4 Effective Ways to Snap Out of Negative Thoughts

Is there a little voice in your head that’s holding you back? What if the words you heard can give you a boost instead of it weighing you down?

We all have the tendency to hold on to negative self-judgments no matter what status we hold in our society. Whether we are a struggling freelancer who’s hustling every day just to make ends meet, a high-ranking corporate executive who’s at the helm of his career, or a successful entrepreneur reaping the rewards of his hard work, negative thoughts hold on to us. Along with, the constant stress, worry, and anxiety that we experience in our daily lives, nobody is spared from the plethora of distractions around us. Even when steeped in just reading a book, our mind wanders about 20% of the time. We have a difficult time being right here at the present moment.

Having negative thoughts are normal. Staying there is what causes most of the damage. Excessive mind wandering and self-criticizing can cause pain, anger, frustration, and fear that often leads to depression. It promotes the release of cortisol, a chemical substance that suppresses the immune system, and if ignored can result in ill health and even sickness. These will prevent you from enjoying life as you should.

In switching to a more positive thought pattern, you create space to invite anything you want into our life, like love, gratitude, excitement, and positivity. Acceptance allows you to be at peace and live your life to the fullest.

Your thoughts are your worst enemy. Your feelings come from your thoughts. If you can learn to shift your thoughts to positive, you will feel better. Below are techniques you can use to snap quickly out of a negative thought.

1. “Can’t change it.”

These are the three life-changing words of Hal Elrod, “Can’t change it.”

Hal is the no. 1 Best-selling author of “The Miracle Morning: The not-so-obvious secret guaranteed to transform your life before 8 am”. Hal Elrod died at 20. An intoxicated driver hit him head-on at 70 miles per hour. He died for six minutes, flat lined twice while in a coma, broke 11 bones, suffered permanent brain damage, and was prognosticated never to walk again. Instead of dwelling on the unfortunate consequences of reality, he learned to accept the situation and moved on. To everyone’s surprise, not only that Hal walked again after a few weeks, he became an ultra-marathon runner, running 52 miles to raise money for charity. He’s also a hall of fame business achiever, international keynote speaker, a world renowned success coach, and hip hop recording artist.

Hal learned from his Cutco sales training, the company he was working with during the accident, the “The 5-minute rule.” He said that it’s OK to be negative when things go wrong, but not for more than 5 minutes. When things don’t fall into place, you look at the situation, you can bitch, moan, kick things, but after 5 minutes, take a deep breath and say “Can’t change it” and learn to accept reality. The 5 minutes gives you enough time to feel it, reflect, and decide on your next move. There’s no value in dwelling in the past. You can’t go back and change it. The only logical, intelligent choice is to accept all things that are out of your control, accept the things you can’t change and move on.

You gain emotional freedom when you embrace the things you can’t change. When bad things happen, it’s not the bad things that are causing you pain, it’s your resistance to those bad stuff. It’s about wishing and wanting it were different. When faced with a situation like this, say, “Can’t change it.” Divert your attention to the things that you want and accept the things you don’t want (reality).

2. “.b”

.b pronounced [dot-be], stands for “Stop, Breathe, and Be!”.

In 2007, two school teachers experienced the benefits of mindfulness practice and wanted to bring it to life in the classroom. The Mindfulness in Schools Project was born, henceforth, .b was coined. Richard Burnett and Chris Cullen were tasked to encourage 25 teenagers to get involved in periods of stillness and silence. They convinced them that mindfulness was a skill that could make a real difference to their lives.

Research tells us that your mental health and happiness are profoundly shaped by how and where you place your attention. Mindfulness is recognizing where thinking becomes over thinking and rumination. Knowing how to change gears into a mode of mind which is more nourishing is a skill that you can learn through practice.

When the mind wanders, you need to bring it back to the present. If it wanders 100 times, you bring it back to the present 100 times. You need to train the muscle of our attention (also called, mind muscle). That’ s the foundation of mindfulness. Mindfulness strengthens the immune system. Less stress means less cortisol that results in improved health.

In a nutshell, every time you encounter any negative thought, Shout .b [dot-be]! Then you have to “Stop, Breathe deep, and Be present!”.

3. “The Stop Light.”

Daniel Goldman is a psychologist and an award-winning author of Emotional Intelligence. He challenged traditional measures of intelligence as a predictor of success in life. While watching his talk about “Focus-The Secret to High Performance and Fulfillment” at the Royal College of Music, he shared that he visited an elementary school in New Haven, Connecticut. Going to the classrooms, he noticed that there were posters of a Stop light on the walls of every classroom. He soon realized that the school was required to encourage kids to practice mindfulness at an early age.

The stop light reminds them that when you’re upset, angry or depressed, do the following:

STOP! – Means to stop, assess the situation.

CALM DOWN – Means to relax, manage your inner turmoil.

THINK- Means you need to think before you act.

By following these three simple steps, you will be able to overcome your negative feelings soundly. This process is a lesson about cognitive control. One definition of maturity is by learning to lengthen the gap between impulse and action. By doing so, you allow yourself to handle a situation wisely.

4. “Change the channel darling.”

This one is a classic. A Mom’s wise word of advice.

I’m a subscriber at Marie Forleo TV, an online channel that features industry experts and movers and shakers of the society. It’s one of Inc’s 500 fastest growing companies of 2014. Marie is a life coach, motivational speaker, author and was named by Oprah as a thought leader for this next generation.

One evening when I was watching the interview of Arianna Huffington promoting her new book “Thrive”, Arianna shared stories about life lessons her mother ingrained in her when she was growing up.

“Another of my mother’s gifts was to be in a constant state of wonder at the world around her. Whether she was washing dishes or feeding seagulls at the beach or reprimanding overworking business people, she maintained her sense of wonder at life. And whenever I’d complain or was upset about something in my life, my mother had the same advice: “Darling, just change the channel. You are in control of the clicker. Don’t replay the bad, scary movie.”” – Arianna Huffington

She hits the nail on the head. You are in total control of your life. You can decide whether you want to feel sorry or be happy. You are in-charge! Now, it’s your choice.

Are you constantly preoccupied with negative thoughts? Do you dwell on your past experiences and worry too much about what the future may bring? How are you coping? I’d love to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

About the Author:

Jovel’s 20 years of experience in the field of IT and Entrepreneurship is the driving force behind his successes. He is a sought after authority in the areas of Entrepreneurship, E-commerce, Internet Marketing, and Export. This ex-IBMer has earned global recognitions from the WTO, APEC, and the UN. He graduated from the University of the Philippines with a double degree in Computer Science and Tourism. In his spare time, Jovel enjoys adventure sports, such as scuba diving, mountaineering, and kayaking. He loves traveling and exploring exotic local cuisines.

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