People want to remove all negative thoughts and only have positive thoughts. But how to remove negative thinking?
The problem is that when you tell your mind to stop thinking negative thoughts, guess what it starts thinking about – negative thoughts!
It’s like telling your mind to stop thinking about a green monkey for 10 seconds. What do you see in your mind? A green monkey!
If you keep telling your mind to stop thinking about something, it will think more of it. So what can you do instead?
Here are eight tips on how to remove negative thinking. Number 6 was a game-changer for me, so read until the end!
How To Remove Negative Thinking
1. Understand That Negative Thoughts Are Only Harming You
There are three types of negative thoughts: negative thoughts about ourselves, other people, and the world in general.
No matter which one of those you think, the only one that will be suffering is you.
Thinking negatively about other people is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die!
You have no control over how other people behave, so stop criticizing them and start working on yourself.
2. People Don’t Care That Much About What You Say Or Do
We’ve all said and done things that we regret. It’s easy to fall into negative thoughts when you worry about what others think of you.
I was one of those people until I read this quote by David Foster Wallace:
Do you keep thinking about other people’s mistakes, or are you too busy thinking about your problems?
You see, we notice if a person says something silly or embarrassing at the moment, but a few hours later, we have other things to worry about.
So don’t think that others are obsessed with your life. They have their problems too.
3. Question The Negative Thought
One thing that I like to do when a negative thought appears in my mind is to ask myself, “Is this belief real, or am I just too tired to think clearly?”. In 99% of the cases, I am too tired to think, hungry, or overwhelmed.
Another thing that we tend to do is to focus too much on the small details. We focus so much on small mistakes that we never see all the good things.
Taking a pause and asking yourself the right questions when a negative thought arises will help you to ground yourself in the present moment.
This leads me to my next point.
4. Focus On The Now
Here is a great tip I learned from the book ”The Power of Now”. Whenever you feel angry, anxious, or negative, focus on the present moment.
Focus on your breathing. Feel the air coming into your nose, filling your lungs, providing oxygen to your cells. Then feel how that air slowly leaves your body, and you take a new sip of air.
Do this for at least ten breaths, and you will see how relaxed you will feel. Ask yourself, “Do I have a problem right now?”. I don’t mean 1 hour from now or even 5 seconds from now. I mean right now!
The answer is no. You see, we never have problems!
Of course, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t set goals for the future. I am only saying that you should not spend most of your time worrying about the future or living in the past.
5. Replace The Negativity Around You
What you allow to enter your mind during your everyday life will have a significant impact on you. So start questioning what you allow in your life.
Ask yourself, ”What are the top three sources of negativity in my life?”.
It could be people, websites, social media, movies, TV shows, music, etc.
Then ask yourself, ”What can I do to spend less time with these three sources this week?”.
It’s okay if you can’t eliminate all 3 of them at once. Just take a small step and stick to it every day.
For me, the biggest source of negativity was social media, more specifically the social media accounts that I followed. I mostly use Instagram and YouTube.
When it comes to YouTubeYouTube, I unsubscribed from all the channels that I followed. I then re-subscribed only to the ones that bring positivity, ideas, and motivation to my life.
When it comes to Instagram, I followed more than a thousand accounts that affected me negatively, so I decided to delete my Instagram account and create a new one.
I only followed the friends and family that are close to me. I also followed everyone I look up to, my role models, and everyone who wants to live an extraordinary life.
6. Focus On The Reverse Gap
The reverse gap is something that I learned from the book ”The Code of The Extraordinary Mind”.
What is the reverse gap?
Most of us think of our lives in terms of a gap between where we are today and where we want to be in the future.
This may seem pretty normal at first, but what it does is that it ties your happiness to the future.
It’s like chasing the horizon. No matter how close you come, it will always expand beyond you.
Think of the reverse gap instead of the forward gap.
Have a vision for the future, but don’t tie your happiness to the future. Tie your happiness to how far you’ve come from the man or woman you were in the past.
Here’s an exercise for you: Take a piece of paper and write down all the accomplishments you’ve had from the moment you set the goal to where you are now.
7. Go For A Short Workout
Whenever I feel like I can’t think clearly, I go for a short workout. Even if I don’t feel like exercising, I know that I always feel much better after moving my body.
During a workout, stress hormones get reduced, and the production of endorphins is stimulated.
For those of you who don’t know, endorphins are chemicals that trigger a positive feeling in the body and elevate your mood.
Don’t think that you have to spend hours in the gym to get the positive effects I am talking about. 10 minutes of exercise at home will do the work. You can even go for a walk outside and breathe some fresh air.
8. Think Of 3 Things You Are Grateful For
Gratitude is proven to improve both physical and mental health. It reduces aggression, improves your sleep and self-esteem, and overall makes you a happier human being.
I always start my day with gratitude. I say three things that I am grateful for in my personal life and three things that I am thankful for myself.
It doesn’t have to be big things. It’s not about the thing itself. It’s all about the feeling.
Appreciate the things you may often take for granted, such as food, clean water, and a roof over your head that keeps you warm during the cold winter nights.
You can be grateful for the fact that you have access to the internet or know how to read or simply that you have a family that cares about you.
These are things that many people around the world don’t have but that we take for granted.
Thank you for reading this far. It means a lot to me, and it shows that you are serious about improving the quality of your life.
Remember that happiness means different things to different people. The negativity we talk about can stay unnoticed for years.
For example, one year ago, I didn’t get bothered when I heard people complaining and talking bad about others. But now I can’t stand it.
I can feel my energy levels drop whenever I find myself surrounded by negative people.
We can live our lives surrounded by negativity and not even realize it. This is why it’s so important to become self-aware and distance ourselves from negativity.
Tell me in the comments below what negative thoughts you have, and which of the eight tips you will use to remove the negative thinking.
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