My attempt at a forty day fast from negative thinking
|It's that time of year when we start thinking of what to "deny" ourselves for Lent. Growing up it was always a food item. As an adult, it became anything we loved; TV, Internet, drinking, smoking, etc. Well, one year a friend suggested we do a "40 Day Fast of No Negative Thoughts." I was game because I was tired of the pity parties that only she and I attended. I was up for anything that would get me out of the rut I was in.
The rules were simple. For every negative thought we had, we had to write it down and then write a positive thought or action for it. At first it was hard because every thought I had was negative. I was constantly saying "sorry" in my mind for the negative thoughts I had. I did a lot of writing! The writing helped because I saw what I obsessed about the most. That made it easier to see what changes I needed to make. Constantly doing this made me realize I had options. I could choose to be miserable or I could choose to be happy. I chose happy.
Our pity parties eventually disappeared or maybe our phone calls were shorter since we could only talk about positive thngs. After the forty days were over, we compared notes and found we were only negative forty percent of the time. We decided to treat ourselves and continue for another forty days to work on some stubborn thoughts we still had.
I'm proud to say I no longer engage in pity parties and definitely don't miss them. I also still use the 40 day fast whenever I want to make a positive change.