How to let go of Negative Thoughts

Negative thoughts can affect anybody at any stage of their life and can be extremely debilitating. Learn how to challenge your negative thoughts in order to live more freely.

Be an observer

Take a moment to detach yourself from your thoughts.


What would you say to your friend if they told you they were having this particular negative thought that you also may be experiencing.
Would you criticise your friend for having this thought?
Make them feel bad?
Tell them they’re an awful person for thinking like that?
If the answer is ‘no’, then why are you doing this to yourself?

Negative thoughts come and go all the time, just as regular thoughts will. However it is easy for us to attach ourselves to thoughts that may be unusual or create fear. However we must learn to acknowledge the thought and simply dismiss it without giving in to the fear of it. The more attention you give the particular thought the more frequent the thought will become.

A simple exercise you might like to do is think of your negative thought as a lily pad on a stream.
You see the lily pad (thought) you acknowledge it is there and then you simply let it go past, down the stream. Don’t try and rush the process, some lily pads (thoughts) may stick around for longer, however it will eventually drift away.

Change the way you say it

It is so important to change the context of your thoughts. Sometimes we must learn to live with the uncertainty of our thoughts.

You may like to add extra dialogue to your thoughts such as
” This may or may not happen” and ” I can only control what I can control”.
By adding these statements to the negative thoughts you are challenging your thought. You are simply recognising the thought and telling the thought you are not scared of it. This will make it easier to let go of the thought.

Negative thought transfer

Our thoughts may be coming from a variety of places within our body.

Take a moment to notice from where in your body your negative thought is coming. It may be your mind, your heart, your stomach, anywhere. Once you establish from where your thought is coming, turn down the volume of the thought. Turn the volume of the thought right down. Once you have done this, pretend you can pick up the the thought and move it to another part of your body. You can move it anywhere. This may help to decrease the intensity of your thought allowing you to let go of the negative thought, onto a new thought.

Self Care

Your mind is where you spend most of your time, so make it a nice place to be. Taking time to slow down and take care of yourself will actually create a clearer headspace which will make it easier to tackle these negative thoughts.

Self care can be as simple as making sure you are brushing your teeth and hair daily. Eating foods that will nurture your body and getting enough sleep. However there are other fun acts of self care that you can do to improve your overall wellbeing and help combat negative thoughts.
Check out the Top 30 Easy Acts of Self Care here.

Seek help

I am not a trained professional and these are just suggestions loosely based on what helps me to combat negative thoughts that I have.

In an emergency always contact 000 or find your countries equivalent here.

Other help lines include

  • Beyond Blue- 24/7 support line on 1300 22 4636
  • Lifeline- 24/7 support line on 13 11 14

Issy xx

3 thoughts on “How to let go of Negative Thoughts

  1. This is a great article. I think self care is important, and it’s something that I personally lack at. Thank you so much for sharing and for the inspiration!

  2. Thanks, Issy. This is a particularly timely blog post for me. I was JUST talking the other day about how it seems that half the thoughts I have about myself I would never say to anyone else. I liked the lilly pad metaphor. Fine advice.

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