Letting Go of Negative Thoughts

I have worked long and hard on creating a happy, meaningful, joyous life for myself.  A few years ago, I was in an extremely dark place. Negative thoughts consumed me constantly. I had moments of hysteria and rage and periods of depression. My normally low blood pressure was high, I suffered from anxiety and then began to have powerful panic attacks. I did not know what to do. I hit the point of “losing it” and I went to a psychiatrist and was prescribed Valium. This helped me with the symptoms of my panic on an emergency basis, and I am so thankful for that, but it could not solve anything. I hit a point of just wanting to disappear. I had to be strong and figure this out for myself. It was up to me. I had to learn to let go of all of these negative thoughts!

I was not only able to learn to replace negative thoughts with positive ones, after time I found that I was not even thinking the negative ones in the first place anymore. Or at least I would catch myself so quickly that it did not affect my mood. This change in my thinking has created inner peace, joy, happiness and downright glee in my life! Thoughts become feelings- and eventually things! I am now the co-creator of my life- and am not the victim of negative thinking anymore. I hope some of these tips will help you let go of negative thinking once and for all!  There is no good in it. This is truth: Thinking negative thoughts will always bring you down and thinking positive thoughts will always bring you up.

Letting go of negative thoughts is essential to happiness. It’s impossible to be thinking of something negative and be in a positive mood. Letting go of negative thoughts is one of the very hardest things to do, until you train yourself. Most of us are programmed to torture ourselves by spending the majority of our time thinking about negative things. We have to be able to identify when we are thinking negatively and learn how to replace the negative thoughts with positive ones. I have identified the most popular kinds of negative thinking and have included tips on how to retrain your brain into letting go of negative thoughts, which is at the very core of living a happier life.

Different Types of Negative Thoughts to Let Go of

A Complaining Brain

When we complain in our brain, we also complain with our mouths. Complaining puts the focus on what we don’t have instead of what we want to have. We then live in a state of lack. We feel the world is unfair and we take things personally that have nothing to do with us. Bad drivers are out to get us, grocery store prices went up right when we got a pay cut. Some people complain and do not even realize it. Being a complainer and a whiner causes problems with relationships because you are bringing people down. It brings you more of the same because the law of attraction states; like=like and it can affect more than your mood. Complaining can cause health problems like high blood pressure. It can also bring upon depression and anxiety.

THE RUBBER BAND NO COMPLAINING CHALLENGE

Put a rubber band on one wrist and try not to complain. As soon as you do, snap the rubber band and then switch to the other wrist. The goal is to go 21 days without a complaint, and whenever you complain, you go back to day one. Ouch!

The Story Re-teller

Replaying old stories over and over is kind of like forcing yourself to watch a horrible movie again and again. You have all of the lines memorized and can even act out the dialog between the characters. The details like what the weather was like and what you were wearing in each scene are all clear. You can feel the pain as if it were yesterday. That feeling in your gut and that pain in your heart happens over and over and over again.

By replaying bad memories, we can feel sorry for ourselves, blame other people for what they did to us and be the damsel (or dude) in distress. We get comfortable being the victim because the victim does not have any responsibility, except to allow someone else to save them. As many times as you re-tell the story, there is never a Hollywood ending. The only one who can let go of negative thoughts is you. 

Self-Sabotage

We all have a voice in our head that talks down to us. This voice (or voices!) is called our Saboteur. The Saboteur has one job, to keep us at status quo. They will do anything they can to keep us down, to keep us unmotivated and to keep us stuck in negative thinking. They tell us that we deserve an extra piece of cake because “you will never lose weight anyway” or that we should skip our music class because “you will never be a good musician.”

A good way to determine whether it’s your Saboteur speaking or your intuition (or gut) is that the Saboteur is manipulative and does anything in its power to persuade you, especially being dishonest with you. Your intuition may not always be on the ball, but it never lies to you. Listening to your Saboteur will keep you unmotivated, stuck, and contributes to low self-esteem.

Don’t think about Pigs in Space!

If I say the word balloon, it’s impossible not to think of a balloon. So, after identifying that you have a negative thought, thinking about letting that negative thought go will just create more of the same. To actually let go of negative thoughts, you must not give the negative thought any more attention or energy. Think of something else that makes you happy,  anything else, as it’s impossible to think of two things at once.

The first step in letting go of a negative thought is to be aware when you are thinking it. The moment you notice you are thinking bad thoughts towards others, or replaying a bad situation in your head, stop and try any of the following.  Anytime you find you are not happy, it is because you are thinking a negative thought. The more you practice this, the more second nature it will become. The peace, joy and happiness you will start to feel will make you become a much more positive person, naturally.

Gratitude

Practicing gratitude on a daily basis will make you a more generous and giving person. That, in turn, creates a more positive and happy person. When you are feeling negative, and want to let go of the negative thoughts, do a gratitude process immediately. If you cannot find anything to be grateful for,  just scan the room and be grateful for simple things in your life like your bed or your air conditioner. If you live in Florida, that is something to be very grateful for! While you are being grateful, you will not be thinking negative thoughts. This will at the very least give you a bit of relief from what you were thinking.

Observer

You are not your thoughts and your thoughts are not you. Your thoughts come from your brain, which is yours, but you are not an organ in your body. When you are thinking negative thoughts, visualize yourself rising up above your body and looking down on yourself. Imagine that you are witnessing your thoughts as an observer without judgment. Listen to the things you are thinking. Know that you are in charge of what you are thinking, and you have the ability to change the subject anytime that you want to.  

Opposite

This simple exercise can work when a bad thought flashes into your mind and catches you off guard. Just think the opposite of whatever you just thought. It might be very happy, silly or even ridiculous. Laughing at yourself can certainly help you let go of the negative thoughts that were trying to paralyze you.

Storage Container

This exercise is what truly saved me. I imagined that there was one of those big moving/storage containers to the left of me. ( I don’t know why it was always in the same spot, but I just went with it!) Whenever I started thinking about my story I would stop and imagine that I would open the lock with a key, slide open the door, and put the story right into the container.  I went through the entire ritual of closing the door, and replacing the lock and locking it up. There was even a key I kept on my handbag and I’d touch it – that makes it very real for me. I did this for months and finally, I felt that the container was filled all the way up.

When I was ready, I did an imaginary ritual, where the entire container was caught on fire and completely burned up. This really worked for me. Months and months went by and those thoughts rarely ever come up anymore. Recently there was a different situation that I was replaying in my mind, so I decided to get another small container just in case. I have only used it once, but it’s there if I need it. Portable on demand negative thought storage! 

State Changing

Body and mind are all connected. I know you hear about my mini-trampoline all the time. (If not, then get used to it if you are going to hang out with me!) I use this for many reasons, but mostly to change my state. Just like it’s impossible to be happy while you think negative thoughts, it’s impossible to frown while you are on a trampoline! Just a few jumps or dance moves and I feel happier, lighter and more motivated.

Anything you can do to mix it up, get your body moving and get endorphins going in your body will help create a state change that can improve your thoughts. Even having good posture helps your state. Stand, sit, walk, move like you are excited, happy, confident, and your mood will follow. 

A Place to Go

When you are feeling good write a list of some of your favorite things. Favorite color, favorite place (made up or not) favorite song, favorite thing, favorite person. Then close your eyes and imagine it’s all there for you. Visualize all of this being available to you. Lock that in, and when you are feeling low, take yourself to this place, surrounded by what you love and know that this sacred space is yours whenever you need to go there.

The Ultimate Letting Go of Negative Thinking Guidebook

I thought I would try something different this time and create a free guidebook for you to print, fill out and use to help guide you through the beginning of your letting go of negative thinking journey. Just click on the link below- and the PDF Guidebook will arrive in your e-mail inbox. I hope you find this guidebook an added value to this post. Please post your comments and feedback below so I know what does and does not work for you.
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