14 FREE ways to kick negative thoughts to the curb
Hands up if you’re your own worst critic? (my hand is up!). We give ourselves such hard time and in the online world it seems self-doubt and negative self-talk is rife. The only way you can truly have a happy life is to take control of your thought process. Don’t tell yourself that you have no control over your own thoughts; you do. There are several steps you can take to make it easier to kick negative thoughts to the curb! Let’s make 2017 the year when we believe in ourselves and reach our full potential.
Ways to kick negative thoughts
1. Smile – It 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.
2. Meditate – Sitting quietly and breathing deeply while thinking about nothing at all can be amazingly uplifting (if you find thinking of nothing tricky, which I do, give yourself the task of concentrating on your breathing and imagining the breath filling your lungs). Sit in a comfortable position that enables you to breathe well, and clear your mind. Aim for 10 minutes a day, but start with just one minute.
3. Exercise – Get moving! Moving around each and every day, whether itís a quick walk, a swim, or going to the gym, 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, you’ll be surprised at what a difference it can make in your life. Shoot for thirty minutes of activity each day for the best results.
4. Keep a happiness journal – When we are prone to thinking negatively it can become more and more difficult to see the goodness around us. Start and end your day with your happiness journal. Write in it three things that was good about your day, then each morning re-read what you wrote the night before. I do this each week with my Happy List blog posts. I find knowing I have to write this post, keeps me mindful of the little things that are good about my week, but may be easily forgotten otherwise.
5. Listen to positive music – There is hardly anything is better at lifting the spirits than music. It’s one reason music is so popular. Find music that you can go to right away when negative thoughts become overwhelming. When you listen, if you are able to then sing along with the song and really feel the music. I love so much music, but the song that makes me centred if I feel out of control is I Giorgi by Ludovico Einaudi.
6. 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 and reach out to find positive people. It is said we are the combination of the 5 people we spend the most time with, – so let’s make them positive people!
7. Get out of your own life for a day – Helping others can do wonders for your mindset and our own image of ourselves. 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.
8. Take responsibility for your life – If you have a tendency to blame others for your failures or problems, try to realise that you have a lot more control than you think you do. In fact, it’s the idea of lack of control over one’s life that breeds discontentment and negative thoughts. When you realise you are in control, you have the power turn it around.
9. Flip negative thoughts to positive thoughts – Be conscious. When you notice you’re thinking of something negative, try turning the thought around to become a positive thought. First, stop thinking in absolute terms. In neurolinguistic terms this is switching, think the negative, realise you have and switch it for a positive.
10. Realize that perfection is overrated – No-one is perfect, and you know that. You probably don’t expect perfection from others, so why expect it from yourself. Be at least half as patient with yourself as you are of others. Striving for excellence is understandable, but setting the bar too high will only lead to disappointment.
11. Watch positive movies – Find a go-to movie that you can watch that makes you feel hopeful and wonderfully positive. Even if it’s just a silly movie that makes you laugh, laughter is excellent for breeding positive thoughts and feelings.
12. Read positive quotes – Collect positive quotes that you can read anytime negative thoughts come to mind. If you memorise the positive quotes, so much the better, they can become mantras. You can call them to you whenever the negative feeling strike.
13. Eat properly – It’s amazing how much eating can play into negative 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.
14. Get sunshine – Many people around the world suffer from something called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. This is feeling sad and even depressed for no reason during times when natural sunlight is limited (typically winter). 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.
Following these tips will help you kick those negative thoughts to the curb whenever they appear. 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. It will take practice, mindfulness and effort to make these mindset switches, but it’s so worth it!
Do you have any ways to rid yourself of negative thoughts when they strike?
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