Seven Ways To Help Rid Yourself Of Negative Thoughts

7 Ways to Help Rid Yourself of

As I have gotten older, I realize how negative thoughts are far more powerful and destructive than I was ever conscious of.

What we think, is essentially what will become. For example, If we want a PR and we believe it, we can achieve it as long as we are working toward that goal everyday. It seems simple, but just catching yourself from thinking things like “I’m not that fast” or “I’m not that good” or even worse, comparing yourself to someone else. These are normal thoughts, everyone has them, but you have the power to change them right here, right now.

Lately, I have been feeling so grateful for all the blessing in my life and as soon as I felt this, great things began to happen. These small gifts make me feel like I won the lottery. Hmm, maybe that’s next. The more grateful you are, truly grateful, no matter how small or large, then your life becomes flooded with abundance. Example:

While at Whole Foods one day I ran into and met this incredible lady Melody at Will Run for Margaritas Talk about inspiration.. she leaves my jaw on the floor quite often. She is an example of someone who dreams big, works hard and remains grounded.

Won an autographed copy of “My Life on the Run” by Bart Yasso from Jess at Run With Jess. Even Bart’s inscription tells us not to limit our thinking..Please refer back to this post when I am famous. :)

Won this shirt from one of my favorite running apparel stores Oiselle… the personal note was the frosting on the cake!

These are just a few examples. When you feel grateful and happy with what you have right here, right now, anything is possible. The first step is getting rid of the darkness.

Here are seven ways to help rid yourself of negative thoughts…

1. Be Aware. The first step is catching yourself when you are having a negative thought. This could also be when you are talking negative about someone else… gossip is a reflection of how you feel about yourself.

2. Repeat a mantra. When you notice yourself being negative, immediately stop and replace with something like “the sky is blue”. For me this is also my running mantra “Let go — allow.”

3. Be Grateful. Take a deep breath and think of something you are grateful for. It can be the smallest thing: a cup of coffee, a beautiful flower, your kids being silly.

4. Go for a Run. If you are feeling really negative about something and you have time, immediately go for a run or walk. Go with the intention of clearing your head, do not lament about the topic, instead intentionally try to let it go. If it feels too difficult to let go, pray for your own serenity and again, be grateful… you’re running or walking (many cannot).

5. Acknowledge Your Feelings. What is it that is upsetting you? Often times we are taught not to “feel”, “You shouldn’t feel that way”, “You will be fine” or “get over it”. It is perfectly normal and natural for every human being on this earth to have negative, sad or jealous feelings. Let the sadness come in like a wave and then watch it go back out to sea. The bigger the issue, the more time you may need to process it. The important thing here is to not to stuff your feelings, but rather acknowledge them and, then gently let them go when you are ready.

6. Visualize What You DO Want. If something is troubling you, visualize the opposite. Ex: you feel jealous or irritated by someone. Picture yourself happy and inspired by them. Another example of this would be to picture yourself as if you have already achieved that PR. No dream is too big. What is important about visualization is NOT to compare yourself to others but acknowledge how strong and capable YOU are.

7. Surround Yourself With Other Positive People. It is perfectly natural to feel down sometimes, but when someone hangs onto the mundane and laments again and again about the same thing over and over, and “everyday/body/thing sucks” it may be time to move on. It is very difficult to not be affected by that energy and it could be dragging you down. Give that person a silent blessing and slowly remove yourself from that persons life.

Getting rid of negative thoughts is as important a part of being a runner as training for your next big event. It is not that difficult, but what is difficult is ridding yourself of a bad habit. Often times we learn this behavior from our life experience and we are simply on autopilot, unaware of our own negative dialog. The good news is we can change right NOW. It doesn’t take much other than desire to live your best life. Some of the people who are masters at being positive have suffered the most internally. When you hurt enough, you get sick of living that way and, the desire to be happy motivates you to change. There are so many things in life that we cannot control but, our thoughts are ours. Imagine how amazing everyday can be if you remove the dark cloud and let more of God’s light shine upon you.

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    • Lisa says

      Thank you Elle, And thank you very very much for sharing this on FB and for being loyal reader and commenter. xoxo truly grateful.

    • Lisa says

      Thank you Malinda, Thank you for the compliment, the RT and for your loyal support. Abundance! I won the lottery with you. xo

    • Lisa says

      Kierston, Thank you and thank you for always reading, commenting on my blog and for the RT. I am blessed to have you as a reader. xoxo

    • Lisa says

      Amanda, Thank you.. isn’t it nice that we relax with age. The tough times still come but don’t seem as big anymore. Thank you very very much for RT and for being a loyal reader and commenter. So fortunate am I . xoxo

    • Lisa says

      Emily, Thank you! It is always good to kick off a Monday clearing the mind, yes? Thank you for stopping by. I really appreciate your comments. Have a great week. xoxo

  1. Rob says

    Great post! As we learn more and more about stress and anxiety – and the far reaching negative effects they have — it’s important to realize that we don’t need to surrender to their negativity! We control our lives, and we decide how we want to feel about what’s happening in them. It’s not always easy to gain that control, but it’s worth every amount of effort it takes to do so!

  2. says

    Fantastic post! I completely agree with it. I especially like the idea of validating your feelings–I practice this all the time. Right or wrong, if you’re having a feeling, it’s valid and should be acknowledged.

    Thanks for the great tips!

    • Lisa says

      Amanda, Yes, that is a big one for me as well. I have to catch myself as parent to not to squash my kids feelings. When they fall down or get a paper cut and are throwing a fit, I have the tendency to say.. “your OK” you’ll be fine” “it’s nothing”. They move past it so much quicker if you say “oh I am so sorry your hurting, but if you give it a minute you will be OK”… something to that affect. Validation is big!
      PS. When you comment on my blog it always makes me feel so good.. why? Because I know you have read the whole thing. You have been a loyal reader and supporter from the start. I have told you before but will tell you again, how much that means to me.I don’t ever take that for granted. xoxo

    • Lisa says

      Ericka, Thank you so much for your kind words. When new readers find my blog it’s like Christmas morning for me..such a gift. To me, having a network of people that support each other is my wealth. I feel like Waren Buffet.. how lucky am I? Look forward to hearing more of your comments!

    • Lisa says

      Thank you Michelle.. it creeps back to all of us.. just like our bodies we have to keep working out our thoughts. Thank you very much for your comments.

  3. says

    #7 rings so true for me. I’ve cut several negative people (even family members) out of my life. I don’t need the constant negativity in my life. Life is too short to always focus on the bad times.

    I love your post!

    • Lisa says

      Jen, I have done the same with regard to family.. If not eliminate, limit the amount of time spent with someone… set a limit, like 3 hours and I’m done. Thank you so much for being a loyal reader and commenter.. xo

  4. says

    Yes! These are great tips. I especially like #1- being aware of the negative thoughts, catching them, and changing them into positive ones. I’m getting better at this with time and practice, but it is a discipline.

    • Lisa says

      Laura, Isn’t just like running? You start out and at first it’s tough but then after awhile you become stronger and stronger. SOmedays you fall off the wagon and others you feel like super women. It truly is a discipline. Thank you my loyal friend! xo

  5. says

    this is such an awesome post! Thank you so much for writing it. I feel like the older I get the MORE destructive negative thoughts can be. When I was younger It was so much easier to just push the thoughts out and move on with my day. Now – they linger. They burn holes and super glue parts of themselves places to hide for later.

    great tips!

    • Lisa says

      Charlotte, I think we all go through different phases in our lives.It is a journey full of hills, mountains and valleys. Sometimes there is a fine line between anger (negative feelings) and tears (internal sadness) . When you are feeling really upset about something I would venture to guess you are hurting. You are a blogger and a chef you are creating (that by nature is very personal) and putting yourself out there. I think you are incredibly strong and brave for doing that. It also can leave you feeling vulnerable. Sometimes we need to protect ourselves.. you don’t want to build a wall but rather a nice sturdy screen door around yourself. Huge hug and love to you. Thank you so much for reading and for your rich and thought provoking comments. xo

  6. Brandi says

    Such a great post, and so timely for me! As I get older I find I have less tolerance for negative people (especially family members) and yet I am just as guilty of having negative attitudes and behaviors. Tip # 7 hits very close to home for me and #3 is one I need to remember when I feel myself sliding into negativity. Thank you for posting this! Xoxo

    • Lisa says

      Yes, The family member thing hits home for me as well. Love you like sister Brandi. Thank you for posting a comment. xo

  7. says

    LOOOOVE this post, Lisa!! So beautiful and definitely hits home with me. You can accomplish what you think and believe you can. For so long, I didn’t think I could run a sub-6 min mile. After joining twitter back in Oct, I started seeing females that ran comparable half and full marathon times as me that were blowing me out of the water with their mile and 5k times. I started to believe that I could – and by Jan 5, I ran a 5:56 mile on the treadmill =)
    PS. Love Melody too – she’s so inspirational =)

    • Lisa says

      Michelle, Thank you so much.. you are so inspiring to me! I feel that way so often. Frustrated because my marathon times are not reflective of what I am should be doing.. If you look at my 10 mile and half marathon times I should be doing a MUCH faster marathon.. So I think to myself “What is wrong with me”? Your story gives me hope… I am going to keep trying at the marathon until I get the time I should be capable of doing. Thank you for your comment! xo

  8. says

    The last point is so important! Not only do we need to keep positive people around, we need to be willing to walk away from those who are negative. It doesn’t mean forgetting about them, but being able to say “I do care for you, but I am not in a place right now where I am any good to either of us”

    • Lisa says

      Julie, So true in recent years I am very aware who I spend my precious time with. I limit my encounters with the dark clouds.. this does not mean I do not care, in fact I spend quite a bit of time giving those silent blessing. You said it so well. Thank you very much for your thoughtful comment. xo

  9. says

    This is so motivating! I find that the last thing on the list is SO key. I am easily brought down by “Debbie Downers”. There are many where I work and I think that’s why I often feel dragged down by negativity in my workplace. It’s not even about mean people, but people who just vocalize the negative and nothing positive so often. Sometimes I have to do the other thing on your list – and just WALK out of the office and get some air!

    • Lisa says

      Cait, I hear you.. it is difficult and even more so when you are working with someone to get away from it.. I really have so much empathy for you. You have me laughing with your last statement “Walk out and get some air” almost as if these people are passing mouth gas… bawhaha.. nice visual the next time you can no longer tollerate them.

  10. says

    Why are you so awesome and amazing?! This is SUCH a great post – thanks for sharing. And thanks for the shout-out! I LOVED meeting you :)

    • Lisa says

      Heather, thank you.. Isn’t our sport the best? It’s free therapy. Love your blog H. Thank you for stopping by and for your comment.. really appreciate :)

  11. Annica says

    lived it ! thank you it will be on my fridge by tonight , thanks
    3 teen age daughters can make you crazy sometimes.!

  12. Sarah H says

    LOL!… So funny!… Passing mouth gas… Love it! I am a 32 year old mother of three children under 10, and I live in a small hamlet where everyone knows everyone’s business… Not to mention all the gossip that goes around… It was not a coincidence that I was brought to this site, just when I needed it the most. I love all the steps and will continue everyday to use them. I’m not a runner, but I love to be out in my garden, which is like free therapy… Thank you so much for all your positive info, and I really love how wonderful all the posts have been… Change your thinking, free your mind and remember every second of the day has the power to be beautiful and inspiring! Thanks again to all, this was just what I needed today and everyday!
    Sarah H, Alberta Canada.

    • Lisa says

      Jessica, Sometimes, if I just close my eyes and visualize the negative feeling as something separate from my true self… like a nasty houseguest, acknowledge it’s there and then gently as it leave, that can help. Those types of thoughts don’t serve you in anyway! If you need to talk about it, please feel free to contact me.