Are you overburdened with negative thinking?
You are able to change. Through understanding your negative thoughts on a fundamental level, you will be able to free yourself.
Together we are going to go through a four-step process that I have been using for a decade with incredible success.
If you’re ready to dive into your negative thinking and make a change, let’s get started together.
Understanding Your Negative Thoughts
We all suffer from negative thoughts. Thoughts turn into emotions. Emotions turn into thoughts.
It’s a never-ending pattern that seems to never let up no matter what you do.
There is an answer, it is possible to free yourself from negative thinking. Most of the advice is focused on avoiding these thoughts and distancing yourself – this never works.
The reason why it doesn’t work is that unless your thoughts experience resolution, you become attached to them subconsciously.
It’s dangerous advice, the thoughts may “go away” for a short period of time but they will resurface. They will also become stronger, louder and become another issue that must be dealt with.
Negative thinking must be understood for what it actually is. They are formed through inner struggles, either through childhood traumas or internal conflict.
Your negative thinking knows you best. They know exactly how to get you to “latch” on to them and feed them with more anxiety. Negative thinking pushes your buttons perfectly and you fall for it every time.
It’s an honest mistake. Unless you figure out how to deal with them on a fundamental level, your entire life will revolve around playing a rat-mouse game with your negative thinking.
Thoughts are like weeds. Unless you pull the weed up from the root, they will continuously grow. That’s why you must learn how to deal with your negative thinking from the root of the source rather than trying to fix it through external methods.
You’ll find that it may be a bit counter-intuitive at first, but the power of simply observing and watching your thoughts is life-changing.
Let’s explore the four steps you will need to overcome negative thinking.
1) Identify The Source of Negative Thoughts
Your negative thoughts started from a certain point in time. The issue that occurs often is you become anxious about your negative thoughts and that leads you to have negative thoughts about your negative thoughts!
Instead of becoming overwhelmed, take a deep breath and try to remember where it all started.
Try sitting with yourself in a quiet place and let the negative thoughts talk to you rather than avoiding them. They are your clues to freeing yourself from your negative thinking. Don’t run away from them, start diving into your thoughts for answers.
One of my sources of negative thinking was that I was “never enough”. The source of my own negative thinking stemmed all the way back to childhood.
I would always beat myself up and berate myself for even the smallest mistakes. I would get bullied – and that thought had enough emotion behind it that it stuck with me for years.
A singular thought may have started at a different point in your life. That’s why it’s important that you identify EXACTLY where your thoughts came from.
You want to find the root of the cause, so that you cant start weeding out your negative thinking.
Subconscious thoughts don’t surface easily. They are buried in your mind because of your attempt at avoiding them.
By sitting with our negative thinking, we allow them to come to the surface. Through vulnerability with ourselves, we can let these thoughts run their course.
If you become too overwhelmed, don’t force it. Give yourself as much time as needed, once you’ve found the source of your negative thinking move on to the next step.
2) Accept Your Negative Thoughts
You create 100 percent of your suffering.
Suffering is a symptom of attachment. Spiritual meditation is a powerful method of learning this otherwise overlooked concept.
If you’re new to meditation, learn how to meditate spiritually to make this step easier.
Through sheer acceptance of your negative thinking, all conflict could be resolved.
It sounds simple and yet at the core of it, it’s tricky. The issue lies in the fact that you cannot accept thoughts through thought. Acceptance must be a full mind-body experience.
Imagine trying to dig the roots of a 100 year old tree. The roots would be incredibly sturdy and deep. It would take quite a while to extract every root from the soil.
Your negative thoughts won’t be let go of in a day. Every day you can get that little bit closer to finding freedom. The path isn’t always clear and linear.
For me it took me a few years to accept one of my deepest, subconscious negative thought patterns.
That doesn’t mean that you give up – that means you begin by acknowledging the path to a clear mind requires patience.
Start by accepting this moment, right now. Accept that you are having negative thoughts that are causing you discomfort.
What would your life look like if for a split-second there was no argument with reality?
With no argument in reality there would be no conflict. When internal conflicts cease to exist, negative thinking loses its source of power.
By accepting your negative thoughts you are draining its source of energy. The longer you stay in conflict the more power your negative thinking grows.
This step may take some time to process. Take as much time as needed.
3)Letting Go of Negative Thoughts
You must let go of your negative thoughts.
You are not the same person that was reading this article a second ago. The cells in your body have changed, you are a completely different organism.
The person you were a second, a day and a year ago isn’t you. It’s time to let go of the past so that you can move on with your life.
I had to look deeply at the source of my thoughts – they stemmed from a bullied childhood which resulted in low self-esteem and self-doubt.
I’m not the little kid that was crying himself to sleep every night. While the thoughts and memories of this experience stayed, I had to accept that moment in time was over. It was time for me to let go.
Letting go is what happens after you fully accept your past and internal conflicts.
Once the root of the source is found, accepted and healed, your negative thinking has been seen through. The power they once had over you will cease to exist and you will be left with a clear mind.
Your focus should be on facing yourself rather than trying to find a band-aid solution. Don’t avoid hard work or “feeling bad” the end results are life-changing.
Letting go will happen naturally once acceptance is present. You may have to go through steps 1-3 multiple times before a single thought process is resolved.
That doesn’t mean the efforts are for nothing. You are finally dealing with your internal conflicts and unrooting your negative thinking.
This is a time of growth for you. Enjoy the journey.
Negative thinking takes time to resolve. You must be patient with the process. It may feel that you are going backward, this is normal.
The key to these steps is letting yourself fully experience your negative thoughts and emotions. It’s a gut instinct to avoid ourselves, our deepest being, but that’s how you feed into your negative thinking.
By letting yourself experience every inch of your negative thoughts you allow for them to resolve naturally.
You will find that by directly facing yourself you will find yourself experiencing freedom like never before. Your negative thinking will be understood for the first time in your life.
Your negative thinking is a gift. It’s your doorway into healing your internal conflicts and past traumas. It’s how you grow spiritually.
Even after 10 years of dealing with negative thinking, I still find myself repeating this process. The result of practicing these steps time and time again is that I no longer view my “negative thinking” as harmful.
I look at my negative thinking as a tool to continue my growth as a human being. That’s why negative thoughts and thinking don’t control me anymore. I do still experience them, but instead of them being around for weeks on end they are sorted out using the four step process.
That’s the kind of power you will find by following these steps repeatedly.
A singular negative thought pattern may require months of meditation and attention. One negative thought leads into another which amounts to a significant amount of your being that needs to be explored.
Keep repeating these steps until you find resolution. Negative thoughts don’t last forever if you take the steps to confront them.
You’re well on your way to finding your own personal freedom.
Avoiding Concrete Thoughts
Avoid telling yourself that you are a certain way. For example: “I am self conscious”.
Stating these thoughts as facts are what cements them as attachments. Labelling yourself a certain way is holding you back.
You aren’t allowing yourself to change by stating concrete thoughts.
Catch yourself the next time you state a concrete thought. You’ll be surprised at how often you do it. This is what leads to believing our thoughts as fact rather than seeing them as able to be changed.
Your negative thoughts will have less power, they want you to start believing them.
Next time you catch yourself saying “I am a certain way”, observe if this is true in reality.
Are you REALLY this way or have you convinced yourself of it?
Everyone has the ability to change. You are no different.
Exercises to Stop Negative Thinking (Or understand)
There a few methods that you can practice to continue furthering your understanding of your negative thoughts.
You should avoid attempting to “stop” your negative thinking. Your thoughts are a gateway to your inner soul that shouldn’t be ignored.
By ignoring yourself you only weigh yourself down further. Continue your understanding with your negative thoughts until you find what works for you.
Not everything that worked for me will work for you. Your process will turn into a science for your own soul.
Try out these methods until you find a method that works for you:
- The four step process in this article
- Compassion services
- Perspective building through real life experiences
In my own experience, the four step process listed above is what has been my go-to source for inquiring into my deepest soul. Meditation used alongside the four-step method allowed the subconscious thoughts to rise to the surface.
It was through allowing these thoughts to come to the surface that my negative thinking subsided. Focusing on “stopping” your thoughts will only work until it doesn’t.
Spirituality is another great way of getting to know yourself. Searching for life’s deepest answers is a lifelong endeavor.
Compassion services allow you to show your mind that you aren’t your thoughts and you can experience good emotions. When you give without expecting to receive, the love you feel is limitless.
When you build perspective either through travel or experiencing life, you see the bigger picture. Focusing solely on your own life is a recipe for disaster. Traveling to third-world countries allowed me to witness how happy people could be with nothing to their name.
You will make a change in your life. Understanding your negative thinking is a process that requires dedication and patience.
Results won’t come instantly. At moments you may feel the urge to cry – and that’s perfectly fine. You are only human. Undressing your repressed thoughts can be difficult to experience.
Repeating the steps above will lead you to finding freedom. Real freedom that lasts.
The best part of all is that you will have learned a method that can be used for the rest of your life when dealing with negative thinking.
You are not your thoughts. You are capable of change.