How to Overcome Negative Thoughts and Get Realigned
Are you in a negative headspace and unable to find realignment? First, have compassion. This happens to all of us. But know that you are strong and powerful, and you are capable of overcoming this negativity and getting realigned with your highest and most authentic self. Here, I’ll show you how to overcome negative thoughts and find realignment when you’re in the midst of a “bad” day. This blueprint for how to overcome negative thoughts comes with four powerful steps you can do right now plus one bonus step. Know that you have the power to overcome negative thoughts and get realigned with your true self today.
Negative Thoughts and My “Bad” Night
Recently, I found myself in the midst of a “bad” night.
I’d fallen behind in creating content for my Instagram page, and I had nothing to post for the next day, or any of the upcoming days after that. I know that what I’m “supposed” to do is create a content calendar and have weeks of posts ready way ahead of time, but I’ve given myself the grace of not being perfectly organized as I grow my platform. Taking a one-week-at-a-time approach (sometimes, one day at a time) has allowed me to find my authentic voice while learning what resonates with the people reading my words. I didn’t want to just start my account assuming I already knew what people wanted and needed to hear. I set the intention to truly listen and reflect so that I could continually and consistently deliver content that matters.
By taking this approach, I had to let go of control, and even more so, I had to let go of my worries. I used to wonder, “Will I have enough to talk about? Will I run out of things to say? What if I can’t find the right words or the right quotes? What will I do?” I consciously decided to release this anxiety, though, and just trust. I’ve trusted that I would always be guided to the right quotes and that I would always know what to say. This means that content calendars and schedules have had to wait for now and that I’ve truly had to learn how to let go of perfection and embrace the journey.
And it’s always worked.
Until Tuesday night.
Due to household chores and some other tasks that needed to get done, I didn’t sit down to start designing a graphic for my post until nearly 8 PM. That may not seem that late, but every night, my boyfriend and I set our phones/tablets/laptops aside and hang out just the two of us for a couple hours, usually binge watching our latest obsession on Hulu and eating cookies. This time is a non-negotiable for me, so I wasn’t going to let my lack of an Instagram post take away from it.
The problem was, as I sat down to work on my graphic, I had absolutely no idea what quote or words I wanted to use or what message I wanted to deliver.
I set a high standard for myself, so I can’t just throw something together and post it on my Instagram feed and hope it doesn’t suck. This means that I often search through quotes and wait for my inner knowing to say, “Yes, that’s it,” and then I work on the visuals and carefully craft the caption. I have a long list of quotes that inspire me, but as I was scrolling through them, nothing was clicking. So I did a few Google searches and found one that I figured was pretty good. I didn’t get that yes moment, but I decided I was running out of time, so I just went for it. But then when it came to the visuals, nothing was coming together. I re-did the font and graphics a couple hundred times, becoming more and more frustrated by the minute.
Anxiety grew hotter in my chest.
I started snapping at my boyfriend for no reason.
I was in a bad mental space, and I couldn’t shake myself out of it.
Overcoming My Negative Thoughts
As the minutes passed and this mental battle started to cut into our sacred Hulu-and-Cookies time, I realized I had two choices: I could continue to drown in my frustration, or I could use the mindfulness tools I’ve acquired to overcome this negative mindset.
I chose the latter.
By not allowing my negative mindset to seep into the rest of my night, I was able to put my tablet and laptop aside and have a really good night, watching 90s sci-fi TV and eating Oreos on the couch with the person I cherish most in this world. I went to bed feeling grateful and at peace, and when I woke up the next morning, I knew exactly the words to say on my Instagram post.
These moments of negativity and frustration happen to all of us, even those of us who write about joy, gratitude, self belief, abundance, and living your dream life for a living. The key is recognizing when these moments are occurring and consciously deciding to choose differently. Of course, this is easy to say, but how exactly do you actually go about doing this?
You can’t always control your external world, but you can control your reactions to it. Here, I’ll show you exactly how to overcome negative thoughts and get realigned with your truest self. When you find yourself in the midst of an “off” day or night, the following steps will help you to realign with your highest self, take back your power, and give you the confidence to know that you can always overcome any mental hurdle.
Step 1: Reaffirm Your Worthiness
My worthiness is not defined by an Instagram post.
Those were the words I reminded myself of as I convinced myself to tuck away the iPad for the night.
When you’re uber-focused on something, it can be easy to get so caught up in the details, you miss the bigger picture. And when this happens, we become misaligned with our highest and authentic self.
For me, this was all because of a single Instagram post, but this can apply to almost any situation that gets you out of alignment. Maybe there’s a task that you can’t seem to get right. Maybe a conversation with a friend left you feeling badly. Or maybe your bank account is lower than you’d like, and a bill pay reminder just hit your inbox.
No matter what the situation is, allow yourself to step back for just a moment, and ask yourself, “Does this have any effect on my worthiness?”
Hint: The answer is no.
You are worthy no matter how you fare in that task.
You are worthy no matter how that conversation with the friend went or how it made you feel after.
And you are worthy no matter how much money is in your bank account.
You are worthy, and you are deserving, and you are enough.
In this moment, no matter how strong the pull towards the negative is, allow yourself to affirm your worthiness. Have a mental list of positive affirmations ready for just these situations.
Examples of Affirmations
- I am worthy.
- I am enough.
- Joy is my birthright.
- I deserve to feel good.
- I know deep, inner peace, and I allow myself to feel that peace right now.
- Everything that happens is for my highest good.
- I am doing the best I can.
- I am safe and supported, rooted in the now.
- No matter what happens, I am always worthy, always enough, and always deserving of joy, love, freedom, and peace.
If you need help coming up with some uplifting affirmations to reaffirm your innate worthiness, you can download my free ebook, 400 Powerful Affirmations to Uplift, Inspire, and Empower Your Highest Self.
Step 2: Allow Yourself to Receive Love
This goes hand-in-hand with reaffirming your worthiness.
When we’re in the midst of a negative mindset, we can allow that moment to become bigger than it is. And if you’re as hard on yourself as I am on myself, you may actually make yourself feel even worse because you inherently know that this negativity is “wrong,” so you punish yourself for the very act of feeling bad.
Even when I was in the midst of my frustration the other night, I was able to pull out one of my strongest and most important tools for self-care: I allowed myself to accept and receive love.
Who am I accepting love from? Everyone and everything. I accept and receive love from myself. From my family and friends. From my boyfriend. And from the universe. This isn’t a physical act. It’s simply remembering how many people love me and allowing myself to feel it in that moment. I acknowledged that even though I was frustrated and anxious, I was still allowed to be loved. No negative mindset can ever take that away from me. Or from you. Know that it’s okay to not feel positive, upbeat, and cheery all the time. You still get to be loved anyway, no matter what.
Step 3: Ask Questions
What is the lesson in this moment?
In what ways is this hardship a gift?
How would my highest self react in this situation?
These are a few of the questions I asked myself as I felt immersed in negativity. My brain is always seeking lessons, especially when things aren’t going my way. That doesn’t mean I always have the answers right away. I didn’t know in that moment how the story would unfold or where my path was leading me. But just the very act of seeking lessons began to shift my consciousness from anxious to curious.
Maybe I’m supposed to learn to keep trusting even when nothing is going right.
Maybe I’m supposed to learn that it’s okay to skip a day on Instagram.
Or maybe I’m supposed to learn how to reconnect with my authentic self when I’m feeling lost.
Maybe I’m supposed to learn to let go and just believe.
There’s something empowering when you start to have these kinds of thoughts. Instead of a “Why me?” mentality, you begin saying, “Ah, I see. I’m growing more resilient. I get to overcome this and become stronger. And now I have a new tool in my toolbox to get me through these moments. This is a gift. I’m grateful for this experience because it helps me to grow.”
And then, when you think about how your highest and most authentic self would handle this situation, you’re reminded of your own innate strength. I know that my highest self isn’t stressed about an Instagram post. She is aligned with feelings of joy and love, and she always has her eyes focused toward the light. She knows deep inner peace, and that peace allows her to overcome any situation with grace and compassion.
Step 4: Recite Your Mantra
A while back, I had written an Abraham Hicks quote on the whiteboard in my office. Every morning, I’d read it softly under my breath. Sometimes, in the middle of a work day, I’d look up and repeat it to myself again. Eventually, I had recited it so many times, I had memorized every word. I often found myself going back to these words in moments of joy and in moments of struggle. I would even write them while journaling in the morning, just to get realigned as I started my day:
I’m on the path. The path is unfolding. It will reveal itself to me in its perfect timing, and all is really well.
For me, these words have profound meaning. They remind me that I’m on a journey, and at this moment in my journey, I am exactly where I need to be. I may not be able to see the big picture right now, but one day I’ll look back and understand how every moment of joy and frustration and how every success and seeming failure were all gifts leading me to something beautiful. It reminds me that this moment right now is a gift. That hardships can be miracles when you change your perspective. That everything is really okay.
How to Use Mantras
If you have a mantra that means something important to you that you can use during these times, softly recite it either in your head or out loud. Repeat it as many times as you need. Allow yourself to really feel the words. And gently allow these words to guide and ground you.
If you don’t have a mantra, I’d recommend taking some time to find the words that resonate with you. You might find these words within your own mind through journaling or meditation, or a Google or Pinterest search might lead you to them. Know that the mantra can be as short or as long as necessary. Before I began reciting the Abraham Hicks quote, I used the simple mantra, “All is well.”
Here’s a list of mantras to get you started. Read through them slowly and see if any resonate with you:
Mantras to Overcome Negative Thoughts
- All is well.
- This too shall pass.
- I am breathing in peace. I am breathing out anxiety.
- Happiness is my birthright. I deserve happiness. I choose happiness.
- Everything is always working out for me.
- Everything is always working for my highest good.
- I have faith.
- I am always headed in the right direction.
- All things wanted are being answered. (Another Abraham Hicks quote)
- This will pass, and I will be better for it. (Adapted from an Abraham Hicks quote)
- I am safe and supported, rooted in the now.
Bonus Step: Meditate
In the midst of my frustration the other night, the very first thing I did was meditate for five minutes. I almost didn’t. I started telling myself it was too late and I didn’t have time. But then I did (thanks to my boyfriend’s encouragement and offering to meditate with me), and I’m really grateful for his gentle nudge.
I didn’t want to write this as the first step because I don’t want anyone to see meditate and think that these steps aren’t for them. If you don’t meditate, that’s okay. These steps are for everyone.
If you’re home or in a safe place, see if you can get away for a few minutes to find a quiet spot and close your eyes. Take as much or as little time as you need. If you have a go-to guided meditation that resonates with you, you can listen to it, but it’s also worthwhile to just sit and focus on your breath for several minutes. You know what works best for you. I find that even five minutes of meditation gets me in the right frame of mind to realign with myself.
Don’t Meditate? Try Breathing Exercises
If you don’t meditate, or if you’re not in a spot where you’d feel safe or comfortable meditating, simple breath work practices can have a huge benefit. Breathing from your belly, inhale for four seconds. Hold your breath at the top for another four seconds. Then exhale for four seconds. If you’re comfortable, you can try a variation of this, where you inhale for four seconds, hold your breath at the top for seven seconds, then exhale for eight seconds. You can breathe through your nose or mouth, whatever is most comfortable for you. Even if all you can do is take a couple seconds for a few slow, conscious inhales and exhales, that’s okay. Allow yourself to focus on your breathing, grounding yourself in this present moment.
If you’re interested in meditation but aren’t sure where to start, check out my post, 7 Types of Meditation Practices for Beginners. And to explore more meditations, here’s some free guided meditations, including breathing meditations, produced by UCLA Health. Finally, if you want to learn more about the health benefits of meditation, check out the 10 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Meditation.
What do you do when you find yourself feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, and/or out of alignment? Do you have any tips on how to overcome negative thoughts? If you’ve found other techniques useful, I’d love to hear. And if you have questions about how to overcome negative thoughts, leave a comment or reach out through Instagram. I’m always here to support and help you in your journey to aligning with your highest self and living the life of your dreams.
Here’s a few more posts you might be interested in:
- The Key Mindset Shift to Transform Your Life
- 35 Empowering Affirmations for Self-Belief
- 3 Simple and Effective Practices to Overcome a Scarcity Mindset
- The One Limiting Belief Holding You Back from Manifesting Your Dream
Hi, I’m Zanna! I’m a blogger/freelance writer living in Boise, Idaho. My mission is to help you break through the barriers holding you back from accessing infinite abundance and to inspire you to gather the courage and confidence to follow your dreams.