10 Ways to Release Negative Thoughts, Emotions and Beliefs
I think it’s safe to say that for many of us, our deepest desire in life is to be happy. We want to feel free and to feel appreciated. We want to feel like we belong. We want to be able to express ourselves fully without being judged. We want to contribute to society in a meaningful way.
Underneath all of these desires, is a longing to feel good — and feeling good starts with our thoughts.
Your thoughts dictate your emotions.
It’s easy to think that it’s actually your circumstances that dictate how you feel. For example, when you’re out having a good time with friends or when good things happen to you, you feel happy and content. When you’re having a bad day, you get a flat tire or receive some bad news, you feel worried and upset.
However, it’s really less about your external world and more about what’s going on in your internal world.
You can be happy and content while sitting at home reading a book, or even just sitting outside watching the clouds. You can visiting the happiest place on earth, or receive a prestigious award, and yet still be overcome with sadness. Two people can experience the exact same event or circumstance and yet one might feel happy, while the other is bored, upset, worried, etc.
What’s really causing you to have a positive or negative experience?
The way that you interpret or think about the circumstances of tour life dictates how you feel about them.
In other words, when you think that a circumstance or event is “good”, you feel positive emotions in response. The flip side is also true: when you decide something is “bad”, you feel negative emotions. Your thoughts about the world you live in and what’s happening around you literally shape your experience. (Especially since researchers estimate that we can have as many as 70,000 thoughts per day. Our thoughts are a huge part of how we experience our daily life!)
The more you can become conscious of your thoughts and choose more positive thoughts, the better you’ll feel overall.
What if you can’t seem to shift a negative thought?
First of all, negative thoughts are normal! The goal is not to avoid all negative thoughts. Instead, the goal is to become aware of the negative thoughts that you’re repeating over and over that are holding you back from living a meaningful and fulfilling life.
Because we have so many thoughts, we often repeat the same thoughts. When thoughts are repeated and reinforced, they become habit. Some of our thoughts are so deep-rooted that they’ve become core beliefs.
So what do you do if you feel like some of your deep-rooted beliefs are holding you back from truly living a happy, fulfilling life? Or if you’re struggling with a slew of negative thoughts on a daily basis? How do you release those stuck or negative thoughts, emotions and beliefs so that you can feel good more often?
I’m going to share some tips to help you release stuck or negative thoughts, emotions and beliefs. But before I do, I want to dive a little deeper into why we have these thoughts and beliefs to begin with, and why they are so hard to let go of.
Where do negative beliefs come from?
It may be hard to accept this at times, but almost all negative beliefs have a positive intention. You might have adopted a certain belief to protect you from being humiliated again after an embarrassing situation, or even to keep you small in order to avoid pain, failure or attention. You may have beliefs that don’t serve you at all anymore, but that were formed in a crisis or traumatic situation that was so intense, they were imprinted strongly into your psyche.
The longer a belief has been with you, or the more intense the situation that caused it, the stronger it will be for you.
Your beliefs become a part of who you are, so it takes time to shift and release them. When you’re able to better understand your beliefs and why they might have served you at one time, you’re able to see them (and yourself) with more compassion.
Bringing awareness to your thoughts, emotions and beliefs is key to releasing them.
Once you’ve identified the beliefs that no longer work for you or feel good, you can work on releasing them.
I’ve put together 10 ideas that you can try that will help you release stored or stuck thoughts, beliefs or emotions. Feel free to try the ones that you resonate with most, or try them all!
Remember to be gentle and patient with yourself!
10 Ways to Help you Release Negative Thoughts, Emotions and Beliefs
- Write it down. Journal about what you want to release and why. You can even do your own belief-release ritual where you write down what you want to release on pieces of paper and then burn them. (Safely of course!) Choose a method that feels meaningful and sacred to you.
- Use affirmations daily. Affirmations help you to focus on what you want instead of what you don’t want. They help you to stay motivated and inspired by connecting you to your desires. (To learn how to write affirmations, read this.)
- Say it out loud. Tell a good friend, or just repeat to yourself what you want to release. Give your intention to release negative thoughts, emotions and beliefs a voice.
- Move your body. Dance, stretch, wiggle and sweat the negative energy out of your body. As you move, imagine negative or stuck energy physically leaving your body.
- Do a guided visualization. Visualize your body, mind and spirit releasing all beliefs, thoughts and emotions that are negative, stuck and no longer serving you. You can imagine them as little grey bubbles bursting around you, or even as smoke or sludge leaving your body.
- Connect to your intuition daily. Nurture your inner voice. Listen to what your spirit needs and do what feeds your soul. By nourishing your spirit, you’re giving yourself the strength to release anything that’s not in alignment with who you truly are.
- Use your breath. Visualize yourself breathing in sparkling, pure, loving energy, and breathing out dark, murky, stuck negative energy, emotions or beliefs.
- Focus on gratitude. Take the time to notice and be thankful for what you have, instead of focusing on what you lack. Gratitude helps you to feel happier, which transforms your thoughts away from the ones you want to release and towards ones that will positively impact your life.
- Laugh daily. They say laughter is the best medicine, and for good reason! Laughter helps to release stress and improve your mood, which is critical to shifting and releasing stuck emotions.
- Get support. Work with a healer or coach to help you release what is holding you back so that you can move forward with clarity and confidence. (To find out how we can work together, click here.)
As you continue your own personal development journey, it’s important to remember that you are here to experience the full spectrum of life as a human being. That experience will inevitably include the good, the bad, and the ugly!
We will never completely eradicate the difficult times or negative thoughts and emotions — nor do we want to. They are there to teach us, guide us and provide contrast to the joyful times.
The goal is not to strive for perfection, but instead to witness your own personal growth and evolution, and learn to love your imperfect nature.
Be patient, gentle and compassionate with yourself…you are exactly where you’re meant to be.
Ever wondered if you’re truly living your purpose?
I created a workbook to help! I’ll share 3 questions that can help you find clarity about your life purpose (and why it isn’t what you think!)