How To Stop Being Negative | Master Your Mind Now

By Kenny Lee | Emotional Wellness

Sep 02

How To Stop Being NegativeIn my previous post, I showed that it is possible to be happy, even if you are feeling exactly the opposite by first forcing a smile. A false smile does indeed create real happiness, and the result is immediate. I’ve even shown the science behind what’s going on (thanks to Dr. Marcia Reynolds). And to my delightful surprise, some readers actually tried it out and it works for them.

Here’s Kent who got his smile back.

How To Stop Being Negative

And it works for Shrey too.

How To Stop Being Negative

I’m sure it would work for almost everyone. In fact, forcing a smile isn’t that hard. It just takes a little bit of extra willpower and you will be feeling positive again. (Still doubting? Try smiling now and see if your mood appear lighter?)

But that’s not the hardest part.

The Hard Part Is Breaking The Negative Thoughts

When you are feeling bad, you will find your mind is flooded with negative thoughts. It’s just like a vortex that keeps sucking you in. Let’s say you have just failed a project. You would think “I’m such a failure”, “I will never be successful”, “I’m giving up”, and it would continue along the same line.

That’s because your emotions have a tough grip on these thoughts, according to Erika Krull, a licensed mental health counselor in her article at PsychCentral. She even mentioned that the constant stream of negative thoughts would prevent you from doing any creative problem-solving.

In short, when you are trapped in a vortex of negative thoughts, it is very unlikely that you could remind yourself to “smile and bring back the happiness”. As in my previous posts, some of the readers who managed to force a smile only do so because they are reading the post itself. The process of reading and processing the information breaks the negative thoughts and allow them to do something to get out of the negativities.

But if there are no external sources that could break your negative thoughts, what could you do?

You Need To Master Your Mind

How To Stop Being Negative
One of the best ways to break the chain of negative thought is to be aware. Aware of what? Aware of the thought that is going on in your mind. Most thoughts are actually harmless until we put labels (I love this shirt, I hate that person) and attach our emotions to them. That’s where we began to judge and soon lose our objectivity over our emotions.

While there could be a few ways to master your mind, I would like to bring you to one. Mindfulness practice. It is a practice that has dated over thousand of years, in building our awareness and living in the present. It is a practice where we develop an awareness of ourselves by observing our thoughts and feeling.

Sounds too generic? Or too much theory?

How about this?

You are rushing to work. You are in deep thought of the coming board meeting as you rushed to your office. As you reached your office, you wondered did you locked your car? It feels like you have but there is a doubt. To be safe, you took the lift down to check on your car. It’s locked.

This is what mindfulness practice, or rather the lack of it is all about. While you are physically parking your car, your thoughts are somewhere else.

How To Stop Being Negative With Mindfulness Practice?

How To Stop Being NegativeIf you are mindful, then you will be aware when your mind goes into negative states. If you are not mindful, you are submerged in the negative thoughts. But if you are practicing mindfulness, you are merely observing the negative thoughts without stepping into it. This gives the negative thoughts no power over you.

I know this is a difficult concept to grasp if you have not practiced mindfulness before. When you are aware of your thoughts or feeling, say anger. You would notice when it was triggered. But you are not holding on to it (You do not get angry).  And you have a choice of not reacting to it. Read my post How To Let Go Of Anger here.

While I’m usually quite capable of explaining a concept with examples and analogy, I feel that mindfulness is best experienced and learned by direct practice.

What’s The Best Way To Start?

How To Stop Being NegativeI know the fast and easy way is to start google searching some article on mindfulness practice and start doing it in your daily life. But what’s more effective is to actually practice mindfulness meditation to bring awareness into your daily life.

That’s because, in a meditation session, you do nothing except training to be aware of your thoughts, feelings, and sensation. When you get used to ‘being aware‘, then it will be easier for you to assimilate mindfulness into your life. Think of it as a new lifestyle.

I started mindfulness meditation under a meditation guru when I was 17. But it’s a challenge to do so living in the cities. These days it’s easier with technology. If you are new to the concept of mindfulness and would like to try out a good meditation course, I  recommend Master Your Mind, a 5 weeks meditation course by Giovanni Dienstmann, who has almost 7,000 hours meditation experience (that’s more than 16 years).

What If It Doesn’t Work?

Always remember this.

The key to progress in mindfulness meditation is to not have any expectation at all. 

When I was meditating at the age of 17, I was a competitive teenager. I’ve always wanted to win in everything. I wanted to make fast progress in meditation. Each session I was hoping that I could be more focus and be more peaceful. To my frustration, not only did I not make any progress, I was in a way, regressing.

It just doesn’t work that way. When I learned that having no expectation is the key to progress in meditation, then I started making real progress (although I don’t feel so at that moment).

It was when I stopped meditation briefly that I found my concentration weaken drastically over time. I found that I get angry easily and succumb to an emotional outburst. That was how I knew how much mindfulness practice has benefited me.

Meditation Is Not A Race

How To Stop Being Negative

It is a journey that you have to experience at your own pace. That’s what living in the present is all about. I would not go into detail about the benefits of meditation. I’ll probably do it in another post, with the backing of experts and hopefully some solid facts.

If you are still keen to tap into the experience of  Giovanni Dienstmann, you can check out his money-back-guaranteed program Master Your MindEither way, I hope you bring mindfulness into your life.

Are you a meditation practitioner? Do you practice mindfulness in your life? Share your thoughts and experience in the comment section.

 

About the Author

I am an engineer-turned-writer who once struggle with social anxiety. After overcoming problems inflicted by low self-esteem and the fear of interaction, I realize the need for taking a holistic approach in developing our mind. I'm sharing my experience, remedies, and techniques that interest me in my quest to be a better self.

Leave a Comment:

(32) comments

Whitney September 2, 2016

I really enjoyed reading this article. Mindfulness is something I first heard about a little while ago when I was dealing with my own depression. It has drastically improved my life and it is something I continue to work at and learn about everyday. It’s so easy to become removed and not aware of your day to day activities and thus – wrapped into a negative cycle. Thanks for this!

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 3, 2016

    Hi Whitney,

    It’s true how sometimes we are just going through the motion instead of experiencing every single moment. Mindfulness practice helps.

    Kenny

    Reply
Scott September 2, 2016

Really interesting. Topics here are always things circling in my head. Meditation is something I’ve been meaning to have a go at myself. It’s also true , taking the time to smile even though you don’t feel like it really does make a big difference. Made me happier just reading this.

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 3, 2016

    Hi Scott,

    Do try out mindfulness meditation. It will help you to focus.
    I’m glad this post makes you brighter. Thanks for reading.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Eoinmc September 2, 2016

I realise that Mindfulness meditation is all the rage these days though I’m not so sure that it’s that much better than any form of basic meditation.

I figure anything that involves being still for a while and being aware but not engaging in the endless chatter that goes on in our heads is good for you.

Is the goal to try to remain mindful even when you’re not meditating?
I know that it has become hugely popular as a therapeutic technique to help deal with emotional issues like depression and anxiety.

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 3, 2016

    Hi,

    There are meditations that requires visualization and have our mind focus on that mental image for a long time. Mindfulness meditation is in fact the other way. We are observing our breathing but not held tightly to it. In the session, we are to be aware of other sensations but training ourselves not to be attached to them.

    It is beneficial to our daily life when we bring mindfulness in. We tend to have better concentration and make less mistake. This I could relate from my own experience. As for dealing with depression, one reader has commented on how it helps him through one of his toughest moment in life.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Jeremy September 2, 2016

Nice article Kenny. 5 years ago I lost my mother and my brother within 6 weeks of each other. Needless to say I was swimming in negative thoughts. Fortunately I was asked to attend Qigong classes by my father in law to help with pain in his knee. Little did I know it would be this form of mindfulness meditation that would pull me out of this funk. There was something about being in the class with others that strengthened the effect. I could never re-produce it on my own. Anyway I can definitely relate to this, thanks!

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 3, 2016

    Hi Jeremy,

    I’m sorry for what happened to you. I believe that we have our own energy, positive and negative. There’s one yogi who told me that people who meditate got their energy activated automatically, which is really good for QiGong. Maybe what you are experiencing is from the energies of those doing the QiGong. Mindfulness helps bring us to the presence. It’s really teaching us about things being in constant change. And that includes everything that happen in life.

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

    Kenny

    Reply
Brent September 2, 2016

very nice. I have been meditating for years but this was enlightening! I think I even had an epiphany of sorts!!! So thank you for that!!

It seems like you really have your stuff together, so kudos for that!!

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 3, 2016

    Hi Brent,

    Thank you for your compliment. I’m still a learner in meditation.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Marcus September 3, 2016

Hey KennyLee, this is thk2g15 from Wealthy Affiliate. I would like to say that this page is very informative and I certainly do like how you’ve laid things out. I think it’s wonderful that you’ve taken a step into helping people release themselves from limiting beliefs and negative thoughts. Your website is certainly very organized!

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 4, 2016

    Hi Marcus,

    Thank you for your compliments.

    Kenny

    Reply
Andrew September 3, 2016

Great article Kenny

We live in such a busy got-to-have-it-now world. We all need to step back and take a breath from time to time & refocus on the thinks that are important.

You have some very helpful & practical suggestions that anyone can follow.

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 4, 2016

    Hi Andrew,

    Sometimes we need to step back before we can move forward.

    Cheers,
    Kennh

    Reply
Patrick September 3, 2016

Mindfulness is 100% key to erasing the fears and negativity of the Ego. Becoming the observer by stepping outside of your thoughts and listening with intent will reveal much. I have had my fair share of battles with negativity, and its always harder to run uphill then it is to roll downhill. For each negative remark it takes ten positive to balance you back.

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 4, 2016

    Hi Patrick,

    When we are mindful enough, we can detached our negative emotion from the thoughts. It prevent us from going downhill.

    Cheers,

    Kenny

    Reply
Anh Nguyen September 3, 2016

Kenny,

I want to give you a big thank you for writing this post. Like others, I’ve been stressed out lately by all the shenanigans in my life and work so when I came across your content and see all the positive results through one simple exercise like forcing a smile. I tried it too, amazingly it actually makes me feel better!

Your blog is just what I need at the moment, I have a very negative mindset and hopefully your guide will help me out.

Thanks for sharing!

Cheers,
Anh

P.S. I love how you also mentioned the biggest unanswered question of all the mindfulness guides out there “what if it doesn’t work?”. 🙂 Awesome.

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 4, 2016

    Hi Ahn,

    Thank you and I’m glad that my post managed to bring some positives to you. We will all go through the the ups and downs. Just don’t hold on to the negative thoughts and you will be mind. Most of the time we feel miserable due to our thoughts rather than the situation itself.

    Mindfulness meditation works(even if you feel it doesn’t). The only thing is we have to practice and learn the correct method.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Ninene September 3, 2016

Hi there,
I really enjoy your website, always find something great to try out. I haven’t meditated myself but would like to give it a try. Just to practice controlling and distancing myself from negative emotions. I once read a book about negativity wherevthe author froze water. He was negative towards the first block of water (saying negative things to it each day) and positive and loving towards the second. He did this for a week and examined the results under a microscope. The difference was enormous. The one block had a poor structure and the other had a perfect neat structure. We dont always realise what effect negativity can have on everything around us. Keep your posts coming, really love your work.

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 4, 2016

    Hi,

    Thanks for loving my work, The author just demonstrated the power of our mind energy. Do you wonder when there are times we walk into a room where people argued and we feel negative out of a sudden?

    Cheers,

    Kenn

    Reply
Jen September 3, 2016

Great read. I often struggle when things get tough as it’s so easy for the negative thoughts to creep in. I tell my husband that I make a conscious decision to be positive every day but it sounds like it’s really called mindfulness meditation!

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 4, 2016

    Jen,

    I think what you did was bringing your energy to a higher level each day. That’s a good thing although the it is not really mindfulness meditation. The mindfulness practice involves observing your thoughts whether it goes to positive or negative.

    Reply
Jaime September 3, 2016

This is a great article and it really had me thinking back how I mastered my mind. I was deployed to Afghanistan for 9 months with the US Army and I got used to the lifestyle of always watching my back and being stressed out about it. When I made it back to the US I was all sorts of messed up and my brain couldn’t focus as well. It took me sometime to get back to reality but all I kept thinking to myself is I’m alive and I’m home. That made me happy so I just kept thinking of that and sooner than you know it I found my happiness again. Thank you for sharing this article.

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 4, 2016

    Hi Jaime,

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I can only imagine what it feels like. When we keep rehashing moments from the past, we often get depressed. Mindfulness practice helps us to stay at the present. I’m glad you found your happiness again. Do share your joy with others. It will only grow.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Hannah September 4, 2016

Great article. I have been focusing on improving my energy lately to become a more positive person. Your post has reminded me that I need to start meditating again. I was so much calmer, more focused and happier when I used to mediate daily. Life got so hectic at one point that I could not find the time to sit down and find stillness. I would not even allow myself 5 minutes a day to relax. I’m going to go back down the path of positivity. I want to be a successful person and this seems to be the best way to achieve my goals in life.

Keep up the good work. I really needed this encouragement. I’ll keep you updated hopefully on how it’s going.

Hannah.

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 5, 2016

    Hannah,

    We seldom see how much we have progress when we are meditating. But when we stopped, the changes is obvious. Do try to meditate back, even for as little as 5 minutes per day. It makes a difference.

    Cheers,

    Kenny

    Reply
Peter September 4, 2016

Hey Kenny,

Thanks for this article. I really caught a number of useful concepts here. Breaking away from negativity takes a lot of willpower, and most of the time, you’d be fighting against your very own intelligence and experience. You’re right, though. We must learn how to be masters of our own mind. There’s definitely a learning curve there, but it’s worth it in the end.

Articles like this make the learning curve a little easier to tackle. Cheers to you.

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 5, 2016

    Hi Peter,

    It gets easier in the end but the key here is practice.

    Cheers,

    Kenny

    Reply
Billy September 5, 2016

Great post. I feel much better just by smiling, and I am so tired. I will be bookmarking your site. I know a few people in my life who could smile more.

When I see someone down, that is the first thing I try and get them to do. You have to choose to be happy just like you choose not to go and and rob and steal.

You can do it. Thanks again for this enlightening post.

Reply
    Kenny Lee September 5, 2016

    Hi Billy,

    Thank you for loving my post. You are doing a good job for lifting other people up. That’s very positive.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Martina October 19, 2016

wow! as a new meditation practicer this makes sense! using the meditation technique of allowing your thoughts to flow like a river you are watching without becoming attached to thosr thoughts and feelings is just what mindfulness is (while moving through your life…) Allowing yourself to be present to not fall down the rabbit hole of negative feelings. Thank you for helping me to see this connection! And I have been feeling as though I havent been doing well with my meditation, but realizing that is not a race, its truly the journey of mindfulnes and being present in all you do that is key. Thanks! Im bookmarking your site =)

Reply
    Kenny Lee October 20, 2016

    Hi Martina,

    Thanks for reading and sharing your htoughts. Don’t hold on to negative. Meditation itself is the destination and the journey itself. Do it at your own pace.

    Cheers,

    Kenny

    Reply
Add Your Reply

Leave a Comment: