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How to stop negative thoughts in the new year

Reuters/Lucy Nicholson
Could you possibly be this happy?
  • Corinne Purtill
By Corinne Purtill


Published This article is more than 2 years old.

“Luckily, there are a few techniques that can help you stop dwelling on negative thoughts and refocus your mind on something positive . . . it just takes a bit of distraction and a healthy dose of willpower.” —Happify Daily

It’s a new year, and a new you! While you’re decluttering the office and working off those extra pounds, here are a few tips for silencing that unhappy voice inside that’s keeping you from being the person you’re meant to be.

  1. Make a list of everyone you know who could use a call or a note of support while dealing with illness, job loss, or a painful breakup. Then cut them out of your life. 2016 is about positivity!
  2. Daily exercise is a great way to boost your mood. Make a deal with yourself that you’ll run just the length of your block. If the negative thoughts are still there at the end, run to the next street. Then the next. Run until your feet bleed and the tears freeze on your cheeks and your facial hair grows shaggy like Leonardo DiCaprio in that bear movie you didn’t see. Are the negative thoughts still there? You haven’t gone far enough. Keep running. Run.
  3. Stop blaming others. Stop blaming yourself. Stop apologizing. Stop taking accountability for anything. Nothing is anyone’s fault. That causation you sense? It’s probably just correlation anyway. Everything’s fine. It’s fine.
  4. Speak your negative thoughts aloud while gripping the controls of a quasi-scientific meter. Invite friends, drifters, and celebrities to do the same. Stockpile the things they share as blackmail material. Extract increasing financial contributions in return. Declare yourself a religious non-profit organization so that these proceeds are untouchable. At the very least, take a few minutes each day to reflect on how lucky you are to live in a country where this is totally legal.
  5. Limit your time on social media. Limit your time on the Internet. Limit the amount of information you take in about the state of the world. If you see news on a television somewhere, run. Yes, again.
  6. Avoid situations that can trigger negative thinking. Don’t get up too early. Don’t stay out too late. Don’t go to work, unless you really, really feel like it. Don’t challenge yourself. Don’t reflect on your past, present, or future. Don’t spend time with others. Don’t spend time alone.
  7. Send handwritten notes regularly to friends and family reminding them to never move away, get sick, or die.
  8. Start signing off all Facebook posts, tweets, and work-related PowerPoint presentations with #blessed.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

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