Let’s face it, we all have negative thoughts sometimes. Anyone that says otherwise isn’t being truthful. Or perhaps they have reached enlightenment, but those are few and far between. It is inherent in humans to think negatively at times. I call it part of the “human condition,” because the fact is, so many of us experience negative thoughts frequently throughout our lives. But if I can teach you one thing that you can take forth for the rest of your days, it’s the understanding that our thoughts are paramount to the reality we experience. How you think can affect the way you act and see the world. Having consistent negative thinking can interfere with your everyday life, and can prevent you from enjoying what you have and living a good life. Letting go of negative thoughts can feel liberating and staying in the present moment can help you achieve your full potential.
An example I like to give my clients when I work with them on negative thought patterns is demonstrated below. A negative thought becomes a negative looping thought at some point when we don’t address or counteract it. When you keep repeating a negative looping thought it then becomes part of you and you may feel you can’t stop it. For example:
When you keep repeating a thought over and over again, you will get the same feeling and the same outcome because your mind only responds to the words you tell it.
So how does one go about addressing this?
Similar to the example of negative thinking shown above, you can create a positive looping thought which will result in a healthier and more positive behavior. For example:
I work with many RTT clients on the root cause of beliefs that need shifting, and the same importance can be given to figuring out the root cause of your negative thoughts. It’s important to give yourself a moment to calm your mind, and then start to dig deep on what the root of the negative thought might be. When we have awareness what the root cause of something is, we can start to transform it. Negative thoughts are like weeds in your beautiful garden. Once you find them, you want to pull them out from the root so they don’t grow back.
I know this one might sound silly, but just changing your body language can help start to shift you from a negative thought to a more positive one. Try standing or sitting up straighter instead of being hunched over or collapsed. It allows the energy to flow more freely through your spinal cord and up to your brain. Smile! There is research now that shows the simple act of smiling can help shift people to a more positive state.
Some people who are new to manifestation work believe that if they think a negative thought, all is over. There is a level of what we call “spiritual bypassing” that goes on in the manifestation communities where negative thoughts and thinking just get bypassed without truly addressing them. One of the quickest ways to move through negative thinking its to actually acknowledge the negative thought – don’t ignore it! Ever heard the phrase “what you resist persists?” Well that phrase couldn’t ring more true for negative thoughts. Acknowledge their presence, seek the wisdom that they might be bringing, and THEN move on.
That “human condition,” I mentioned above? Not staying in the present moment is a part of the human condition. We worry about the future and lament the past. But to best support our mental health, living in the present moment is super important. Pay attention: the next time you find yourself worried about next week or mad at your sibling for something that happened 5 years ago, remind yourself that you only have control over the present moment. The more we live in the present, the less suffering there can be.
Last but not least, get out and move your body! Releasing endorphins is a fantastic way of combating negative thought loops. There’s a whole biological explanation behind why the release of endorphins is so powerful for our mental health, but I’ll leave it to the better equipped scientists to explain that portion to you. Just know, if you are feeling like poo, try physical activity, it does wonders.
Well folks, that’s a wrap! I hope this post has been helpful in giving you ideas for how to let go of negative thoughts. If you find yourself experiencing so many of them a day that even trying to let go of them seems overwhelming, just know you are not alone and that reaching out to an experienced mental health professional should be your next step.
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