10 Tips to Help Get Rid of Negative Thoughts
“I can’t do it.”
“I’m not good enough.”
“What if I screw up?”
It doesn’t matter which chapter of your life you’re in right now. Regardless of how far you’ve come, sometimes you face challenges that make you tell yourself all sorts of things that contribute to dragging your own morale down. Sometimes stress gets the best of us, and we end up snowballing down a steep motivation slope. When all of the causes of stress start to pile up one on top of the other, you start to get disoriented; lost in a storm of challenges you’re not sure if you can overcome.
STOP! Wait a minute…
It’s exactly moments like these that you should pause and hold your thoughts. Give yourself a some time to snap back and hold out on all of these overwhelming negativities, even for just a minute! Once you’ve successfully paused all of the white noise in your head, try to look into these 10 helpful tips that could get you back on track.
1. Practice Positive Mantras
A “mantra” is a word, phrase, or term that we tell ourselves over and over again to incite a certain feeling or provoke a certain kind of thought. Whenever you feel bombarded by a whole slew of negative thoughts, try practicing positive mantras to counter all of the negativity. As you practice telling yourself your mantras, you’ll eventually learn to automatically shake off all of the worries plaguing your mind.
Phrases such as “There’s always a better thought” and “This will eventually pass” are also considered mantras! There’s a lot you can look up online- or even create your own- to help talk yourself out of dismay.
2. Change Your Environment
The way we feel can actually be tied to the space around us. Perhaps you’ve been exposed to stress in your work space for far too long, and maybe it’s time for a change of scenery. Try going someplace else for just a while. You don’t need to take a break, you just need to change your surroundings as you work.
Or maybe a change of scenery isn’t what you need, you could just be dealing with a messy personal space. Try looking around your room or your office and carefully observe anything that might be out of place. You might have gotten caught up with all of the work and things you need to do that you overlooked how cluttered your work space has become.
3. Write Those Thoughts Down – Then Throw Them Away!
That’s right! If you feel as if your thoughts really need to go somewhere, take 5 to 10 minutes to write all of them down on paper. After listing all of your negative thoughts down, crumple that piece of paper and tear it to pieces! These negative thoughts aren’t worth your time, so giving them 10 minutes to go get out of your mind and into the bin should be enough.
If you want to take it a step further, you could even burn the piece of paper in your back yard. Now whenever you feel those negative thoughts resurfacing, remind yourself that they’re gone with the wind.
4. Give Yourself a Time Limit
Just like I said in the previous method, you shouldn’t give too much of your time to negative thoughts. Always remember that they contribute NOTHING at all, and hanging out with them for too long just doesn’t benefit you in any way. It’s a good thing to allot only a little bit of time to these thoughts- if you really have to- before getting back up and getting back to work.
If you think 5 – 10 minutes aren’t enough, that’s okay! Even if it takes you half an hour to sort your thoughts out, make sure to use your phone and set an alarm. Once that alarm goes off, throw your negative thoughts out the window and snap back to productivity. Don’t let them back in!
5. Read Your Negative Thoughts Out
Another method that needs a sheet of paper, but this time you won’t be ripping or burning anything. Just read them out over and over again, and try doing it with a funny voice too! The more you hear your own negative thoughts, the more ridiculous they’ll start to sound (especially with a silly voice!) It could even reach the point where you ask yourself why you had these thoughts to begin with.
Alternatively, you could ring a friend or ask them to come over, then go through your thoughts with them. It’s healthy to share your thoughts with your friends, they’ll always have something helpful or comforting to say.
6. Set Up a “Counter Response”
Whenever a negative thought starts to surface in your head, come up with an automatic response to remind yourself to push it away. This could be a verbal response or a physical response (as long as it isn’t something that causes you harm.) You could even make it a silly response to laugh at yourself and make it easier to shake off the negativity.
There’s a lot you can do with this one, really! You can flick your wrist, lightly slap your cheek, shout a goofy phrase, or even make animal noises. Do anything you can to catch yourself before all of the negativity drags you down.
7. Acknowledge Them
Sometimes, negative thoughts really end up taking over our heads. Maybe resisting them and just forcefully pushing them out isn’t the way to go about it, so why don’t we acknowledge these thoughts instead? No, I don’t mean accept these thoughts as fact. It’s more like saying “I see, thanks for letting me know” and going about your day.
Just let these thoughts enter your mind, fully acknowledge them, then let them leave just as fluidly. Once you acknowledge them and let them flow through, you’ll be able to get back to work faster without wasting another minute.
8. Work Out!
Negative thoughts carry with them negative energy, and if you really want to make the most out of them, turn them into POSITIVE energy! You probably know this already, but working out has been proven to GREATLY IMPROVE one’s mental state. It doesn’t have to be an all-out fitness program. Try starting out with a quick daily routine, and see how it goes.
Whenever you exercise, your brain releases strong chemicals called “Endorphins.” The effect of these chemicals make you feel energized and happier! Exercise is also a good way to distract yourself from negative thoughts, and turn unproductive sulking into productive fitness!
9. Laughter is The Best Medicine
If you feel REALLY down at this point, then maybe having a good laugh could help sort you out. Watch funny videos on the internet, or maybe hang out with friends and talk about funny stories together! You can’t force a smile, so let the comedians do it! There’s always some form of relief brought about by honest, hearty laughter.
You can also look into funny motivational speakers like Larry Weaver! Just as he says, “A good sense of humor will carry you through life, help you combat the stresses that you face day to day.”
It sounds basic, and it is! But that’s what makes it really important. Take some time off your sched to find a quiet place and just breathe. If you know any quick ways to meditate, try that! Just close your eyes and give yourself 5 minutes to slowly breathe in and breathe out. Focus on nothing but the soothing air that fills your lungs.
Try saying thank you in between, and expressing your gratitude to all of the victories you’ve won so far. You’re still here, and you’ve made it this far. There’s no harm in being thankful and glad for that! Afterwards, you might feel a lot of weight leave your chest. Just breathe.
Negative thoughts are a friend to no one, and if you want to be around a group of people who work towards always feeling motivated and productive, you can follow me on Instagram (@sagishrieber) and join my WhatsApp community! If you’re interested, then I’ll see you there.
Cheers to being the CEO of your life!