December 13th, 2018
Simple way to end negative thought loops
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Respected Member

Join Date: 05/05/2010 | Posts: 368

I've found a useful way to break out of negative thought loops.

For instance, one of my closest mates has been a little bit irritating over the past few weeks. Negative, bitchy thoughts of him flooded my mind for quite a while and i realised how fucking stupid that was - he is one of my closest friends and has been so for 15 years.

Still, i'd convince myself of this and stop thinking negatively, then half an hour the same bad thoughts of him would come up. Rinse repeat. Frustrating.

Think of any negative emotion that has been damaging to your psyche over long periods of dwelling on it and beating yourself up.. say a nasty rejection or something. Rethinking the issue is painful and destructive... you've already thought about it, why rethink? It's some stupid little nagging thought that you know is irrational.

Well, first step:

1) Reframe/deal with emotion.
Eg. i was rejected really badly last night, fuck this ------> I went out last night and manned the fuck up... i took right action, this is my path and i'm on it. fuck yes

Now sometimes a simple reframe cannot work and you have to actually accept what went wrong, feel sad for a bit and then deal with the problem, at least in your own head.
For example i couldn't reframe the problems i had with my friend, i just needed to realise where i was at and where he was at. I ended up finding a lot out about the way i've been acting over the past few months and have seriously corrected those flaws. Deal with the issue, do not cover it up.

step 2, which admittedly sounds silly but works

2) Each and every single time the same destructive negative thought comes in to your head, simply count it up. What this means is if half an hour later the thought returns, say "one" to yourself in your mind. The 2nd time, say "two" , the third time, say "three"..... the 22nd time, say "22".

What this does is brings you back to the emotional place you were at when you reframed/dealt with the emotion. No longer to you have to go through the process of feeling bad ->self consoling ->getting back to normal        over and over again. You just do it once and then count.

I can't explain why it works, but it works. Here's a little flow chart

negative thought -----> feel bad ----> rethink----->conclusion, feel better     <-- a process that may take half an hour to re process

using this stupid little trick, or whatever you want to call it
negative thought ---> conclusion                 <--- a process that takes approximately 5 seconds

It sounds stupid but i wouldn't be posting this if it hadn't worked really well for me. My count for thinking negatively about my friend is up to 21. It's been about 4 days since i started it up. On the first day the counter was 10, the second, 15, the third 18 and today 21. My mind just stops bringing it back up now because it knows i'm not going to pay those thoughts any attention

See if this works for you.
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Trusted Member

Join Date: 10/28/2009 | Posts: 4976

Mate. go hit on chicks.

Its what Tony Robbins called a pattern interrupt.
Jlaix: You are rather cheeky I admit but the self amusing authentic avi makes it impossible to hate!
Tyler:This is ultimately one of the keys to the game -- viewing EVERYTHING AS A JOKE. It's ALL funny.
Tim:`How can I make this fun?
brad:This thread got Ambiguity banned, you can thank me later. Zack G: Ambiguity is becoming the Howard Roark of RSD!
Alex: "The famous ambiguity!" + "This is what happens when your naturally attractive;
Ambiguity: I don't chase, I replace. #CheekyInnit!
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Junior Member

Join Date: 03/13/2011 | Posts: 16

 haha i like this
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Respected Member

Join Date: 11/25/2009 | Posts: 734

 Basically you have four tools

1- pattern interrupt (=changing your mental and physical state abruptly, by for example a venue change, unstiffling exercises, etc)
2- labeling (=using a short logic word to describe your thought/emotion. this would include counting. helps you experience it with equanimity, instead of identifying or avoiding the thought or emotion)
3- reappraisal (=reframe. Costs a lot of mental energy and time, but can be more effective than labeling)
4- analysis your habits

1) Comes from NLP / hypnotherapy, as far as I know. Tony Robbins also talks about it. Most usefull when it's just an meaningless emotional spiral in which you are caught.
2) Has a strong connection with mindfulness and meditation. I.e. cultivating mindfulness is required for the moment-by-moment awareness needed to catch these negative thougths, and the exercise of meditation gives you the skills to observe yourself from a distance by labeling your thoughts.
3) Requires a life philosophy where you don't have a victim-mindset; i.e. you need to believe every problem is in your head. It's your perspective that causes the problem, not the situation, so change your perspective on things. Take responsibility for your own emotions instead of blaming something else. (Most limiting beliefs are when you fail to see how YOU caused your own problems, and you "just accept the way things are")
4) Wheras reappraisal just reframes the current situation - analyzing your habits is much more like psycho-analysis. You think about what kind of situations trigger these negative thoughts, and how you can react differently. So you need to: (1) identify triggers, (2) identify your old response, (3) make up a new response, (4) practice it, (5) see if it works. (Journal these 5 steps explicitly - the focus you get from this is extremely benificial). You may also dig deeper in your past to see where the negative thought come from - and perhaps this insight can help you deal with it more appropriate. Or you can compile a top-three of recurring negative thoughts and give them nicknames, to aid the labeling process.

Common negative thoughts (to help you get started creating this top-three):
- I am not worth it (low entitlement)
- You are not worth it
- I am a victim, I can't stand it anymore
- Something is wrong with me
- Things are going wrong. 
- I have a right on....
- I am alone / lonely
- I feel weak, powerless, helpless
- I feel like I am going to explode

Common negative thinking habits:
- Complaining or rejecting things that aren't going to change
- Exeggerating the negative aspects in your life
- Superiority - feeling that you are above other people
- Demanding - the idea you have have the right on something
- Judging others / the situation
- Judging yourself
- Comparing - unnessecary comparisons
- Being bothered by things that already happened 
- Worrying about the future

Questions you can ask yourself:
- Do I confuse a thought with a fact? (i.e. do I realize that it's my interpretation of reality)
- Am I fortune telling? 
- Am I thinking in extremes? (false dichitomy)
- Do I judge myself as a person, for doing one thing wrong in a specific situation?
- Do I focus on my weaknesses, forgetting my strengths?
- Do I feel guilty for something I didn't do? 
- Do I judge myself?
- What is my criteria for succes - and, isn't it too high? (so that I will always fail no matter what?)
- Am I being a perfectionist?
- Am I thinking about doom scenarious?

These items and lists are somewhat overlapping, but that's usefull, becomes somethings one angle resonates with you, whereas the other doesn't make any sense.
wel heb ik je ooit!
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Junior Member

Join Date: 05/23/2011 | Posts: 18

Yo wat up DJNE

I've found a pre-emptive way to address negative loops and emotions and feelings is to meditate... basically just sititng still, emptying your mind until it's clear of thought... it basically eliminates restlessness and agitation. And this conditions your mind to relax more, your heartrate goes down, and your perception sort of opens up. Tyler does it, and i recall he spoke in a video or blog about using this specific technique to help him be less irritable, i think it was on the old blogspot.

Anyways all those tips are also good for when you catch yourself going down that negative path.

Meeting chicks and feeling good emotions is also pretty good ;)
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Respected Member

Join Date: 05/19/2011 | Posts: 768

 Dude this is so crazy. I had the same problem last year where thoughts would come up impulsively triggering negative emotion. I would handle it, reframe it by the Victims Mentality by Fader and remind myself of the empowerment I found through the experience. I also started counting thoughts and tried snapping a rubber band on my wrist. I don't have this issue as much anymore. Repeated thoughts happen maybe 2-3 times before I realize I have to handle my shit. Then I reframe it, and remind myself later if it comes up again. 
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Join Date: 08/02/2012 | Posts: 57

 value thread, deserves a bump!
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Join Date: 05/08/2013 | Posts: 71

Idk what works for one may not work for another.

I had to accept that i'm a piece of shit and i deserve nothing. And that any little success i got was more than i deserve and i'm happy about it. (this line may be familiar to you)

Reframing a situation made me feel kind of ignorant. That i wasn't really handling the issue in a healthy way.

For me it was all about self-acceptance. Accepting that i'm a fucking chode.
 "You have to know, not fear, that some day you are going to die. Until you know that and embrace that, you are useless." "We're the middle children of the history man, no purpose or place, we have no Great war, no Great depression, our great war is a spiritual war, our great depression is our lives."
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Trusted Member

Join Date: 08/04/2012 | Posts: 1279

 Nice idea
 Vibe can't stop!
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Respected Member

Join Date: 08/08/2011 | Posts: 374

You are not Batman - Jlaix
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