often daydreaming about being like them. I still laugh at the same jokes and funny scenes (Chandler and Joey’s specially), and I still cry at the emotional, life-changing moments (Monica’s wedding, Rachel’s childbirth, and of course the final episode). My husband doesn’t find it funny anymore; I still feel the show is hilarious and heart-warming.

I was re-watching an episode de other night (Season 6, Episode 13: “The One with Rachel’s Sister”) and when the scene that inspired this post came up, I just couldn’t stop thinking how frequently this thing happens to everybody.

I recently attended a convention and one of the guest speakers, an inspirational speaker and life coach, mentioned that we, human beings, are negative people by nature. Scientific research shows that typically 80% of our thoughts are negative. Even though we may think we are positive persons, negativism it’s an innate quality that monopolizes the majority of our mind and takes the larger portion of our mental energy. This is why is so difficult to stay positive; it’s a daily battle we need to undertake in order to carry a productive, happy, meaningful life.

In the video, we can see Phoebe telling Rachel that she thinks there’s something going on between Ross and Rachel’s sister Jill. Phoebe only says that she thinks she saw a “sparkle” between them. Then, and for the following 45 seconds, Rachel talks non-stop, probably speaking her mind out loud, and creates this story in her head about Ross marrying her little sister Jill. Nothing has happened, but Rachel already set the story straight in her head, believes it and lets the story take control of her mind and thoughts.

Have you ever had to ask somebody for something and did it knowing that the answer was going to be “no”? You even performed the scene in your head, where you asked, the person listened and said no. Well, you created the story, believed it and let it take control of your mind. You probably showed that during your interaction with the other person and got the response you were actually expecting, not the one that you wanted.

This happens to ALL of us; not only once, but many times, everyday. It’s very difficult to shush the negative voice when it’s clinically louder than the positive one. It’s like having the angel and the devil, each on one of our shoulders talking to our ears, but our ear on the angel side is almost deaf and the angel has a bad case of laryngitis.

Unfortunately, there’s no magic trick to turn the devil’s volume down, but when the negative thoughts arise it’s important to fight them quickly and replace them with positive, bright ideas. Let’s try replacing “no” with “yes” and turning the hostile with the friendly. Instead of picturing the other person saying “No”, try envisioning the person shouting “YES!” with a broad smile.

This is just a crazy thought I thought today, it’s not scientifically proven to work, but at least will help being a little bit more positive and, who knows, we may get one or two “yes” one day. Even if we get “no” every time or have to face adversity after adversity during the course of our life, positive thinking will guarantee peace of mind and a pack of good friends to support us through any circumstance.

How do you shoo away negative thoughts?

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