There are many issues in our lives that can ignite our negative thoughts. Be it from depression or other issues in one’s life, it is important to understand that you can control your thoughts and turn negative thoughts around.
If you can learn to take control over your thought process, you’re well on your way to create a happy life. Please, don’t tell yourself that you have no control over your own thoughts, as this reinforces a belief that you’ll need to change too. However, the more you impress certain negative thoughts upon yourself, the more you’ll start to belief they are true. They are not! You can take control over your thoughts, and you can do it in an instant.
There are several steps you can take to make it easier to get rid of negative thoughts. Here are 14 ways you can flip your negative thoughts around, and the good thing about these tips is that you can start to implement them today:
1. Flip Negative Thoughts to Positive Thoughts
Flipping negative thoughts to positive thoughts sounds simple and is the fastest way to fight negative thoughts as you can do it in the instant. However if you’ve never done this kind of exercise to learn to control your thoughts, you will need to practice this for at least 28 consecutive days to become a master at it. But if you do, it’s an incredible powerful and positive habit to have.
Here is how it’s done. When you notice you’re thinking of something negative, imagine you catch that thought like if you watched a cloud with a net you would use to catch a butterfly. Then say (in your mind or aloud) “STOP! I don’t want and don’t need this thought right now.”
Then try turning the thought on its ear to become the opposite of the negative thought. You will find that sometimes it’s easy to find the opposite of a negative thought, but often times it can seem like it’s impossible to find the opposite of a negative thought.
If that happens, just think about something totally unrelated. For example, imagine yourself on a beautiful beach dreaming away with a Pina Colada in your hands… or anything that makes you feel happy and relaxed.
Here is a video that talks about the origins of negative thinking and how to eliminate them forever:
The 2nd fastest way to fight negative thoughts and turn negative thoughts around might seem silly but something as simple as being aware of your facial expression can help you feel more positive. It’s really hard to think of negative things if you are forcing a happy smile on your face. If it helps, put a mirror near your desk at work to remind you to smile at yourself.
You can also use this technique with your body composure. Generally when we have negative thoughts, we feel sad, depressed or like all the energy has just flown out of us. If you start to analyze your current physical composure you’ll probably find that apart of your facial expression your shoulders are hanging down too.
So, to reinforce the first part of the exercise where you try to put a genuine smile on your face, you can also increase positive endorphins flowing into your blood stream by standing straight and tall, and feeling energetic, strong and proud. If you find tip #1 of flip switching negative thoughts into positive thoughts difficult, try this one instead.
Talking about positive endorphins… The best way to get them activated on a daily basis, is engaging in regular physical exercise. Be it by doing some cardio or fitness at home or the office, having a quick walk, a swim, going to the gym, yoga, or a dance class, moving around each and every day is really good for getting the positive endorphins flowing into your blood stream.
If you start each day with just a ten-minute brisk walk or running some stairs you will be surprised at what a difference it can make in your life. Shoot for thirty minutes of activity each day for the best results. This can be split in several short burst activities, or planned in one dedicated sessions. Just create a daily habit and fit it in your personal time schedule.
4. Listen to Positive Music
Hardly anything is better at lifting the spirits than music. It’s one reason music is so popular and has been for centuries. Find music that you can go to right away when negative thoughts become overwhelming. You’ll know when you made the right choice when you listen; if you are able to sing along with the song, or really feel the music and it gives you positive thoughts and energy, you’re good.
However, as most people tend to have more sad songs than joyful songs in their music library, it’s a good idea to create a folder with positive music. Music you select specifically to make you feel happy and uplifted. And if you think that’s a little bit weird, just look at some of the world highest ranked athletes in individual sports. Look at what they do before they go in their arena to perform at their best. Many times you will see them with their headphones on and eyes closed to zoom out of their environment, and be totally engaged in the music that boost their spirit and physical energy. You can do the same.
Obviously music is very personal to each individual, and therefore you’re the only one that can choose the music that makes you happy, joyful or gives you a boost of energy.
As an example and if you like Shakira, you can play this Waka Waka song from her while you continue reading…;)
Sitting quietly and breathing deeply while thinking about nothing at all can be amazingly uplifting. However, if you’re not used to meditation, it’s despite what everybody else is saying not the fastest or best way to turn negative thoughts around.
The 4 previous tips will help you more and faster. Nevertheless, practicing meditation on a daily basis will help you become more resilient to negative thoughts in the fist place. Therefore it is probably one of the best exercises to use on a daily basis, as it helps both your health as well as your mental state.
Starting with meditation is actually fairly simple, it is the levels of deepness someone want to achieve that can get more complicated. But basically just sit in a comfortable position that enables you to breathe well, and then all you have to do is clear your mind.
Some meditation teachers will tell you to try to focus on having zero thoughts. However, that is setting you up for failure as you can not focus on zero thoughts. The brain doesn’t work that way, or rather it’s getting the wrong command.
Instead just observe your thoughts, and try to see them as clouds. Some will be light and gentle, others will be dark and heavy. The practice is to not get into that cloud of thoughts, instead invite the thought to move along and let it go for now. You can even visualize you help it with a gentle gesture of your hand to pass along.
It’s the moment between two thoughts that you are in what is to be understand as no thoughts meditation. Now the exercise is to expand the moment between two thoughts/clouds. The longer the time in between the deeper you’ll be in a meditative state. When you start this practice, aim for 10 minutes a day starting with just one minute. The more you practice the better you’ll become.
6. Keep a Happiness Journal
Like meditation, a happiness journal is not something that is a good tool to use in a negative moment. When we are prone to thinking negatively it can become more and more difficult to see the goodness around us. However, like with meditation, a happiness journal has a long term benefit, especially if it is used every day.
You can start and/or end your day with your happiness journal. There is no right or wrong way to do it, as long as you can generate a feeling of real gratitude and happiness when you are writing in your journal.
You can write about anything you want, but it’s your thoughts, feeling, and vibration that needs to be positive to make it work. Nevertheless, if it’s the first time you’ll use this exercise, we have found that the easiest way for beginners to start is by writing out five things in your journal each night before bed that made you feel good or happy that happened or that you noticed during the day. And if 5 is hard, 3 is okay too. After a while you’ll become more aware of the things that makes you happy.
Each morning re-read what you wrote the night before. And if you struggle in the beginning to find something from your day, just think about anything in your life that made you feel happy, and try to remember and re-invite this feeling into your consciousness, and then start writing about it.
It can be as simple as the smile of a child, the smell of a flower, the beauty of nature, a cloud or a clear blue sky. It can be some positive words, a warm tender hug you remember, or anything that make you feel warm, tender, loved, happy or grateful.
7. Realize that Perfection is Overrated
No one is perfect, and deep inside you know that. However if you are a “perfectionist” you’ll likely be many times frustrated with yourself and others. As a perfectionist it’s easy to find fault at many things, and it not only spoils your own happiness and joy in your life, but you’re probably quiet good at spoiling the happiness and joy of others too…
We all have this at some stage and some level, however when we carry negative thoughts, we have the tendency to become overly critical and negative. What good can you expect in such a state of mind?
Therefore, try to silence your inner critic, and learn to relax in situations where things are not going your way. Striving for excellence is understandable, but setting the bar too high will only lead to disappointment. Therefore, learn to accept that you are not perfect, and you’ll never be if you look at being perfect toward the standards of others, or if others have conditioned you to set the bar to high for yourself.
It’s important to accept yourself as you currently are, and that you are already perfect as you are in this particular moment. Just realize that you are a living human being that is on a journey of experience and discovery and therefore change.
It doesn’t mean you don’t have to strive for improvement, but if you can let go of being harsh on your self, you will likely be able to not expect perfection from others too. Be at least half as patient with yourself as you are of others.
8. Find Positive Friends
The saying that misery loves company is pretty accurate. Look around you and determine whether or not you have some positive friends. If you don’t, it’s time to cultivate some. This might be quiet a challenge if you’ve been in a mentally toxic environment for a long time.
Stepping outside of that circle can feel extremely uncomfortable. However, if this is your situation, then it’s time to be bold and daring, as without creating a more positive environment around you, might toxify all the previously positive steps you took in the steps before, just for you to start all over again, and again, and again…
How to do this is obviously for everyone very personal and individual, however take this thought with you: if you are going to find positive friends they will protect you, so you are safe. They will encourage you and stimulate you, if they don’t they’re not the ones you are looking for…
You can try by joining a club or group that does good things for the environment, the community, or others, as they tend to be very positive and helpful. We are pretty sure you’ll find many positive people in such an environment and they will welcome anyone trying to participate and support as well. At the same time it will give you an incredible boost of joy and happiness to be of service to others with a purpose. You’ll see, it’s different than being of service to the ones you feel obliged too…
9. Watch Positive Movies
Although most of the movies are about drama, war, horror and tragedy, there are always movies that are funny and inspirational too. Find a go-to movie that you can watch that makes you feel hopeful and wonderfully positive, or search for such movies on YouTube. Then create a special folder in your YouTube channel where you can safe them to view whenever you feel like you need a little bit of laughter and smile on a day that you are having the blues or feeling down.
Even if it is just a silly movie that makes you laugh, laughter is excellent for breeding positive thoughts and feelings.
10. Read Positive Quotes
Actually, instead of “read” we would like to say “vibrate” positive quotes. If you collect positive quotes that you can read anytime negative thoughts come to mind, you might have two reactions.
You feel immediately better the moment you read the words.
The words do nothing to you, at the contrary you can’t care less, and they can even make you feel more angry, frustrated, or sad.
If the first one happens, you had a light moment of negativity, and it didn’t needed much to flip it around to more positive thoughts. If the second scenario happened, you are in a more severe state of negativity, and just the simply act of reading positive words will not have much effect on you in that state.
However, now you know this and you can recognize or ignore that fact. But, if you recognize and want to transform your negative state, a good way to go about it is to really visualize the effects of the words you read as if they magically happen right now. If you can step into this imagination you’ll quickly see that your feeling starts to shift and change as well.
Another good way to use positive quotes is to try to memorize the positive quotes, so much the better. Then, you can call them to you when you’re waiting in line at the bank and the negative thoughts overcome you. You can also use them as a mantra, and repeat them in your mind till you feel the negative thoughts and emotions have left you.
11. Eat Right
You might wonder what eating has to do with your mood, but you’ll be amazed at how much diet can play into negative or positive thoughts and emotions. If you eat a lot of processed food, sugar and junk, try to eliminate those foods from your diet for at least 80 percent of the time. Add in more whole foods, fruits and vegetables to fill you up and keep you nourished.
If you are doubtful this can help, just try it for 7 days to be amazed.
12. Get Sunshine
Many people around the world suffer from something called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. You can read an article we wrote about this by going here 6 Natural Remedies for Beating Depression (opens in a new window). This is feeling sad and even depressed for “no reason” during dark times or wintertime. Some people who don’t get enough sunshine even feel this way in the summertime.
Ensure that you get at least 30 minutes of sunshine each day. This will not only help keep you more positive but will also ensure that you get enough vitamin D.
13. Take Responsibility for Your Life
If you have a tendency to blame others for your failures or problems, try to realize that you have a lot more responsibility and control over these situations than you think you do. In fact, it’s the idea of lack of responsibility and control over one’s life or situation that breeds discontent and negative thoughts.
When you realize you have responsibility you become in control and you can turn it around. And if you can’t change a past situation to your benefit in the future, you can work towards making changes to avoid for it to happen again in the future.
14. Get Out of Your Own Life for a Day
As we already mentioned in tip #8, helping others can do wonders for your mindset and self-image. If you think other people get tired of hearing you complain, you probably are the one most sick of it since you “hear” yourself more than others.
Take the focus away from yourself and put it on someone else for a day. However, let’s be clear, this is not to dump your “mental and emotional garbage” into someone else’s aura. This is showing and being the best most enjoyable you to serve someone else…
Following these tips will help you fight the negative thoughts that come to your mind any time of day or night. But remember that practice makes perfect. If you have a bad day, remember that tomorrow is a brand new day, and a brand new chance to get it right. Also, you don’t need to wait till tomorrow. A negative state is just “a moment” and that means that you are just a moment away of creating a positive state. All you have to do is be aware of it, use one of the techniques outlined above, and flip switch your thoughts and emotions around.
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