3 Spiritual steps to release yourself from negative thoughts
Imagine you could release yourself from negative thoughts.
How much better would your life be, if you could stop those nasty, self-loathing germs from ruminating in your mind.
If you could clear some headspace for positive and uplifting thoughts that would help you manifest the kind of life you truly want to lead.
How awesome would it be, if every negative situation in your life didn’t knock you sideways or leave a permanent scar? How great would it be, if you could simply rise above your circumstances and glide over the challenges in your life?
I bet that’s where you’d like to be, but I sense that it’s not where you’re at right now.
Listen, I don’t blame you. Let’s face it – life can be pretty tough.
The best plans often don’t work out, and even the best people can let you down, leaving you disappointed and upset.
It’s easy to get entangled in a web of negative thinking that can bring you down and make your mind spiral into a well of despair.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. And getting where you want to be is actually easier than you might think.
Here are three steps, grounded in spirituality, that will stop negative thinking from infecting your mind. If you use these steps, you will stop your negative thoughts and live a more abundant life. The Angels will also start to send you signs, like the number 555, to let you know you’re on the right track.
1. Accept where you are right now
This may sound like a step in the opposite direction. But the only way you can start climbing out of that well of despair – is by descending right into its scary depths.
As the famous psychologist Jung used to say:
“What you resist not only persists, but will grow in size.”
What does this mean?
If you’re stuck in negative thoughts because your ex left you, accept that they no longer want to be in a relationship with you.
If you’re ruminating because you’ve lost a job, accept that you’re now unemployed.
If you’re not where you pictured your life to be at this point, accept that you’ve failed your own expectations.
It may sound harsh but, unfortunately, reality doesn’t always turn out the way we want it to be.
Sometimes this is because of actions that we’ve taken (or haven’t taken) while other times it’s due to challenging circumstances.
Sometimes we simply are where we are – in Universal terms, nothing has actually gone wrong – in fact, it’s our mind that’s burdened by our own high expectations of where we think we should be at.
But if we fight against our current circumstances, without accepting them, we’re at the risk of living in a state of fantasy or an idealized image of our own lives, instead of being fully present in what is.
When we try to feel better and happier from this frame of mind, it simply doesn’t work, because we haven’t accepted and examined the source of our own unhappiness.
It’s like telling yourself that you’re fine and happy, and that everything will work out, while deep down you’re torn by fear and despair.
People often complain that The Law of Attraction isn’t working for them, that they’re not able to manifest the things that they desire, no matter how hard they try to visualize that perfect scenario coming true.
This is because they haven’t fully acknowledged where they’re at.
They haven’t faced their reality head on.
Instead of facing the grim state of affairs that they’ve found themselves in, they’re trying to trick themselves and the Universe in believing that what’s really happening in their lives isn’t happening at all.
So, the first step you need to take in order to stop negative thoughts from occurring may sound counterproductive – but it’s the only way that any other method is going to work.
Accept that you’re having negative thoughts.
Accept that your life is not where you want it to be.
Accept that you haven’t accomplished that perfect ideal that you were striving for.
And accept that that’s completely ok.
Cry, if you need to. Have the courage to descend deep into that well of despair, in order to really face what’s going on.
How do I know this will work?
Because everything is made up of energy. By completing this first step, you’ll be able to release a load of negative energy.
Crying, shouting and screaming has a lot of negative connotations, but what you’re effectively doing by releasing emotions this way, is that you’re releasing negative energy, instead of allowing it to fester inside you.
And, once you’ve completely accepted where you’re at right now, you can move onto these next two spiritual ways that will help you stop having negative thoughts.
2. Start to perceive your negative thoughts as signals that something needs your attention
Our culture is obsessed with the idea of ‘being happy 24/7’.
We see our friends posting amazing pictures on Facebook, where everyone is smiling and having an awesome time, and we want that, too.
We hear people bragging about their success, and we get jealous. We so often compare ourselves to others, experiencing ‘status anxiety’, a term coined by the modern philosopher Alain de Bottom in his documentary.
But when we’re obsessed with being, feeling and having more, we end up fighting our negative thoughts.
We try to get rid of them, dismiss them. We see negative thoughts as something undesirable, because we’re told that negative thinking limits our ability to manifest amazing things in our lives.
As a result, we don’t recognize our negative thoughts for what they really are.
Our negative thoughts are merely signals that something needs our attention.
This is similar to bodily pain which gets treated much in the same way as negative thoughts do.
What often happens in our culture is that when we experience bodily pain, we are given painkillers that simply numb that pain temporarily. We’re rarely told to really examine our lifestyle as the potential cause of that pain. We’re rarely encouraged to take responsibility for our own health and make important changes.
But bodily pain is not something that should be simply numbed. It is not something that we should run away from. Pain is merely a signal that something has gone wrong in the healthy functioning of your body. Just like a negative thought is a signal that something has gone wrong in the healthy functioning of your mind.
A negative thought is pointing at something that needs your attention. This could be, for example:
- an unhealthy belief about yourself;
- an unhealthy belief about others or the world;
- an emotional wound that you’ve suffered and is crying out to be healed.
In order to overcome negative thoughts, we need to recognize them as signals, pointing at something in our own minds that we need to examine.
So instead of trying to replace the negative thoughts with positive thinking (which is the equivalent of taking painkillers when you’ve got a broken leg, instead of getting an x-ray and a care plan), we need to recognize them as useful signals that something within us needs further examination.
So when you have a negative thought, write it down, and examine the reason for why you’re having it. Once you have it, take the necessary steps to rectify the problem.
For instance, if you have an intensely negative thought about your ex leaving you, you may need to work on raising your self-esteem. Try to examine the negative beliefs you hold about yourself and give yourself the attention that you wish your ex gave you.
And there’s one more thing you can do. In fact, this is the quickest and easiest way of releasing yourself from negative thoughts – but only if you practice it regularly.
3. Release yourself from negative thoughts by practicing forgiveness
You’ve accepted the reality of your situation. You’ve examined the source of your negative thoughts. Congratulations. That’s the hard bit.
Now is the time to let it all go.
The quickest spiritual way to stop negative thoughts from occurring is forgiveness. But – although forgiveness is quick and effective, you may have to overcome your own resistance to it first.
But here’s the good news.
If you’ve completed the first two steps outlined in my article, which are:
accepted the reality of your current situation,
examined the source of each negative thought,
you’ve essentially done the hard work required for this final step that will, eventually, eliminate a lot of your negative thoughts.
And that’s forgiveness.
And the first person you must forgive is not the person who ‘wronged’ you. The first person you need to forgive is yourself.
If you are not where you expected to be at this point in life, forgive yourself for the chances that you didn’t take, for the situations where you could have acted differently, for the ways in which you think you failed yourself.
For instance, if you feel cheated by another person, forgive yourself for trusting them and ignoring the warning signs. This is not to say that you are to blame for every situation. It’s simply that, when we are mad at someone for doing something to us, we’re actually mad at ourselves for allowing it to happen (whether or not we were powerless in that situation). And before we can forgive another person, we must forgive ourselves.
This is because the golden rule of do unto others as you would have them do unto you, applies to forgiveness, too. You cannot grant forgiveness to someone else before you have granted it to yourself.
Here is a self-forgiveness meditation by Unlock Your Life that you can try, if you’re struggling with this concept.
If you’re struggling with the concept of forgiving others, you may have some misinformed ideas about what forgiveness actually is.
Forgiveness does not:
excuse someone’s behaviour or make them innocent;
make an awful act right;
bring justice to the situation where you ended up being hurt.
Forgiveness is simply the action that you need to take in order to release vast amounts of negative energy. You cannot go back and change the past, but, by forgiving someone else for something they did to you, you are releasing that hold that they still have over you.
Think about it this way, if you like. They did something awful to you, and yet – instead of letting it go, when you choose not to forgive, you’re actually allowing them to do it over and over again.
In other words, you can let someone enter your life, make a mess of things, and leave you in a complete turmoil. With your permission, you can allow them to leave a permanent scar.
Or – you can choose to forgive. By doing this, you soften the damage that they did to you, and release them, so that you can move on and live the kind of life you want and be the person you want to be.
And there you have it, 3 spiritual steps to stop negative thoughts. Please try them out and let me know what you think in the comments.