Four Steps to Get Rid of Negative Thoughts

by Rana Sinha, Apr 7, 2008

Negative thoughts are a thousand times more addictive than drugs. A four step proven approach to help get rid of negative thoughts is presented here. Using this technique you can get rid of negative thoughts and make yourself a happier person.

Negative thoughts are a thousand times more addictive than drugs. Over time they become you so that you cannot distinguish a thought as being separate from you.

Many mental health professionals and psychiatrists like Professor Aaron Beck of the University of Pennsylvania, who invented the Beck Hopelessness Scale, believe that depression is due to negative views towards the self, world, and especially the future. In his lifelong experience of working with depressed patients, Professor Beck found that they experienced streams of negative thoughts that habitually pop up spontaneously out of nowhere. Our thoughts, emotions and our behaviour all affect each other. By changing how we view them we can make significant changes to improve our lives. By identifying and evaluating our thoughts we can think more realistically. This makes us feel better and then we do indeed behave more functionally. This improves everyone’s lives.

You can get rid of anything but negative thoughts, they say.

There is hope as this is not true. There is a priceless and proven technique, which has helped lots of people get rid of negative thoughts that plague the mind. When you learn to get rid of negative thoughts you become a more positive person, who is happier. All the advice you get about “Think positive”, just doesn’t work if you can’t get rid of negative thoughts first. Using this method you can get rid of much negativity in your life.

So, here’s the method, step by step.

Become Aware

This is the first step. You have to recognise that you’re having a negative thought. The sure sign of a negative thought is that it lowers your energy level. Then it can also make you feel gloomy and bitter so that you can’t see any good in anything.

Label It

I’m experiencing a negative thought now. Tell yourself like this. If you have come this far, you’ll notice that suddenly you’ll begin to feel your energy level stop sinking and the inner gloom stop getting gloomier. Fantastic progress until now so congratulate yourself and then on to the next stage.

Exaggerate It

Explore the negative thought and play with it. Stretch it and make it absolutely ridiculous. If you have a thought such as “I can’t go and tell my bank that I’d need to lower my monthly mortgage amount. They’d think I’m a loser”. Visualize the people at the bank laughing out aloud so they roll on the floor pointing at you. Some of them manage to rush into the street and stop passers-by or get on the phone and call their friends and say out aloud “Can you imagine, we have a customer here who wants to lower her monthly mortgage!” Then everyone joins in to ridicule you, the traffic stops, TV cameras appear and they make a breaking-news alert, the president cancels his foreign trip. As you go on doing this thought stretching, you realize the absurdity of your negative thoughts. They begin to appear bizarre and lose their glue-like grip on you. Congratulations, you have now reached breakthrough point. The miracle has started taking place. You’ve started freeing your mind.

Be Thankful

Notice that all your exaggerations did not actually take place. Things could have been far worse for you if they had. This is a reason to be thankful. The moment you start being thankful, a new ray of life enters and your inner gloom lights up. Things start happening to you that never happened before. Where there were only walls for you to bang your head, doors and windows appear. An end of the world disaster turns out to be an opportunity, a new beginning that you’d never have imagined. Now just relax and experience how new things come into your life in place of the old negative thoughts. You don’t need to make extra efforts to plant positive thoughts. By removing negative barriers, you allow positive things to start happening to you. This is what is meant by “Thy will be done” in prayer. You recognize that your personal ego is rather tiny in the big picture. If you try to run everything with this tiny ego, you limit all possibilities to only those your tiny ego can imagine. Life contains infinitely more possibilities than you can imagine.

When you’ve been going through these steps for some time, you’ll notice that life does seem better. Your energy level picks up. New purposes emerge in place of cheerless despair and people start appreciating the new you and your self-confidence starts to build up again. A star is born.