Are you going through a rough patch? Do you struggle with negative thoughts and emotions and wonder if there is any way to effectively get rid of them? If so, you are not alone my friend. Practical life can sometimes throw curveballs at us in the form of challenging circumstances, past memories, and difficult people.
During such times, it’s a common occurrence to get stuck in the loop of on-going negative thoughts and emotions which directly influences the overall quality of our personal and professional lives. It’s important to overcome those unwanted voices in the head and kick them out for good!
So fret not, today I’ll have 11 simple yet powerful steps that’ll help you get rid of negative thoughts and break free from any disempowering state of mind almost immediately as you apply them.
Try to implement them collectively to get the best results!
1. Be Aware of the Negative Thoughts
The first step to getting rid of negative thoughts is to know they are there and begin to see them as a separate entity from yourself. It’s important to realize that those negative thoughts do not necessarily represent reality. They are just an interpretation out of all the countless other possible interpretations.
Most people often hold on to negative thoughts and defend them as if those thoughts are a part of their identity. That is a very disempowering approach to emotionally attach oneself to such thoughts. It not only closes us off from learning and moving on, but it also makes our experience of life all the more negative.
So from now on, whenever you experience negative emotions, begin to observe your thoughts from a neutral stance. Avoid judging yourself and just notice them curiously. Pay attention to how your mind is processing those thoughts, and how one thought leads to the next. Establish awareness of your mind.
2. Realize the Impact of Negative Thinking on the Quality of Your Life
Observe how your mind is interpreting a certain experience or memory, and then notice the impact it has on your mental and emotional state.
Ponder over the following questions:
What will be the consequences if you feed these negative thoughts and allow them to wander in your mind?
How will it influence the quality of your life?
How will it influence your relations?
How will it impact your workflow and productivity?
Do you want all of the above consequences in your life?
Will you settle for a compromised quality of life when you can greatly enhance your life experience by using the principle mentioned in this article to start right away?
3. Get Away from Negative & Toxic People
Negative people can come in two forms. One, those who are just plain toxic or manipulative. Who try to take advantage of you or get under your skin deliberately.
Then there is another category of negative people. Those who might be good at heart and might be your well-wishers, but their own outlook on life and personal beliefs are just too negative.
The thing is, you just instinctively want to distance yourself from the obviously toxic people ASAP. But when it comes to those who are your empathizers and well-wishers that are indirectly having a negative influence on your state of mind, most people never realize how it is impacting their thoughts and their beliefs about life.
It’s comforting to have someone who understands your challenges, but sometimes our empathizers and well-wishers can subconsciously have a negative impact on us.
During our vulnerable states our subconscious mind is often receptive to suggestions, and if the advice and suggestions we are getting are from people who have disempowering beliefs and opinions, and an overall negative outlook on life, we are probably going to pick all that negativity up.
“It’s much better to be the optimist who is sometimes wrong than a pessimist who is always right.”
Their influence might be keeping us in self-pity and in a “victim” state of mind. Maybe it’s just that their presence constantly reminds us of our problems and so we keep talking about our problems with them. Or maybe their constant empathy is giving us an excuse to justify our victim state, which keeps us stuck in misery.
Identify any toxic and negative people in your life and keep a healthy distance from them. You don’t have to cut ties, just create some space.
4. Let go of the EGO
Ego is what usually holds us back from letting go of negative thoughts. Anger, self-pity, blame, animosity are all different colors of ego trying to justify our misery.
Allow yourself to be flexible and receptive to the change that you are trying to make in your mental and emotional state. Often, we stand in the way of our own happiness by allowing our EGO to have too much power over our lives.
And when EGO is in power, it wants to justify itself and resist change. The ego wants to hold on to the anger, grudge, animosity, self-pity, and blame.
Don’t let that happen. Be aware of the ego and keep it under your control instead of the other way round. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to let go of negative thoughts and move-on once you learn to tame your ego and cultivate intellectual flexibility. The only tough part is to break out of the ego and humble it down. That’s it.
5. Break Your Pattern
We are often caught up in the loop of thoughts and emotions that seem to go on and on forever. One thought leads to another, one feeling leads to the next. It won’t end until we end it ourselves by breaking the ice.
Look at the negative thoughts and emotions as a Pattern that can be broken and shaken up. You don’t have to wait for negative thoughts to go away on their own. You don’t have to be at the mercy of chance, a chance to feel good. You can interrupt those disempowering patterns at your will and change your state instantly.
Let’s say you’re feeling down, notice what your body language is in that state. Your shoulder might probably be hanging forward, you might be slouching or lying down, your face might be gloomy.
Now to break this state, this “pattern”, force yourself to get up immediately, stand tall with shoulders back, head held high and start marching actively in your place. Notice how immediately the pattern shifts, the negative thoughts, and emotions leave you, and your overall state shifts to a more energetic one.
If you are angry, sit down, drink some water, and go for a quick shower.
If you are having anxious thoughts, just close your eyes and begin to breathe deeply into your belly, letting go of the external world for a few minutes. Notice how suddenly that anxious state of mind will shift to a more calmer and relaxed state.
Jump out of your pattern, shake yourself up. Break the chains!
6. Channelize Your Emotions Through Creativity
Often such negative thoughts and emotions carry a lot of energy or force within them that might have the potential to propel you to make some shifts in your life, or make a decision and take action, or just simply the need for catharsis, the need for letting it all out.
But instead of just wasting all that build-up, and letting it out in an unproductive way, you can use that energy in more proactive and creative ways. Ways that’ll benefit you and possibly other people.
A lot of great things the history of humanity emerged from great people suffering through painful emotions that they learned to translate into something of great value, not just for themselves but for other people as well.
For the sake of keeping things to the point, I have written an entire guide on how you can channelize your emotions and get positive outcomes from negative emotions. A have also listed 18 ideas that’ll help you get started right away. Make sure you check it out:
7. Go for a Walk
Allow your mind to have some fresh air and get some movement in your body through a quick walk. Usually, when we are feeling a bit low, we’d want to stay at home, in isolation, lying in bed, but often such isolation during downtimes is not a good idea as it pushes us further into the depressing state. Avoid falling in the trap of isolation and allow yourself to go out for at least a refreshing walk.
Walking is also a great and simple way to instantly shift your state by balancing out the flow of energy through your body and allowing you some space to clear your head.
If you want to move on from negative thoughts, get your body moving.
8. Surround Yourself With Positive, Uplifting People
If you have friends that are positive and uplifting, those who understand and motivate you, then great! If not, then just find a place where you can be in the proximity of positive people, you don’t have to know them personally. Just cherish their presence and allow them to influence you in a positive way.
Attend a seminar. Join a course. Take part in a non-profit project. If you have a hobby, join a local group with similar interests and attend the meetups. Read the biography of an uplifting person, or read a book on personal development. If you want to discuss things one on one and get appropriate guidance, get Life Coaching.
9. Read and Watch Uplifting Content
Avoid reading or watching the news and any sort of negative stuff on TV or the internet. Surround yourself with positive and uplifting content whether it be intellectual content or even just entertainment.
Choose consciously what you entertain yourself with because that is the information that you are allowing into your brain and it will directly affect your mental and emotional state.
10. Avoid Music Having Negative Lyrics
If you notice, the lyrics of most of the songs are focused on misery, loss, breakup, and depression, vengeance, getting filthy rich and being arrogant. Since so many people find it relatable and validating, they keep on listening to them over and over again. The lyrics, played repeatedly, act as hypnotic suggestions to the subconscious mind, so in essence, people who listen to such music are, in fact, programming themselves for more misery and negative state of mind.
Even in general, without such lyrics, it’s still too much noise for the brain. I personally have found that my brain gets constantly occupied by subconsciously repeating the music/rhythm over and over again, even in sleep, and when I left the habit of listening or playing music, after the initial withdrawal, there was so much calm, silence, and peace of mind.
Try to avoid any music completely for a couple of weeks, and you’ll notice the difference.
11. Reduce The Use of Social Media
If you’re going through a rough patch, it would be better if you just leave social media entirely. But even if you have to use it, restrict its usage. Endless scrolling through the feed, watching other people pretending to live a perfect life while we face life challenges, is not a good idea, as you can guess.
Much of social media tends to put us in an inferiority complex. It influences us to compare our not-so-perfect lives, with the seemingly perfect lives that people tend to live in their “perfect photos” and gain some attention and glory that has no meaning in it (most of the time).
Obviously, I’m not throwing everyone under the bus. Some social media influencers who promote personal development, uplifting and enlightening content are good to follow. Hence I used the word “Restrict”. In simple words, just don’t overdo it 🙂
Come back to these 11 steps whenever you’re having not-so-positive thoughts or going through a rough patch. If you have any other ideas that you use to cope with negativity and shift your state, share it in the comments below, I’d love to know.
Talk to you soon!
A writer by calling, a life coach by passion, an artist by nature. Someone who has dedicated his life to exploring deep human potentials, spirituality, and timeless wisdoms of life with a hunger to share those experiences and knowledge to help others find meaning and improve the quality of their lives.