How many thoughts does a human being have per day?
According to research by Dr. Fred Luskin of Stanford University, a human being has approximately 60,000 thoughts per day.
And, 90% of these thoughts are repetitive (Got Inner Peace? 5 Ways to get it now by Christine Comaford, 4/4/2012).
I’m conscious of my repetitive thoughts, because they have been plaguing me recently. I don’t know if it’s the caffeine, not getting enough exercise, not feeling confident, being self-critical, or what. But, for several days, the repetitive thoughts just keep coming and particularly about one consulting project I just finished.
So, how does one put a pause on these repetitive thoughts especially when you become somewhat obsessed with them? Well, I’ve tried several approaches with some success.
Second, the result of mindful meditation helps for about an hour. Then, the activity starts again. I continue with breathing pauses during the day. It helps. So, be grateful for the respite when it comes.
Third, pay attention to your dreams which may shed some light. A few nights ago, I had a dream that I was cleaning out two toilets situated next to each other. They were full and I couldn’t flush them. That’s all I remember. I shared this dream with a dream interpreter. Her interpretation is the two toilets represent two facets in my life which are overflowing. Guess what, she’s right. My work and being the caretaker for my elder father. I pride myself on being responsible, accountable, and confident. That is being stretched at this time and so things fill up. Hmm.
Fourth, give time to nature, which I did by gardening Sunday afternoon. Wonderful respite.
Fifth, continue with mindful practices and allow time to help dissipate the cycle of repetitive thoughts, which is starting to happen.
The temptation to yell, scream and get angry about repetitive thoughts is there. But all that emotion serves to stir the pot of emotional drama; it serves no purpose. The mindful practices of acceptance of what is, be present with what life has placed before your feet, and breathing can lessen the intense feelings of repetitive thoughts.