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11 Easy Ways to Shatter Negative Thinking

An obstacle is often a stepping stone - Prescott

Negative thinking and negativity in general is something that essentially feeds on itself. Once you embark on a train of negative thoughts, it is quite easy for them to spiral completely out of control.  The negative thoughts simply need a trigger. After that they will play out like a script and bring on a series of disastrous consequences that have a wholly bad impact on your mood and general outlook on life.

One of the main consequences of negative thinking is that they will drain the energy out of you. You are always lost in your own imagined world of worries and pain and divorced from the present moment. These feelings become ever stronger the more you become engrossed in your negative thoughts and can get particularly intense and in some cases unmanageable.

A lot of suicides  have been a result of bouts and bouts of negativity that pushed some people over the edge.  One way to illustrate how negative thinking plays out is to imagine a snowball getting bigger and faster as it rolls on the ground, collecting more snow.

This ball clearly illustrates what a single “little” negative thought can become if not well managed. It will become, bigger, faster and more intense. It’s good to note that a single positive thought can also have a similar effect on you and bloom beautifully into great positivity in your life.

The best way to shatter negative thinking in your life is by developing the ability to think positively. The beneficial outcomes of a positive frame of mind on our lives have been well documented in numerous studies. Anecdotal evidence suggests that a positive mindset adds several other benefits to our lives, ranging from overall good health, better self esteem to greater productivity in our work lives.  If you are grappling with a paralyzing negative train of thought, here are 11 important tips that you can consider in order to break the chain and start developing a more positive outlook:

Meditation or Yoga

Yoga is very effective in eliminating those debilitating negative thoughts. It will take your attention away from your thoughts and focus them on your breathing. It is also a very relaxing exercise and will help ease your mind. Negative thinking will make you jump the gun and embark on a negative train but meditation brings you back to the present and away from wild probabilities imagined by your mind.


Simply stand in the mirror and smile. It relaxes you and makes you feel good. Even for a moment. Smiling is the best way to change your mood and relieve some of the stress from your body.

Practice Gratitude

Try to be thankful for all that life has offered you. Focusing on what you have rather than what you don’t have will help steer your mind towards more positive thoughts. Leveraging these thoughts can help you discover how you can use what you have to achieve even more in life.  Practicing gratitude is one of the very first steps that will help steer your thoughts away from negativity.

Surround yourself with positive people

Break the cycle of negativity by cutting links with people who contribute to your negative thinking and begin surrounding yourself with more positive people. When you are in a negative spiral, the last thing you need is people who make it worse by feeding your negative thinking. Bring in more people who are capable of putting things into perspective. When you are pursuing positivity in your life, it is import to make a clean break with all negative energy.

Start taking responsibility

Negativity always results when you begin making yourself a victim. On the other hand, you can begin becoming the master of your own happiness by taking responsibility for your actions. One of the most beautiful things about life is that we are given the freedom TO CHOOSE where we want to take our lives.

Transform the “Can’ts” into “Cans”

You can’t get a job. You can’t find a girlfriend or a boyfriend. You can’t make money. You can’t find a good home. There are many “can’ts” in life that make our lives really miserable if we spend our time focusing on them. But we can begin practicing to transform these “Can’ts” into “Cans” in order to lead a more fulfilling life. Look at what you can achieve, and what you have achieved previously. The first step to achieving something is realizing that you can do it.

Be kind

Practicing kindness and forgiveness will lead to a more positive outlook in life and contribute to your happiness. When you are kind and nice to others, you will begin extending similar kindness and positivity returned. This is known as “givers gain“.

Find the Silver Lining

No one has an entirely smooth ride in life. Everyone, at some point, has a very rough ride. But some people learn how to find the silver lining in every dark cloud. Learn to make the most of those events that you consider misfortunes such as divorce, bereavement or loss of a job. When things happen to us that rattle us out of our comfortable existence, learn to focus on the positive aspects.

Slow your mind

Sometimes, negative thinking is as a result of a mind that is moving at the speed of light. While your mind might move too fast, events often take their own course gradually. Try to practice yoga and meditation, which will help slow down your mind.

Create your own standards

You are a unique human being so be the captain of your own ship. Live up to your own standards and not other people’s expectations. The pressure to conform and be “like others” can really drive you down the dangerous path of negative thinking. When you follow your own path to your dreams, you will develop a measure of confidence that helps you move forward determinedly.

Remember to laugh

Find people and things that make you laugh. You can even laugh at yourself. Look for opportunities to play, laugh and make others laugh.

Make small positive steps towards your goal

Working towards your goals and meeting daily little milestones can help you in breaking the cycle of negative thinking. If you have a big goal that is eroding your energy, take little daily steps towards your ambitions.

Frances Masters

Frances Masters is a BACP accredited psychotherapist with over 30,000 client hours of experience. Follow her @fusioncoachuk, or visit The Integrated Coaching Academy for details about up coming training.