challenging negative thoughts

The art of challenging negative thoughts is a vital skill to acquire if you want to unlock your full potential and cultivate a healthy, meaningful life.

How often do you find yourself going down a negative thought spiral?

For many of us, it happens more often than we’d like to admit.  

In fact, negative thinking is a deceptively powerful force that can undermine both our physical and mental health on a daily basis, without us even being aware of it.

These thoughts can take many forms and seamlessly impact all areas of our lives until we feel completely exhausted, helpless, and unmotivated.

The challenging negative thoughts can be what holds us back from our true potential!  

-How many great books go unwritten because of self-doubt?
-How many dream job applications go unfilled because of insecurity?
-How many natural leaders go unpromoted because of social anxiety?
-How many great entrepreneurs never build their soul business because of imposter syndrome?

Many of us have faced situations where we missed out on an opportunity due to thoughts that kept us trapped in a self-limiting mindset.

If that wasn’t enough, negative thinking causes the body to produce excessive amounts of a stress hormone called cortisol, which then becomes inflammation of the body and can eventually lead to disease.

If we want to live a healthy and empowered life, it would be beneficial to make the act of challenging negative thoughts a priority so that we can regain balance in both our minds and our bodies.  

Here are 3 life-changing exercises that can help clear your mind and stop negative thinking so you can unlock your true potential and live the life of your dreams!

1. Mindfulness Meditation

Thoughts are subtle and enigmatic in nature. 

We may find ourselves trying to control or understand our negative thoughts, but we oftentimes end up feeling as if we are attempting to grasp at streams of smoke. 

Challenging negative thoughts requires us to navigate our minds effectively.

The mindful art of meditation has been practised for thousands of years and continues to bewilder scientists with its numerous benefits as a powerful tool to find peace of mind and clarity.

Despite these benefits, learning to meditate can seem really intimidating. Luckily, meditation becomes an enjoyable, beginner-friendly experience if we take any high expectations out of the process.

Let me show you how you can use the power of deep meditation to challenge negative thinking, self-soothe, and release limiting patterns from your mind.

Meditation Exercise to Stop Negative Thinking 

I invite you to sit down in a comfortable and quiet environment right now, and try the following exercise out for yourself:

Take a deep breath in through the nose and out through the mouth.  

Then, breathe naturally for a total of 5 inhales, and 5 exhales.

Now, bring your attention solely to your breath ー no counting, just in – and out.

You will notice your thoughts start to stray from your breath, narrating your mental confusion about life, your daily concerns, the things you have to do, etc… 

As soon as this happens, come back to the present and observe your thoughts with deep awareness.

Repeating this process of bringing back your attention to the breath and observing your thoughts from a neutral point of view will help you develop a laser-sharp awareness of your thoughts and stay anchored in the present moment.

Continue to observe your thoughts without judgment, and try not to shame yourself if you find your mind distracted with thoughts. When you judge or shame yourself, you are creating resistance, which is the exact reason why negative thoughts persist.

As counterintuitive as this might feel, acceptance of your negative thoughts is the key to releasing them.

If you feel judgment or shame, notice it, acknowledge it, and then let it go.

Over time, this will give you the ability to catch yourself in negative thoughts, question their validity, and let go of them ー even while you’re not in meditation.

If this exercise has inspired you to cultivate a deeper awareness of your thoughts, psilocybin microdosing can help facilitate this process by settling the dust of the mind and bringing forth greater clarity. Here, you can find our carefully crafted mushroom blends to get you started on your meditative wellness journey. 

To explore more ways of challenging negative thoughts and emotions, you can also check out our article on Self-Soothing Activities.

With this mindful exercise in your tool belt, let’s delve into more powerful practices to stop negative thinking.

2. Self-Inquiry:

Challenging negative thoughts requires more than a deep awareness of our inner chatter.  

To truly heal, it is essential to uncover and replace the subconscious beliefs that generate these thoughts.

If we can bring the traumas that first planted these beliefs to light, we can uproot them from their core foundation!

We can use a potent exercise called shadow work to achieve this goal.

Here is a 3-step practice to begin your shadow work journey:

Shadow Work Exercise to Stop Negative Thinking

     1. Identify

The first step is to identify the negative thoughts. When you catch one, repeat it in your head and write it down.  

Next, tune into your body and feel where the sense of discomfort arises. Name the feeling and location and write them down.

We now need to create a clear mental image of the named feeling to build a better understanding of it.

-Where is this feeling located in your body?
-If you could associate the feeling with a color, what would it be?
-What about a texture?
-A shape?
-A sound? 

If it helps, try to draw these characteristics or list them together with what you have written previously.

Then, try to dig a bit deeper by answering the following questions:

-Why did this thought arise?
-Did something trigger the thought, or did it come up immediately?
-Do you remember the last time you felt this way or had this thought?
-Was there a similar condition back then?

Continue to write the answers in your notes.

     2. Investigate

Once you have a clear idea of what the negative thought is, the next step is to explore where it comes from within, and especially, what subconscious fear created it.

To do this, ask yourself the two following questions: 

1.  “What thing am I trying to avoid by having this thought?”
2. “If the thing I’m trying to avoid comes true, what is the worst thing that could happen, and why would that be so bad?”

This is not an attempt to gaslight yourself. Instead, this is a genuine inquiry into the source of distress in your thoughts. Welcome and write down whatever answer arises from this inquiry.

For every answer you receive, ask yourself the same question to go a layer deeper until you can no longer do so.  

Once you’ve reached the bedrock, you will be looking at the core belief(s) behind this negative thought!

Now, be aware that every core belief we have, whether conscious or not, exists because some part of ourselves thinks it did, or will, somehow help us at a certain point in our lives. From that perspective, the next question we shall ask ourselves is: 

3. “What need is being met by having this belief?”  

Maybe this belief protects you from a negative consequence, or it allows you to stay in a comfortable living situation. Give yourself some time to sit with this one.

Regardless of whether you can answer this last question, move onto the next step, as it may provide the answer.

     3. Illuminate

Every core belief we have began with an experience that validated it in our reality.

This last step seeks to define the experiences that shaped our current perception, regardless of their validity or significance.

After exploring the core belief, the final question we must ask ourselves is:

4. “When was the first time I felt this way?”  

Think back as far as you can remember.

It may have been the first time your mother left you to “cry it out” alone in your room. It may have been the day you learned Santa Claus wasn’t real.  

These moments in our lives that we usually took for granted were likely sources of acute trauma that shaped the way we currently think and feel.

If you managed to isolate a childhood memory that triggers the same feeling you are now having, watch this memory play out in your head to completion.

Allow yourself to feel it through your whole body as if you were really there.

Now, intervene in this memory, joining your inner child as your adult self, and give that child what you needed at that specific time. 

This may look different from person to person, but the most important thing to provide this inner child is presence and validation.  

Let your inner child know it is safe, loved, and accepted by you.

This should loosen the grip that your core belief has on the soil of your psyche, getting you one step closer to ending your negative thought pattern.

Congratulations! Now that you have unearthed the source of your subconscious belief, it is time for you to unlock your potential by reframing your thoughts into new, empowering ones with the final exercise!

    4.  Affirmations

The final step in challenging negative thoughts is to create a new belief to replace the old one.

Our old belief was reinforced over many years, giving it momentum in our consciousness. Now that we have pulled the plug on this belief at its core, it is starting to lose acceleration.

To override and reverse this momentum, we must create our own in the opposite direction.

To create this new momentum, we can use an exercise called Affirmations.

Creating affirmations is one of the most powerful exercises to stop negative thinking. It is defined as a mantra of positive thought we repeat to ourselves to instil a new desired belief. 

Now, for this exercise to be effective, consistency is essential.

It is by the habit of repeatedly thinking a positive thought that we can deeply re-program the subconscious mind to believe it is true, let go of the old stories and start consciously embodying our new identity.

To achieve this, try inverting the core belief you’ve identified and using that as an empowering affirmation.

For instance, if your limiting belief happens to be feeling unworthy of love, the affirmation for this would be something like “I am worthy of love!”.

Try writing out a few ways to invert your core limiting belief.  When you’ve settled on a few that you like, repeat them to yourself five times a day or more, in the morning – and before bed.

Speak them out loud, write them down everywhere that you can visibly see them, and repeat them in your mind whenever you remember.

exercises to stop negative thinking

This practice would be further amplified with the assistance of microdosing capsules, as their ability to create new neural pathways and enhance neuroplasticity would help reprogram your brain at the deepest level.

Eventually, your affirmation will sink into the very core of your being, and disempower the belief that first gave life to your unwanted thoughts!

Challenge Negative Thoughts Deeper With the Power of Plant Medicine

We hope you have gained some valuable insight on challenging negative thoughts and trust you will make use of these amazing exercises to stop negative thinking.

Now, if perhaps you suffered from deep past trauma, you may still experience negative thoughts holding you back from living a fulfilled life.  

In such a case, Psilocybin microdosing can act as a very powerful tool to amplify the effects of the above exercises to stop negative thinking.

Working with psilocybin supplements can provide you with increased awareness during meditation, expanded clarity during shadow work, and accelerated momentum in the practice of affirmation.

If you would like to learn more about how to get started, we invite you to join our private membership association.

By joining our growing network of freethinkers, you can gain access to an exclusive library of premium content as well as 1-1 guidance with microdosing experts in your journey to self transformation.

The membership association is always being upgraded with new features, such as our thriving online community forum, where our members share their transformational stories about overcoming procrastination, anxiety, negative thinking and so much more!

Join our community now for free and take advantage of our exclusive psilocybin-based supplements to continue challenging negative thoughts and unlock your true potential. 

May these exercises and the miraculous power of microdosing help you with gaining clarity of thought, living in the present moment and finding the inner peace you’ve always deserved, as within so without.

*None of the information shared on this website is shared as medical, legal, or professional advice. If you have any concern, consult your licensed physician.

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