We hear a lot about fasting – juice fasting, intermittent fasting, total fasting – it’s all the rage. There are a lot of benefits to a fast, and when done responsibly they can be great for the mind, body, and spirit. It can be a great tool for a more peaceful life.
Have you ever thought about fasting from things other than food? Some people find it helpful to fast from television, social media, and other things for a period of time. There’s one fast in particular I want to challenge you to do. It’s called the “Ten Day Negative Thought Fast,” and was originated by Emmett Fox. Emmet Fox (30 July 1886 – 13 August 1951) is remembered as one of the most popular self-help authors and speakers of the early 20th century, and his fast is truly an adventure you’ll reap many benefits from.
There are some simple rules you must follow –
1. If you break any of the other rules, you must start the 10 days over from the beginning. To get the full effect, you must complete 10 consecutive days. Giving up negative thoughts is a little like quitting a bad habit cold turkey; you’ve got to stop completely, otherwise you haven’t truly quit.
2. You cannot focus on a negative thought or remain in a negative emotional state for more than five minutes. Ideally, aim for a much shorter time – such as sixty seconds or less. Five minutes should be plenty of time to recognize what’s going on and put a stop to it. Remember, even one instance of lingering for more than five minutes means starting over.
3. You must focus on solutions. When the negative thoughts start, the idea is to immediately start contemplating possible solutions. Spend your time solving your challenges instead of focusing on them. If you’re like most people, you’ve probably had the some of the same challenges for quite a while without resolution. It’s time to try something new instead of dwelling on what’s wrong.
This fast sounds deceptively easy, but you may be surprised how difficult it is to give up negativity. We tend to think that worrying helps in some way. But you’ve probably been worrying about a lot of things for a long time and they haven’t improved.
When you’re faced with a negative thought (and there may just be many more than expected), the best response is to think to yourself, “How can I solve or improve this in some way?” The point is to immediately begin focusing on solutions. When you ask a good question, you’ll receive good answers.
Over the ten days, you’ll begin to form a habit of immediately recognizing a negative mental state and then focusing on solutions to change it into a positive. I urge you to continue the process after the ten days are complete. The longer you continue the practice, the more you’ll develop a permanent habit that will only require a minimal amount of maintenance.
It’s okay to start over. You may even need several attempts to complete the full ten days. It’s common to have numerous slips on day one and then a few others later in the process. Give yourself some grace and refrain from beating yourself up over it. Remember, you’re focusing on solutions.
Taking Your Focus Away From A Negative Thought
One way to help keep the negative thoughts at bay is to ask yourself positive questions like: What’s great about today? What do I like the most about this? What am I most proud of? What am I most looking forward to?
If you’re filling your mind with positive thoughts, there’s no room for the negative stuff. And since we can only consciously really focus on one thing at a time, making the most out of your thoughts makes sense.
Try this ten day (or longer) adventure and see if it doesn’t change your life. You’ll be so amazed at the results that you’ll never want to go back to the old way of dwelling on the challenges in your life. So start this process today and change your life for the better. Let us all know how it goes.
Find your purpose – find your joy!
Would you like copy of Improve Your Mindset? Just click on the link – it’s my gift to you.
Did you find a few more ideas of your own? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments, and as always please reach out with your thoughts.
You can also connect with me via –