Well, here we go again-another holiday season. Let the stress begin. There are so many things to do before the end of December. How can we possibly accomplish everything? There are parties to attend, presents to buy, families to see, and feasts to prepare. At some point, we will try to relax and enjoy it all.

Does this hit home with you? I know it does and every year you probably vow to do things differently. But, alas, you find yourself in the same soup come late November.

Instead of accepting the oncoming angst, let’s stop, sip our coffee, and take an objective look at what swims in our heads. How many thoughts, on average, do you think we have each day? Interestingly, the internet has an abundance of information on the subject. Most literature says a person has, on average, 12,000 thoughts per day which breaks down to 8.3 thoughts per minute. Thoughts govern our feelings so if the majority of the 12,000 are negative, we are having “bad days” which include stress and other unhealthy emotions.

Are you are a positive or negative thinker? Take this test to find out or to at least get an idea. For one minute write the positive thoughts you experienced this week then for another minute, the negative thoughts you experienced in the same period. Think about your week at work and away from work.

My positive thoughts were pride, comfort, accomplishment, energetic, enthusiasm, euphoria, eagerness, inspiration, and joy. My negative thoughts were envy, cynicism, anger, despair, fatigue, hopelessness, boredom, lack of direction, pain, and apathy. Of the nineteen total thoughts (roughly 8 per minute), 53% were negative and 47% were positive.

Now take the estimate and apply it to the 12,000 daily thoughts. For argument, let’s assume that most of us are, at best, 50% positive thinkers. This means that on a daily basis, we have approximately 6000 positive thoughts and 6000 negative thoughts. If you are skewed closer to 25%, you have up to approximately 9000 negative thoughts each day.

What is the point of all this? The 6000 to 9000 negative thoughts are ball and chain to our attitudes dragging us into a bitter and hard to escape quagmire. They close our minds and hearts to life’s wonderful opportunities. In this holiday season, there are so many reasons to be thankful and those reasons should dominate our thoughts. But this is easier said than done.

There is ample self help stuff to alter your way of thinking. I’ll offer mine-The process for generating thoughts is fairly simple. We receive inputs from various suppliers and convert the inputs into outputs (our thoughts). Negative inputs yield negative output (negative thoughts/bad days) while positive inputs get converted into healthy output (good thoughts/blessed days). We control the inputs (that drive our thought process) by choosing the suppliers of the inputs. If you socialize in a circle that spreads rumors, get out of this negative ring. If you are repulsed at the negativity in news stories, stop watching or reading the news.

Let this article serve as impetus for you to sit and enumerate the things you are thankful and grateful for in this holiday season.

Author's Bio: 

Stephen Deas is President of Quality Minds, Inc., a human capital and process improvement firm located in Charleston, SC. (www.qualitymindsinc.com)