If You Want To Be Truly Free And Happy, You Must Banish These 4 Thoughts

Photo: Jacob Lund via Canva 
friends jumping upwards together

By Theo Harrison

Are you clinging to something that is not serving you? 

Is it making you stressed? Is it leading to negative emotions and thoughts that are making you overwhelmed?

Do you feel doubt? Failure? Depressed?

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It’s time to let go of negativity and pain and accept life as it is. 

Negativity is a damaging and toxic energy, which lingers inside our minds and affects our decisions and actions on a daily basis.

We encounter numerous toxic people every day who deliver subtle negative messages and instill negative ideas constantly.

Hence, even if we try to stay positive, we are repeatedly bombarded with negativity from external sources that affect our physical and mental health. 

However, in order to cultivate a positive mindset, you need to develop a strong mentality and separate yourself from the general crowd.

Negativity alters your reality.

Negativity confines us in a dark dungeon and makes us lead a restricted life.

Negative thinking grows stronger with attention.

Hence, the more we focus on negativity, the more negative we think. 

By giving more power to negativity, you will send out negative thoughts to the universe and end up attracting and manifesting negative things only.

Your observation of individuals, circumstances, events, and places will directly affect your reality. 

The way you view the world will not only impact your thoughts but also your life. 

If you let negativity creep into your mind, it will steal all your peace and happiness and put you in a dark pit of suffering.

Negativity prevents you from accessing new opportunities and possibilities and stops you from growing.

How to let go of negativity? Starve it.

What you focus on … expands. Starve negativity of your attention. 

Instead, try to understand the negative thoughts and emotions and send them some love. 

Shift your focus to the positive aspects of life, as there is always a silver lining in even the darkest situations. 

Your reality is not based on what others think or say about you.

Neither does it depend on your negative thoughts or self-doubt

It solely depends on your actions and who you choose to be.

So start by letting go of negative perspectives, grudges, jealousy, fear, pain, self-doubt, and toxic relationships that might hold you back.

Yes, it will be very difficult to take the first step.

But once you are on the path of positivity, you will experience freedom and strength that will dramatically improve the quality of your life.

When you let go of negativity from your past, you will be more mindful and bring your awareness to the present moment and stop worrying about what you cannot control.

You are capable of greatness and you will shine through the darkness of negativity, only if you choose to take deliberate positive action.

And the only way to do it is by letting go of negative thoughts, emotions, and habits.

Here are a few proven ways to help you release negativity from your life.

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If you want to be truly happy, you must banish these 4 thoughts:

1. Stop taking things so personally

Relax. And breathe. Whenever anyone says anything rude or mean to you, simply take a deep breath and let it go.

There is no need for you to take every criticism or verbal attack personally.

When someone is being rude to you, it’s because they themselves are hurting inside or frustrated with their own lives.

They don’t know how to give or seek love. They are unable to heal themselves.

When someone is being mean to you, show them compassion instead.

Try to understand what they are actually trying to say without judgment or feeling the need to retaliate. 

Realize that how they will behave is not in your control.

But, how you react is always in your control. 

Choose to react positively to their rudeness and watch them back off immediately.

2. Don’t hold on to grudges

How do you let go of grudges? By forgiving them.

Forgiveness is one of the most liberating and empowering feelings you can ever experience.

However, forgiving someone who has seriously hurt you can be really hard.

We often hold on to grudges and negative emotions for people who have hurt us and most of the time, these are the people closest to our hearts. 

The only way to clear your heart and mind and let go of negativity is to forgive them for what they have done and forgive yourself for holding on to grudges for so long. 

Most of the time, we get hurt due to our own exaggerated expectations from people and when our expectations are not met, we feel hurt, disappointed, and angry.

But, you need to realize that you cannot control anyone nor do you own anyone.

Everyone is free to do what they want and it is not mandatory for them to meet your expectations in the first place.

Even if they have hurt you in some other way, understand that it was not really their intention.

They simply wanted to do what they thought was best for them.

Whether it’s your parents, your spouse, your partner, or your friends, learn to forgive them for whatever they might have done and send them some light and love. 

We forgive to heal ourselves and to release the ones who hurt us from our negative emotions.

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3. Practice self-love

We often lack self-confidence or have self-doubts from time to time.

This can lead to stress, anger, anxiety, fear, and even depression.

Such feelings tend to hold us back and prevent us from doing what we truly want to do. 

The best way to overcome self-doubt and low self-esteem is to practice positive affirmations daily. 

Tell yourself that you are awesome. Tell yourself that you love being you.

You don’t need validation from anyone else. The only thing that matters is what you think about yourself.

And this is why you should be very careful about what you tell yourself.

Tell yourself every day how much you love yourself and why. I know it sounds a bit cheesy, but it works.

Not only will you feel good, but you will bring attention to your positive traits and qualities.

It is only when you see the good in you, others will start seeing you the same way.

Whenever negative thoughts start to arise in your mind about yourself or even others, shift your focus to what you can do right now that will make you happy, even if temporarily. 

By using your energy for feeling happiness and satisfaction, you will give less attention to negativity.

Positive affirmations lead to positive thinking, and unconditional self-love, and even transform your beliefs for the better.

4. Focus on positive action

Do you know that starving artists are often happier than most business executives?

According to a study released by the Journal of Cultural Economics, artists usually have higher job satisfaction than most normal people.

Why? Because they work on their strengths.

They do what makes them happy, whether it's singing, playing an instrument, painting, or writing. 

Doing what we are good at makes us happy and more positive in general.

However, you don’t need to be creative or artistic to feel positive.

You can do anything that you love as long as you don’t waste time sitting on your couch and watching TV or Netflix or whatever.

Take positive action.

Pursue an online course, spend more time with your dog, write a story, sketch something, go for a hike, volunteer for a cause, sign up for a dance class, get a gym membership, or just go shopping. 

There are endless things that you can do by pursuing old and new hobbies. 

These can boost your mental well-being and make you feel more positive by reshaping your thoughts and ideas.

Irrespective of what you do, get busy.

Letting go is easy.

Letting go of negative thoughts, ideas, and habits is not that hard once you know how to go about it.

Getting rid of negativity in your life starts with a choice. You have to choose to be more positive by taking positive action.

Once you start to let go of negativity, it will become addictive and a lot easier as you progress.

All you need to do is be mindful of your thoughts and emotions and take baby steps.

Let go of one negative idea, one negative thought, one negative emotion at a time.

It will allow you to cope with your inner demons in a more manageable way and help you find peace and happiness eventually.

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Theo Harrison is an artist, blogger, writer, and former contributor to The Mind's Journal, who writes primarily about mental health, pop culture, and relationships.

This article was originally published at The Mind's Journal. Reprinted with permission from the author.