How to Free your Mind: 8 Science-Based Strategies to Combat Negative Thoughts
Negative thoughts can be a burden to our mental health, causing us to fall into emotional distress, anxiety, and depression. In some cases, negative thoughts can even have an impact on the society we live in. But there are ways to combat them. In this article, we will explore eight science-based strategies to free your mind from negative thoughts.
1. Whistle, Sing, Smile, Dance, Stretch
Your brain is wired to be connected to your body. Negative thoughts can instantly impact your body, causing negative energy such as body aches, tenseness, tiredness, and even twitchiness. To combat these negative energies, try engaging in activities such as whistling, singing, smiling, dancing, or stretching. These activities will release happy chemicals in your brain, which will travel to your body and complete the cycle.
2. Be Aware of Your Attention
Your thoughts about your car, money, associates, food, and clothes are all relationships in your life. If these things nourish and enrich you, then continue to care for them. But if you focus on something out of habit or obligation and it drains you, stop giving it attention. Remember that things do not define you unless you allow them to.
3. Slow Down Your Rate of Exchange
When talking to yourself or others, try to slow down and examine the words you choose. Are they accurate? Did your mind jump straight to a tired, negative belief? How did you react to the language? How did others react? Try replacing negative memories with positive ones.
4. Choose Your Thoughts
How you think sparks molecular pathways in your brain, like grooves in a piece of wood. You can always start a new path with thinking in a new way, tracing the path until the molecules are trained. A scene in “The Terminator” shows our favorite robot in a hotel room when there is a knock at the door and a question posed. Internally, he sees possible responses. Choose your thoughts wisely.
5. Don’t Pretend to Care When You’re Indifferent
We are all unique and have different experiences, memories, hard knocks, and joys. But what we all have in common is our conscious mind and our subconscious mind. If you were raised by church-going parents and feel guilty for not attending Mass in two years, recognize that it’s okay. You are not here to live up to other people’s expectations.
6. Declare, Write, and Think Positive Thoughts
This kick-starts your brain, heat up the part of your brain holding the thought, and subconsciously brings you closer to achieving it. The brain cannot process negative and positive thoughts at the same time. Dwelling on the negative will only bring more negativity.
7. Label Your Negative Thoughts as Useless
If your mind is swirling with negative thoughts, label them as useless and move on. This separates you from the thought, allowing you to see it objectively and skip over your fight-or-flight response. But remember, if there is a hurricane warning, labeling it as useless might not be the best option.
8. Repeat a Mantra
Repeating a mantra in the morning can set your mood for the rest of the day. Your brain cannot process negative and positive thoughts simultaneously. If your thoughts are actively positive, you are incapable of thinking negatively in that moment.
In conclusion, negative thoughts can impact our mental health, emotional well-being, and the society we live in. But by engaging in happy activities, being aware of your attention, slowing down your rate of exchange, choosing your thoughts, not pretending to care when you’re indifferent, declaring positive thoughts, labeling negative thoughts as useless, and repeating a mantra, you can free your mind from negativity.