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Four Steps to Get Rid of Negative Thoughts

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.

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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 negative thoughts. There is hope for you. Others have done it, so can you!

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 the following method you can get rid of much negativity in your life so that you can think positive.

So, here’s the method, step by step.

1. 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.

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2. Label It

Take a good look at your thought. “I’m experiencing a negative thought now.” Tell yourself like this. Then you decide that you will not let this negative thought take control of you. Visualize the thought going away from you or going into the ground. Once a day, find a place where you can sit alone quietly for a few minutes. Even a toilet will do if you have no other place. Visualize that you dump your negative thoughts onto a dead tree, a rock or the sea. Tell yourself that you don’t want them anymore.

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After doing this for a few days, you’ll notice a sudden change. Suddenly you’ll begin to feel your energy level stop sinking and the inner gloom will stop getting gloomier. Fantastic progress until now, so congratulate yourself. Treat yourself to a nice cake and then on to the next stage.

3. 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 all 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 amount!” 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.

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4. 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.

Many addiction recovery programs fail because there is no success in replacing drugs, liquor, or porn addiction with something positive and desirable. It is the same with negative thoughts. They become an addiction. So, when you start purging your mind of them, what do you put in their place? Being thankful brings a positive appreciation of your situation and you see yourself as part of a bigger picture.

You don’t have to be religious or expect archangels flapping wings and blowing fiery trumpets by your bedside as wake up in the morning. The perspective and relaxed feeling you get as you start becoming free of negative thoughts allows you to be more receptive and see opportunities. 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. Then, to your surprise, you start attracting positive thoughts.

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  1. sinikka sinha

    On April 7, 2008 at 11:26 am


    Very useful indeed, in fact invaluable. Wish I had heard about this before. Every word is a diamond in its proper place, I can never thank the author enough, you are a life saver

  2. Gian-Carlo Albinoni

    On April 12, 2008 at 11:55 am


    Good points but I wonder how effective self-help would be in desperate cases.

  3. Rana Sinha

    On April 18, 2008 at 2:22 am


    Thanks Gian-Carlo Albinoni for your comments. Very important question that you have raised. Even if the situation is not acute we all do need expert help,professional help. In acute cases this help is vital. Though in reality all healing is internal healing, the capacity of people in desperate situations is very impaired and they can’t begin to heal without professional help.

  4. Johanna

    On June 12, 2008 at 11:47 am


    I will start using these tips now. Seem interesting and might work.

  5. M.G.Selvi, Panneerselvam

    On July 1, 2008 at 6:38 am


    I read the four steps and I feel it may work well. The third step of exaggerating seems a little frightening, but finally thanking will overcome this step. I will try and tell my two daughters also to follow and see if it helps.THANKS FOR THE HELP

  6. Julie

    On August 4, 2008 at 12:59 am


    I can see how the exaggeration can be helpful for dealing with negative thoughts, and it’s not one that’s often talked about.

  7. Rana Sinha

    On August 7, 2008 at 10:35 am


    Thanks to everyone for their comments. The exaggeration brings humour into a very serious state of affairs. When in the grips of negative thoughts, we lose perspective. Humour can bring this perspective back. Being thankful introduces the spiritual dimension. This opens the windows for new positive thoughts to come in and replace the negative ones.

  8. Cindy

    On August 14, 2008 at 8:36 pm


    These are great tips. Many years ago, I was very sick and the power of having positive thoughts instead of negative ones really helped me heal faster. Instead of feeling sorry for myself I accepted the fact that things happen for a reason, and you can take any situation and make it a better one. I even had my birthday party in my hospital room!

  9. Alexander

    On August 28, 2008 at 6:35 am


    Great tips. I’ll start practising. We have so much negativity in our office.

  10. Nigel

    On September 2, 2008 at 8:39 am


    I liked these tips. Will try them. At least they sound sane.

  11. Manas

    On September 13, 2008 at 7:28 am


    Very good tips. I’ll start using them. We have so much negativity in our lives. Ithink they should teach these skills in schools rather than teaching things like algebra, which I have never needed.

  12. Bug

    On October 21, 2008 at 4:26 am


    Thankyou so much! I am so grateful that I found this page because it has opened my eyes! When I finished reading this I actually cried for joy because I realised that all my fears were truly absurd!
    Thankyou!

  13. Sachin

    On January 18, 2009 at 1:01 pm


    It is indeed a very useful article . I never thought it will be this this simple to flush out negative thoughts. I had a habbit of finding negatives in each and every thing. This habbit made a complete loser out of me. Hope i will b able to gid read of this habbit.Thanks a ton for this post.

  14. Vijay

    On January 29, 2009 at 5:09 am


    This article is not a pragmatic one . if one feels negative in mind, these kind of answers won’t make any difference.

  15. Tony

    On February 11, 2009 at 12:17 pm


    I think reading about how to fix my negative thoughts gets my mind away from negative thinking for a moment. Thanks.

  16. Jay

    On April 8, 2009 at 8:12 pm


    i think it’s helping a bit now but i wish it would just go away and be myself again…

  17. Michaela

    On April 30, 2009 at 2:08 am


    I just googled \”How to banish negative thoughts\” and this site was the first listing. Sat here at my computer and put all of these steps to work and what a difference! Believe me after a life time of struggling with my black hole mind this was something that just turned the tide. The humour, riduculing of the \”negative thought\’ cancels its power and replaces it with some light and space. This is a way of making cognitive recognition therapy work effectively.
    Thankyou so much!

  18. beau

    On June 12, 2009 at 4:34 am


    thanks for the tips

  19. stephen

    On July 10, 2009 at 11:04 am


    i juss want too say thank you this is really goin to help me out

  20. Sandra

    On July 11, 2009 at 11:57 pm


    ok of course children are happy naturaly becouse they have yet to experience the negative

  21. Center For Eating Disorders

    On July 21, 2009 at 10:53 am


    Negative thoughts can sometimes feel all-consuming. Finding solutions to this negativity is important, but identifying the causes behind it is equally imperative. Cognitive distortions often perpetuate negativity and depression. These distortions range from “all or nothing” attitudes to overgeneralizations. The Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt recently wrote a blog entry on cognitive distortions and ways to conquer them. To learn more, visit http://eatingdisorder.org/blog/2009/07/14/cognitive-distortions-define-discover-disprove/. Let us know what you think!

  22. Puneet G

    On August 18, 2009 at 4:57 pm


    Hi, It was great reading this article. My negative thoughts have been running my life and it is so true about them draining your energy. I have only recently become aware that I have too many negative thoughts . I hope it is the first step toward somehting positive. I can weave my life around these thoughts , cry for hours and finally ‘wake up’ from these thoughts totally drained. I have started making changes and hope to get over them . I don’t know how long it takes.

  23. vijay

    On August 23, 2009 at 3:46 am


    I thank Google first because this is the first page i got when i entered “how to come out of negative thoughts” and of course thanks a lot for these simple but effective steps to come out of negative thoughts.I realize that negative thoughts will not just go out in few seconds as you practice these steps but i believe it is possible to drain out the thoughts.

  24. Agnel

    On November 3, 2009 at 8:44 am


    Super cool.. tips…. belive in it .. will work for sure

  25. chris

    On November 16, 2009 at 3:40 pm


    amazing…

  26. Joyce

    On January 20, 2010 at 5:57 pm


    THIS IS ONENESS. PLEASE VISIT THIS SITE:
    http://www.ammabhagwan.org/

    this is really amazing, miracles and everything. 2012 the world will be a fantastic place. visit your local satsung for details for research them!!

  27. hey

    On February 5, 2010 at 7:31 pm


    lol the exaggeration step (3) made me cry from laughter

  28. apoorv

    On February 14, 2010 at 4:27 am


    looks interesting and easy to practice….

  29. Ray

    On February 27, 2010 at 3:33 pm


    One thing that somehow help me get rid off negative thoughts was to stop caring that much what other people think of me. It was like a weights were lifted above my shoulders.

  30. Hey

    On March 2, 2010 at 3:57 pm


    Great tips…i’ve been trying to rid myself of negative thaughts for about a year now using affirmations and various other techniques…but none have worked…dunno maybe coz i gave up on them too soon….but this time i’m going full force on these tips…thanx :)

  31. renate

    On April 10, 2010 at 5:31 am


    fantastic this is the first one that i can connect with .all my life [because of childhood abuse] i have felt so dumb .whatever i tried it just didnt work .i truly felt brainwashed into negativity.so im really optimistic in giving this a shot .im worth it .good luck to all of you .thanks so much [its in its simplicity [child level] we can get our head around it .

  32. Djenaba

    On May 23, 2010 at 3:40 pm


    I am thankfull for your advice

  33. Maryerline

    On September 2, 2010 at 4:27 am


    Thank you this article. Just read it and feel it.

  34. iyellatpeople

    On October 14, 2010 at 7:04 pm


    Dude, i came to this page feeling like i was going to fall asleep because iv’e been feeling so down lately. I was trying to find something to motivate me and set my mind at ease, thats when i came across this page. After reading over this, I feel like I can take on the world! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU, very much!!!!!!

  35. KC

    On November 26, 2010 at 4:31 pm


    I watched some of the movie ‘Human Centapieds’ and it really scared me and grossed me out (suggest you not watch it), i stayed up all night just hoping not to think about it again but i kept thinking of it, i had to sleep with my mom, i then threw up at like 3 in the morning im not sure if i was just sick because it was thanksgiving but it might be because i was overobessing about it. Every time i think of it i feel like im going to throw up. WHAT TO DO WHAT TO DO?

  36. KC

    On November 26, 2010 at 4:31 pm


    I watched some of the movie ‘Human Centapieds’ and it really scared me and grossed me out (suggest you not watch it), i stayed up all night just hoping not to think about it again but i kept thinking of it, i had to sleep with my mom, i then threw up at like 3 in the morning im not sure if i was just sick because it was thanksgiving but it might be because i was overobessing about it. Every time i think of it i feel like im going to throw up. WHAT TO DO WHAT TO DO?

  37. Kevin

    On December 1, 2010 at 9:17 am


    Seems interesting will give it a try, but something could be added. With my negative thoughts I find myself living inside my own head getting bitter by the second meanwhile I am surrounded by my young loving family who can’t realize what’s going on in my head which is preventing me from enjoying time with them. I keep reminding myself to get out of my head.

    “There’s nothing wrong with talking to yourself as long as you know you’re the one doing the talking.” – unknown

  38. Yeahnomaybe

    On January 8, 2011 at 12:58 am


    I’m against the idea of visualising for the exageration part, unless it’s used in a positive way. The act of visualising a negative situation or event, (ie. of bankers laughing at you in this example) is still going to give you what you don’t want to happen.

    It’s probably better to write out the exagerations instead or by thinking about them in a non-detached way than to visualise them.

  39. babai

    On April 7, 2011 at 1:35 am


    CAN YOU PPL PLEASE HELP ME….do this negative thinking and the sense which I just want to avoid can be terminated from my mind ? and I am relay know which is right and which is wrong … so do I need a professional help or just can follow this step to get rid of these…. some time I afraid a professional can make me more serious as I am not this time…. I just afraid of all negative term and sometime I feel some negative force which make me afraid of unimportant topic….

  40. rocker

    On August 7, 2011 at 12:39 pm


    what i would say,..the reason negative thought occurs again and again because we try to run from them,never run just be friends with them and tell yourself yes i agree with that and i beleive in that,when u raise a friendship hand with your negative thoughts the power of those negative thoughts will decrease,
    but if you act like Oh my God these thoughts are disturbing again and more you panic more you will find yourself in that situation,and do not try to respond your negative thoughts too much because it means that you are giving too much importance to it,more you focus,more you will face that thing,just dont respond with your negative thought as soon as it occurs just tell them yes i know about it and i am happy with it,the time u start accepting it rather than running it u will see a differnce in your life,and with the time that thought start fading because you aint giving that much importance to it as that thought was expecting..!

  41. John

    On April 21, 2012 at 6:05 am


    Good but not much good.

    lol

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