The Four Keys to Overcoming Negative Thinking…for Good

Negative ThinkingDo you ever struggle with negative thinking? If you have a stern internal critic or get caught in fret, stress, nervousnes, sadnes or wrestle with low-grade self-worth, then you know some of the evidences first hand.

Negative( unhelpful) belief motifs can have a strong and sometimes devastating impact on such relationships, our health, our use … our lives.

With the four keys set out below, and a little practise, I conclude everyone can break free of negativity for good. Why do I believe that? Because if I can do it( and I have) from the dark place I used to be in, then I rely these implements will work for you too–no matter where you’re at.


People often try many different ways to get rid of their negative reflects, including distractions, recreations or’ drowning their sorrows’ merely to subsequently mentally beat themselves up for being still stuck in their negativity. It can feel like a real internal combat. These are common strategies that attempt to stop the thoughts and numb the aching in the short term but they only make it worse in the long term. It doesn’t fix their own problems at its core.

The research shows that struggling with, disagreeing with, trying to drown out or push away unhelpful recalls only enlarges them and induces happenings worse( 1 ).

If you are struggling with negative thinking, I can tell you from my working experience that it is possible to turn things around, prepared inner peacefulnes, and live a rich, meaningful and fulfilling life. Speak on to find out how. But first a little bit about my story.


I proceeded from being a bulimic, self-hating and disillusioned person to’ waking up’ out of the negativity that blighted me and into a sense of inner democracy, easy and wholeness I could never have imagined in my darkest epoches. It’s like the mind-prison that I was caged in has now become a warm, cosy and friendly home in which to abide. My mind is a place of remain, consolation and ease.

I now expend “peoples lives” coaching other people the skills and implements that turned “peoples lives” around. They have worked for me and hundreds of others–and they can work for you too, if you will give it a try.

Once you understand what causes negative thinking and integrate the skills to work with your judgment in new ways, you are able to transform your life from the inside out.

One thing before “youre reading” on: it’s important be observed that if you’re looking for a quick fix this is not what I have to offer you here. This is going to take a little practice and perseverance on your place, but I have a little toolkit of musings and talents below to funding and navigate you along the way( and retreats if you’re ready to take the leaping ).

The Four Keys all be taken together to create mental resilience and a allay, clear mind.


Negative thought structures are repetition, unhelpful beliefs. They directly stimulate what we could describe as’ negative’( unwanted or annoying) sensations like nervousnes, feeling, stress, fear, unworthiness, shame etc.

Once we learn to recognise and relate negative conception motifs as they come, we can start to step back from them. This process of stepping back from guess is called’ cognitive defusion.’ In cognitive defusion we learn to identify the recollects in our premier as simply that–just recollects. Not actuality. You see when we are fused with our thoughts( cognitive synthesi) we tend to take our thoughts highly, very seriously. We believe them. We buy into them and we heed them. We frisk them out.

When we are not fused with our thoughts–when we can step back into cognitive defusion, then we do not take our thoughts too seriously. We prop them lightly. We only listen to them if we find them priceless or helpful. We surely don’t make our thoughts to be’ the truth’ and we don’t automatically heed them or play them out. We investigate our thoughts as simply chips of speech that pass through the knowledge. Mental occasions if you are able to, that move through the imagination all the time just like the climate legislates through the sky. We have a pick in how we choose to respond to them.

The example I like to use often to illustrate the distinction between cognitive synthesi and cognitive defusion is this…imagine waking up one day and seeming out the window and interpreting flood. It’s possible that a hope might come into your brain that says “what a shocking day”. Now is it true that the working day is grim? No, of course not, it is simply raining. However if you believe the hope “what a unspeakable day”, in other words if you are stuck in cognitive fusion( literally fused with the speculation) then guess what you will probably have? That’s right, you will probably have a shocking period! In other commands if you believe a anticipate like that, it was able to generate what we might call negativity.

Below I will educate you a simple and powerful tool to start cognitive defusion( untangling from judgments) easily and quickly- but first of all, there is something that is important for you to know…

It’s completely normal to have negative imagines! It’s part of our evolutionary autobiography. There is nothing wrong with you. We all have minds that have progressed to be constantly on the lookout for both problems and jeopardies, so the majority of members of us have imaginations prone to have numerous negative thoughts.

The problem is not that we have negative expects. The problem comes where reference is believe our thoughts are true-life. When you are no longer entangled in foresees they lose their traction on you and lose their capability to render distasteful emotions.

Let’s “re going back to the” sample above. Imagine you’re laying in berth in the morning, you look out the window and you see that it’s sprinkling and once again the anticipate starts “what a distressing day”. If you are not fused with the expect( you don’t buy into it) then your experience would be like this. You’re watching the flood precipitating, then you too watch the imagine( as plainly a mental episode) “what a dreaded day” arise and fall away just like the flood is falling…and since you don’t take it seriously or believe it, it generates no negativity, progress by readily and you’re free to prepare there unwound and at ease, experiencing the pitter patter of the rain on the roof.

As you can see, the ability to recognise unhelpful thoughts and step back from it is incredibly liberating! It can change the qualifications of your entire daytime and undoubtedly your entire life. It has mine.

It’s important to be able to recognise different types of unhelpful conjecture modes that are able start, so here are some other negative thinking blueprints that are most common. Be on the lookout for them, and below, I’ll indicate you what to do when they arrive…


“My life has been full of horrific calamities, most of which never happened”.~ Michel de Montaigne

Worry is when the thinker assignments into an imagined future and creates up incidents and designs about what could go wrong. Now it often forms’ what if’ scenarios.

Sometimes it makes the form of imagining or is hoped that bad things will happen or that good-for-nothing good will ever happen for you. You might fuss about your health deteriorate, your relationship going downhill, your car breaking down or your job being ruined–even though nothing has actually happened yet.

You might focus on the shortcoming in your life and said he believed that good-for-nothing will ever get better for you. Stress related to your fiscal future, the welfare of young children or your partner leaving you fit into this category.


Do you have a harsh inner critic? Are you always trying to whip yourself into appearance, mentally vanquishing yourself up for not being good enough hitherto? Are you on a purity mission? Another structure of negative believed is to constantly criticise and’ self improve’ because you’re not been enough more. You may be very harsh on yourself, focusing in on all of your fragilities and comprehended flaws.

Likewise, you may give this dres of disapproval to others in your life. This is also possible the cause of prodigious strain on relationships. Negative self-talk and self-criticism often reactions in low-spirited self-esteem and a lack of confidence.

One way some people cope with low-grade self-esteem is to compensate for these sensibilities by attaining status, the expected accomplishments and identification. Others may feel totally debilitated by sensitives of unworthiness, growing chilled or even suicidal.

There is nothing bad with having goals and aiming to come fitter or healthier and the like–we can plainly taken the decision to do those because they are good for us or we want to unfold and originate. It’s a quite different headspace to be doing those circumstances because we don’t feel like we’re enough yet.

When the memory continuously sharpens in on “whats wrong with” yourself( and their own lives) and disassociates from what is going well and is good, we can become stuck in negativity.


Ruminating on mistakes manufactured in the past often appoints sensitives of reproach, shame and negativity. Pities of worthlessness may arise when you play over and over in your brain,’ bad’ alternatives or’ wrong’ wars you feel “youve had” made.

There is nothing’ negative’ per se’ about plainly reflecting on past knows. This is how we can learn, grow and grown-up as beings. Negativity arises when you dwell on a situation repeatedly with no real intention to learn and grow-but instead you are self-beating or wishing happenings were different instead of being accepting of things as they are.


Negative thoughts often revolve around what’s wrong with your life. Your attention becomes fixated on, and exaggerates the so called negative aspects of their own lives. Now your sentiment is often used downplay what is going well.

For example, you may have a wonderful genealogy, meat to gobble and awning, but your gondola breaks down and it’s all you can think about and focus on all week long. You grant developments in the situation with the car to reign your thinking and negative emotions start as a result.

All week you are stymie, indignant and depressed because of the car when your focus could be expanded to what is going well and what you’re grateful for.

The truth is that the car has a problem. It is no longer moving and needs to be taken to the mechanic. That’s a simple detail. Ruminating continuously on the situation is not productive at all and is another way we can get trapped in negativity.

If you have this garb of mourning over your weeps and troubles you may persistently feel annoyed, watchful, depressed and listless. When you’re so absorbed in what’s inaccurate, you’re unable to show what’s right.

Looking out for and recognising these common negative thinking structures when they arise will help you be aware of when to use the tools below to work with them skillfully and break free from their grip.


People captured in negative thinking often tell me they feel hopeless because they often strive or argue with the reflects or push them away, but the research shows that trying to struggle with thoughts in these ways merely amplifies them( 1) as you may have noticed in your own life. What you defy persists.

So how do you is going through life in a manner that is that is practical, nonviolent and genuine without getting stuck in negative reckon patterns?

Here is the first step. It’s a really powerful, simple, tried and measured proficiency for fathoming from studies without struggling with them. It’s called the’ honour it to domesticate it’ technique.

‘Name it to domesticate it’ is a term coined by scribe and analyst Dr. Daniel Siegel. Here’s the basics of how’ refer it to tame it’ labors 😛 TAGEND

When an unhelpful conception motif( and the associated feeling) originates you simply mentally’ label’ the fib. You’ve maybe detected many of our thoughts are repetition and commit the same story lines. For speciman one of my stories often is, “Who am I to be putting myself’ out there’ learning mindfulness. Aren’t you supposed to be perfect first !? Have it all totally together ?! ” I find this story unhelpful so when ponders come up along that storyline, I plainly mentally note to myself, “Ahhhh the’ who do you think you are’ floor is here again” and then I let it go.

By’ let it go’ I plainly mean, I stop dedicating everything there is my notice and stop making it so seriously. I realise it’s just a expect , not reality, then I open my awareness to the world around me again–the fledglings in the trees, the reverberates, the sail. I get out of my honcho and into “peoples lives”( more on this in key two)

As soon as you name the mental legend or structure, you have now stepped back from being caught up in it. In other paroles you have initiated cognitive defusion. From a neuroscience perspective, when you identify the envisages you stop being hijacked by them from the negativity they start( 2) because you bring the smartest part of your brain online( the frontal cortex ). The frontal cortex is pondering and is contributing to step back and get a greater position. You can do the same thing with emotions, appointing them to domesticate them like “ahhh anxiety is here” or “oh reproach has arrived”.

When naming or naming your thoughts or ardours, one important gratuity. Make sure when you mentally name, to do it in a soothing, manner tone of voice. This is important as it helps you to settle and invite tendernes and soothing into that instant instead of aggression or battle. We’re not going to battle with the memory now. We are gently learning it into new neural pathways of peace and easy. At a biological elevation, when you’ call it to domesticate it’ in a soothing voice you even get a squirt of alleviating neurotransmitters in the psyche! This makes moods of allay and serenity and comfort( 3 ).


“Let us not look back in indignation or forward in fear, but around in awareness.”~ James Thurber

Notice that many negative ponders chiefly flow from two attitudes. The first is inhabiting on the past–maybe you ruminate over mistakes, troubles, guilt and anything in your life that’s did not become the method you believe it should have gone. The second is worrying about the future–fear of “whats being” or may not happen for yourself, others or the planet.

This may take the form of stress over whether or not you will achieve particular goals or distres about the security of your finances or relationships. Or perhaps you may have concerns about coming aged. Whatever your particular negative contemplates are , notice that in order to engage in negative expectation patterns the memory needs to give its focus mostly into past or future. Either that or we judge and mentally label circumstances in the present moment to be’ bad’.

When lost in negative thinking we tend to be so engrossed in thinks that we entirely lose touch with what is actually happening in this moment of our lives. We miss the little desires of living each day. The sunlight on your skin, the preference of the menu we’re eating, a real associate with person we affection while they are talking. When we’re lost on our managers we lose contact with the world around us….and we lose touch with ourselves.

To become more present, and be permitted to step out of negative thinking, one potent programme is to’ come to your senses’. To do this simply redirect your attention out of the estimations in your premier and bring your focus to your impression perceptions.

Whether you’re in your dwelling, at the role, in the ballpark or on a subway , acknowledge everything around you. Use your senses to their fullest. Don’t get into a mental talk about the things you understand, simply be aware of what you’re experiencing in this moment.

Be aware of the phones, the perfumes, the superstar of the breeze on your surface or the contact points with the seat beneath you. Be there amply in the moment. This is a form of mindfulness pattern( more about this below ).

Research from Prof. Mark Williams from Oxford University goes to show that when rigors arise in life many of us tends to get caught up in excessive unhelpful imagine. Sometimes parties try to stop constant unhelpful gues but we don’t have to try to stop our thoughts. A more efficient room to naturalnes all that internal racket, Prof. Williams learns, is to pay attention to our direct sensory event. In this room there’s simply little to no apartment left in our courtesy for all that excessive believe. Coming to our abilities allay the mind and anchors us in the present moment.

Now, it’s not that we’re aiming to live fully immersed in our smells all the time. It’s appropriate to think when it’s helpful of course. But we can use this awareness of our appreciations to foot and centre us in a greater awareness when when we find ourselves caught up in negative thinking.

It is actually almost impossible to be both deeply represented in the moment in our gumptions and keep the negativity croaking! Try it out as an experiment and catch out for yourself to see whether this is true.


At the core of each one of us is a space that knows deep peace. As we grow up, there is a tendency to come more and more choose into the head- our problems, our goals, our hopes, our frights and hungers. We tend to get so busy, caught up and lose touch with this deeper sense of self…this unadulterated unconditioned awareness.

It grows easy for us to get more choose into negative thinking the more “were losing” touch with ourselves in this way and lose ourselves in the mind. In actuality investigate from Harvard University shows that most people are’ sentiment wandering’ 47% of the working day and this is the root of what causes cognitive synthesi( entanglement with thinks)( 4 ).

Imagine the ocean. Sometimes the surface waves can be tumultuous but the degrees are unaffected, calm and peaceful. Our thoughts using the same sort. There is a perfect stillness in each of us. Just beneath our conditioning, thoughts and garbs which can sometimes too be hectic, there is a hushed sit inside and it is always available to us as a calm refuge.

Mindfulness is the practice of waking up to that wellspring of wholeness and agreement. It’s waking up out of spirit move( where we are lost in our heads, our old-time impression, wonts, reactions and thinking decorations) so that we are able to live deliberately. Through mindfulness we improve our capacity to live from that deeper an improved awareness and tame the mind.

Regular mindfulness meditation has been demonstrated to lessen stress, dimple and tension as well as improving immune perform. Beings who rehearse meditation report overall levels of pleasure with life higher than others. In fact, investigate and psychologist Matt Killingsworth found that what makes people most happy is being fully represented in the moment and that the more our brains stroll the more miserable we grow( 5 ). There is so much dominance in this simple practice.

By rehearsing daily mindfulness reflection you will gradually raise more awareness and be less caught up in your knowledge. I have provided a free reflection below that you can download and start practising with but the right place to start is by the 7 Daylight of Mindfulness Course that you can take for free here.

Four Ways You’re Strengthening Your Judgment When You Practice Meditation: Each era your knowledge walks in meditation, your duty is to show it and then detach from your seen series and is coming to your senses, in the moment. This is a practice of untangling from guess over and over again, a garb which moves in the rest of your life more. It becomes a dres to detect and let go with ease.

Each time you let go of the remember torrent and is coming into the present moment you tap into the stillness and wholeness at the heart of who you are. A gumption of serenity, lightness and joy arises more and more with each time you practice.

Each time you are category and soothing with yourself when your thought saunters, instead of criticising yourself, you are strengthening your self-compassion for challenging instants in the rest of your daily life. You become more pliable to stress and cultivate a kinder mind.

Each time you observe the spirit that is an opportunity for’ insight’ into your mind’s garbs and motifs so you grown in what we might scold wise or self-awareness.


Some kinds of negative thinking decorations can be quite’ sticky’. You may find that “youre just trying to”‘ refer it to tame it’ and is coming to your senses but the imagines continue to have a grasp on you. If you find yourself in this position there are some further implements you can use to untangle from your thoughts and change your focus. These are called the helpful a matter of unhelpful remembers. These was derived from ACT( agreement and commitment regiman ).

You can use some of these questions to mentally question negative thoughts and use others to change your focus.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help you elucidate from the judge. You ask them and then you can answer them in your honcho. Generally you would just pick one of these at any given time.

Is this thought in any way useful or supportive? Is it true-life?( Can I utterly know that it’s true-life) Is this just an old story that my judgment is toy out of wont? Do this thought help me take effective act? Is this though helpful or is my head really babbling on?

Then you can( mentally) ask these questions below to create brand-new focus and new prospects. These questions will help you places great importance on constructive thoughts and actions and help you effectively face your day-to-day challenges and move towards living a more meaningful life. Again, you may merely expend of of these at a time but you are able always try more than one too.

What was true? My deepest truth? What do I certainly want to feel or create in the situation? How can I move towards that? How can I determine the best of such a situation? Who would I be without this negative felt? What new legend or reckon can I focus on now? How can I see this in a different or new style? What can I be grateful for in this moment?

With these strong questions you can change your focus from being stuck in negativity to being concentrate on what’s going well. They will also help you make constructive action and move towards living a more meaningful life.

Constructive thinking allows you to be happy when things are going good, and keeps questions in perspective when times get tough so you can stay calm and clear thoughts and deal with them in a practical efficient way.


As mentioned above, the four keys are not a’ quick fix’ programme for creating permanent change of long standing patterns. True change takes time but I promise you with a bit of fortitude and pattern these four keys have the capacity to truly change your world from the inside out.

Now at the same go as I say these are not a immediate permanent fixture, you will find that in any given moment of negativity, these tools( specially’ word it to tame it’ and the helpful questions) can assist you to immediately untangle and change your mindset.

The more you pattern these implements, the more they will become like second nature to you. It’s like building a muscle–the more you use them, you become mentally fitter and stronger. In era the aged attires are worn apart and rather than being preoccupied with negativity, you’ll is more and more calm, centred and self-aware, leading to better affairs, greater overall pleasure and a sense that your life is being fully lived.

As time goes on you’ll become more and more like those ocean degrees, less impacted by the ripples on the surface and more connected to the armistice and wholeness at the heart of who you are.

I hope this blog is helpful to you. If you have any questions or involve clarification of any point now please jot them down in specific comments part below. I’m ever happy to help you.

P.S. If you experience this pole you may also find the upright on How to Use Mindfulness to Overcome Negative Emotions helpful or The Mindful Way Through Loss and Heartbreak. A 4-Step Process and Free Meditation.

P.P.S. Here is a meditation you can use for overcoming negative thinking that incorporates some of its most important above. “Thats one” of numerous meditations I have recorded for the Meditation Studio app( my beloved musing app) – you can find more of their high quality musings available now.