Releasing negative thoughts and energy to leave space for positive isn’t always the easiest thing to do. I know for years I said I was positive until I challenged myself to do journaling work daily in the form of gratitude journaling. I had no idea how subconsciously I actually was a very negative and condescending person. That horrible news for me was the best news, because once I saw it, I was able to actively turn that around, and it has been the best thing for me in the last year and a half.
The work to be done to shift from negative to positive is really quite simple. So simple in fact it may seem stupid. By the way, if you are reading this and you are already thinking, “Well, that’s stupid!” or if that thought comes up when I explain the process on tuning in to your actual thoughts, then this work is for you. This work is for EVERYONE. We all can use this kind of work, no matter how positively we think we already are; there are always improvements to be made in our thought patterns.
There are two main ways to shift your thoughts from negative to positive, and both require pen and paper.
- Gratitude Journaling
This should be an obvious one because I write about it a lot. My book that is coming out soon is about this as well.
Even though I have explained the process many times before, here it is again, because it is worth repeating:
every day write down five things you are grateful for.
ONLY five things.
And every day those five things must be a different five things.
Do this for at least three weeks. If you miss a day, that’s ok. Forgive yourself for missing a day. Move on by writing them down in the moment.
You can get a notebook, notepad, or journal.
You can use a gratitude app on your phone or just your regular notepad on your phone.
You can send a text to someone telling them how grateful you are for them, r mail a card.
Whatever you do, make it consistent. Every day, five new things to write. It’s simple and literally takes five minutes.
- Write down ALL of you negative thoughts.
There was a group of monks in India who had an intense practice whenever a negative thought cropped up in their minds. They used to walk miles to a waterfall in the wilderness. It was a treacherous hike, and getting to the waterfall was not easy. The waterfall was freezing cold, and they had to stand underneath the pounding cold water until they couldn’t stand it anymore. They did this every time they thought anything negative. This is how strongly they felt about the power of negative thoughts, and the importance of cleaning them out of their systems. Negative thoughts are just as bad as eating or drinking something bad for your health.
Luckily for us, not many of us have access to a freezing cold waterfall. A freezing shower might do the trick, and you are welcome to do that if you wish, I am sure that would be a powerful practice, but here is what I suggest that has worked wonders for me: write it down and destroy it.
This doesn’t have to be done every day, but once you start gratitude journaling daily, you might begin to notice there are some negative words, phrases, and images that like to lurk around in your mind. They’re not going to go away on their own. They need a little help.
The best way to clear them out is to write them down.
Give them a separate sheet of paper away from the things you are grateful for. It’s good to keep their energies separate. This is what we are trying to do, anyway.
For negative things I write, I like to write them on a loose piece of paper, preferably a piece of computer paper or from a notepad, but it can also be in your notebook or journal.
Write down all the negative things you are holding on to about yourself, your life, your body, your family, your coworkers, your bosses, your employees, strangers, situations, your friends. Anything and everything. Make that list as big as possible. This work is being done just to get it out of you, to clear it out.
After you are done writing this list, you can choose to leave it in your journal (if that’s where you wrote it) or you can destroy the list.
When I learned to destroy my list of negatives it took the cleansing to a whole new level.
There are many ways to destroy the list, and you can choose whichever works the best for you. Just make sure it is completely destroyed, and you have no way of accessing it ever again.
There are two main ways:
- Burning it.
Please make sure to do this safely. Do it outside with no wind, and make sure there is nothing flammable around you. Keep some water nearby just in case. If you are not comfortable burning it, don’t do it. And if you environment does not seem appropriate (like you can’t go outside, or it’s to windy outside), then choose option 2. This is only a suggestion, not an instruction.
For me, burning has been the most effective just because I love the totality of it. I love watching my handwritten words burn away, because it is always something really negative that I am holding a lot of emotional charge about. I have used this to clear space in my mind for ideas I have about other people, myself, and my life. The power of burning away thoughts is immediate and profound.
- Tearing it.
This is the safest option, and is just as powerful as burning it.
There can be a lot of satisfaction is ripping a list apart with your own two hands, especially when that list is the list of things that are holding you back in life.
Rip it apart.
Show your negative thoughts who is in control.
The more you allow you negative thoughts (in the form of stress, worries, and frustrations) the more you are giving other people and circumstances power over your life.
Don’t do that. Don’t let outside things control you. You have too much going on for you to give other things and people that much control over your life and take up space in your brain.
You have things to do, goals to accomplish, other people to inspire.
Get rid of these things like a mental garage sale.
Do these things, and you will feel lighter and more at ease. Your connection with others around you will deepen, and your ability to make sound decisions will be more swift and satisfying.
The more you gratitude journal, the more you will realize you are grateful for even the smallest things in your life.
The more you clear out negative energy, the more space you have for the positive energy that is the fuel for change, creation, and freedom.
Other great options for gratitude journaling: write five in the morning and five at night. Even if you happen to miss one, you will at least have written one for that day.
Writing is literally magic. Whatever you write down, you manifest in your life. Choose to write the positive things and clear out the negative.
Live the most glorious life that you deserve. You deserve to live the best and most positive life possible.
Living a positive life begins with you.
What great choices are you making today?