Learning How To Dismiss Negative Thoughts

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on July 29, 2010

Good morning!

No accidental sleeping in this morning, I had Vegan Overnight Oats to get up for!


In this mix: 1/3 cup oats, 1.5 tbsp chia seeds, 1.5 tbsp carob powder, 1 cup Almond Milk, 1/4 cup blueberries, 1/8th cup raspberries, 1/3 of a Healthy Carrot Cake Power Scuffin, and pure maple syrup to frizzle over top.


It was good, but I would not put raspberries in it again…much too tart! I think I said the same thing about putting them in the Banana soft serve too. Such a shame because when I bought them on their own they were delicious fresh (I froze a bunch).

It’s finally time for the next quote from Eat Pray Love!


Eat Pray Love Quote 4: On Learning how to dismiss negative thoughts

[Want to see the previous EPL quotes and discussions? Visit my quotes page!]

This quote really resonated with me as it is something I have struggled with for most of my life. It is a long one, but well worth the read.

This quote takes place while Elizabeth is at the Ashram in India. She is struggling with her focus during meditation because she cannot stop thinking about her failed relationship with her ex. She broods constantly about a couple circumstances in her life.

In this quote, she talks about an awakening she had, with help from her friend ‘Richard from Texas’ (love him!).

Elizabeth says: “There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under my jurisdiction…I can select what I eat and read and study. I can choose how I’m going to to view unfortunate circumstances in my life- whether I will see them as curses or opportunities (and on the occasions when I can’t rise  to the most optimistic viewpoint, because I’m feeling too damn sorry for myself, I can choose to keep trying to change my outlook). I can choose my words and the tone of my voice in which I speak to others.

And most of all, I can choose my thoughts.

This last concept is a radically new idea for me. Richard from Texas brought it to my attention recently when I was complaining about my inability to stop brooding. He said, ‘Groceries, you need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select what clothes you’re gonna wear everyday. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control. Drop everything else but that. Because if you can’t learn to master your thinking, you’re in deep trouble forever.”

On first glance, this seems a nearly impossible task. Control your thoughts? Instead of the other way around? But imagine if you could? This is not about repression or denial. Repression and denial set up elaborate games to pretend that negative thoughts and feeling are not occurring. What Richard is talking about is instead admitting to the existence of negative thoughts, understanding where they come from and why they arrived, and then- with great forgiveness and fortitude – dismissing them. This is a practice that fits hand in glove with any psychological work you do during therapy.

It’s a sacrifice to let them go of course. It’s a loss of old habits, comforting old grudges and familiar vignettes. Of course, this all takes practice and effort. It’s not a teaching that you can hear once and then expect to master it immediately. It’s constant vigilance and I want to do it. I need to do it for my strength.

So I’ve started being vigilant about watching my thoughts all day, and monitoring them. I repeat this vow about 700 times a day: “I will not harbor unhealthy thoughts anymore.” [p. 177-179]

I just love this quote!

For years and years, I was such a negative person on the inside. My thoughts were always negative and I too thought that I was powerless and couldn’t control them. I also believed that my thoughts equaled truth.

So I believed them.

I saw a therapist periodically throughout university and one of the things my therapist told me was that if I replace negative thoughts with a countering positive thought, eventually I will start to believe the positive thoughts. Over time, those positive thoughts will occur more and more…slowly but surely taking over the negative thoughts.

Through practice, this is exactly what I experienced.

As soon as I decided to start thinking more optimistically, instead of letting my negative thoughts run on autopilot, I became a happier person. Years have passed since I started working on my negative thinking and not only was I able to beat my disordered eating, but I would guess that I have decreased my negative thoughts by about 75%. I still struggle with negative thoughts on a daily basis, but I now know that I can dismiss them most of the time.

I like Richard’s approach:

  1. Admit to the existence of negative thoughts,
  2. Understand where they come from and why they arrived,
  3. With great forgiveness and fortitude – dismiss them.

I think the part about forgiveness is so powerful. We must appreciate that we are human and will make mistakes and most of all be forgiving of ourselves!  As Richard said, “If you can’t learn to master your thinking, you’re in deep trouble forever.”

[If you are interested I have written on this topic before touching on psychological research methods to beat negative thinking: How To Beat Negative Thinking: Part 1 and Part 2]

Today’s questions: Do you struggle with negative thinking? Have you ever succeeded in over-coming negative thoughts? Do you think you could implement the strategies above to master your own thinking?

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{ 126 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica @ How Sweet July 29, 2010 at 7:48 am

I feel that I’ve been VERY blessed in not having too many negative thoughts (I swear it comes from self esteem classes I had in elementary school) but of course I have some every now and then. Really, I believe in praying about it and that having a strong faith has helped me through darker days. I do believe that the above stategies, especially forgiveness and dimissing are very important!


Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope July 29, 2010 at 7:50 am

Yes, I feel as if lately all of my thoughts are negative. I feel like i’m angry all of the time and that i get annoyed at everything. I’m not sure if am depressed or just hormonal or a combination of both. I am reading a few books right now to try and center my mind through more yoga in my life. I have also thought about seeing a therapist. I also feel like i hide my feelings from the world, like at work or with other family members. No one would ever know i am suffering or feeling depressed because i am good at pretending and putting on a happy face, so that makes me question whether or not it’s depressed or dysthymia, or…i dunno. Right now, life just sucks, but i have nothing to be upset about because i have a roof, wonderful boyfriend, and food…but, still with the negativity. so if you have anymore advice on how to not be negative, then i’m all for it:( Sorry, i just revealed way too much in a blog comment.


Rachael July 29, 2010 at 9:15 am

“but i have nothing to be upset about because i have a roof, wonderful boyfriend, and food”

Don’t dismiss your negative thoughts as if you shouldn’t be having them. That’ll send you on a whole new path of negative thinking, blame, guilt, etc. I think the most important part of the EPL quote is “Understand where they come from and why they arrived” and you are a million times ahead of the rest of the world by being open to the idea of counseling. I’m a firm believer in preventative counseling and think everyone should talk to a therapist no matter where they are in their lives (health insurance and social stigma say otherwise). But really, bravo on being so aware of your emotions and willing to take steps to create happiness for yourself through yoga, books, meditation, or whatever else you may find to help.


Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope July 29, 2010 at 12:08 pm

As a healthcare provider, i have no shame in seeking any sort of counseling or help that I think I may need, but for now, i am going to focus on myself and doing what i’m doing, and if it doesn’t get any better soon, then I will seek outside help. Thanks for the response. I’m thinking of writing down the negative thoughts that come, and then countering it with something positive.


Rachael July 29, 2010 at 2:56 pm

I like that idea a lot!


Sarah July 29, 2010 at 10:51 am

I’m sorry you think your life sucks :( And I completely understand: “Right now, life just sucks, but i have nothing to be upset about because i have a roof, wonderful boyfriend, and food…but, still with the negativity”

I struggle with negativity too and then I think the exact same thing. I have a job, a roof, a car, family, friends, etc why do I feel bad? Then I feel quilty for feeling bad! So it’s an overload of negativity. I’ve found that if I stop feeling guilty for feeling negative, it’s a small step in the right direction. You have every right to feel like your life sucks no matter what you have in life. Accepting that fact is incredibly liberating and will help you discover the truth behind the negativity.

When I’m start to mentally berate myself for feeling negative, I stop for a moment and try to figure out why I feel so negative as opposed to saying “I’m so pathetic, etc”. Then I try my best to figure out a positive spin on my negative thought. For example: I can’t believe I just ate four cookies! Positive spin: Well I wanted to eat five cookies but I stopped at four. And next time, I can stop myself at three (or less).

Hopefully you’ll start to feel better soon :) And never feel bad for your emotions/feelings. There are reasons behind your emotions-you just have to allow yourself to feel them to understand the reasons.


nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope July 29, 2010 at 12:09 pm

You’re right, i need to let go of feeling guilty. Sometimes though, i don’t know why i feel the way i do. It’s like everything seems to be going okay,but for whatever reason, I feel sad or angry or…whatever! It’s highly frustrating when you can’t even pinpoint the source. Thanks for the response.


AngelaOSG July 29, 2010 at 5:37 pm

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts!


Jennifer July 29, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Nicole, I was diagnosed clinically depressed nine years ago. After five years of anti-depressants and not feeling anything (think emotional monotone), I got tired of it and started psychotherapy (after a time lapse). (Only people close to me knew of the depression – the rest of the world believed I was happy and nothing was wrong because of the face I put on.) In the last three plus years, I have come to learn that I held such big assumptions of what I ‘should be’ or what I ‘should do’ that I wasn’t actually connected to myself. This lack of emotional connection and multiple assumptions led me to anger, sadness, guilt and disordered eating. I still have work to do and will probably be in therapy the rest of my life, but I have come so far and am proud of myself! I strongly urge you to see a therapist, even just once, and see how you feel. Take care of yourself and don’t let too much time (and life!) pass. All the best, Jennifer


Adventures in Veg July 29, 2010 at 7:50 am

This is such a powerful post…it really resonates with me because I often struggle with negative thinking, and it is so easy for it to spiral out of control!
I really saw the impact that negative thinking has on my life recently and it shocked me. So I’m really trying to think positive!
As always your blog makes me feel like I can kick those negative thoughts to the curb! Thanks Angela xx


Danielle @ Body By Nature July 29, 2010 at 7:51 am

Eat, Pray, love is one of my most favourite books! Sure, there is a bit of fluff but there are also so many valuable life lessons. It’s easy to get trapped into negative thinking but it takes a strong mind to make a conscious decision to think positive and see the good in everything. What a beautiful post, thank you for sharing!


Heather July 29, 2010 at 7:52 am

I think the key to dealing with negative thoughts is not being on “autopilot” and realizing that they are there admaking an effort to think about something else!


maria @ Chasing the Now July 29, 2010 at 7:54 am

I LOVED that quote, too. One of the ones that stuck with me the most. I just finished reading EPL and it was a worthwhile read.


Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday July 29, 2010 at 7:54 am

This is great advice. I can really use this to get over my negative body image!


Corinne July 29, 2010 at 7:56 am

This is a very interesting concept which truly appeals to me. I also have seen a therapist for anxiety and this is what I learned. I am still struggling to do this. Do you have a concrete example of this, as a negative thought that you could turn into something positive? I think it’s difficult to separate thoughts and emotions. Here is my problem: I think about something and it makes me anxious (because I make scenarios in my head) THEN because I FEEL anxious, I think it must be true… Do you get what I mean?? Ahhh!! LOL…The mind is tricky!!


maria @ Chasing the Now July 29, 2010 at 5:01 pm

I am the same way! My husband is constantly reminding me that just because I “FEEL” one way doesn’t make it 100% true. Thoughts and feelings are hard to separate.


AngelaOSG July 29, 2010 at 5:39 pm

Hi Corinne, Check out these posts for concrete examples: How To Beat Negative Thinking: Part 1 and Part 2- the links are at the end of my post.


Emmanuelle July 29, 2010 at 7:57 am

Yes I can have negative thoughts, get upset or annoyed about things. I have slowly learned to recognize these thoughts for what they are, where they come from, why I have them (tired? bad day at work? am I making it worse because I moan and whine?), the hardest being getting enough perspective to dismiss them. I guess deep breathing helps ;-)
It is hard, but it gets easier with time!


Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg July 29, 2010 at 7:57 am

I’ve struggled with negative thoughts a lot– I’m always wondering, What is someone else doing that’s better than me? How is someone else’s life better than mine?

I’ve learned over time to stop myself from doing this too much…but it can be tough! Acknowledging that everyone has different (but not necessarily better) experiences than I do has helped!


Michelle July 29, 2010 at 7:58 am

So many times I catch myself thinking something very negative (usually about myself). Lately, I yell at myself in my head to STOP! It’s a hard cycle to get out of, and hard to catch yourself making negative thoughts. They creep in very easily. Stopping them in their tracks is the hard part, but so worth it.


Rosey Rebecca July 29, 2010 at 7:59 am

I grew up with some pretty bad anxiety problems. When I’m stressed out, it’s hard to not be negative and think I’m not going to get things done. Lately, though, I’ve been taking things one step at a time. Instead of thinking ‘omg, I have to do 58537 things by next Tuesday,” I think ‘well, this is what I have to do TODAY,’ and it calms me down A LOT. It’s easy to freak out and think that you’re not going to have the time to do everything you need to do when you think that you have to do it all in one day. I think what’s helped me is realizing that 24 hours in a day is a LONG time, and it’s possible to do everything I set my mind to. :-)


Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans July 29, 2010 at 8:15 am

I deal with anxiety also and I know how tough it can be to feel overwhelmed by the negative thoughts taht pour in when it strikes. I like your approach of tackling one day at a time, thats something I need to do too. I also try to differentiate between the things I can and can’t control so I don’t get caught up trying to “fix” absolutely everything.


Allison @ Food For Healing July 29, 2010 at 8:00 am

i definitely still struggle with negative thoughts, its very hard to overcome.


Emmy July 29, 2010 at 8:01 am

Changing my thought process has been the single most important part of my recovery from anorexia. I finally decided that I no longer want to look at myself in the mirror and hate what I see, I no longer want to feel bad all the time and I realized that it is in my power to actively change my thinking. Sure it took some therapy, but I don’t think people understand how much control they actually have over their thoughts. Making the effort to think positively has completely changed my life. Thanks for a great post, I’ve never known how to put that into words! I love your blog- you are a wonderful inspiration xoxo


AngelaOSG July 29, 2010 at 5:39 pm

So proud of you!


Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman July 29, 2010 at 8:02 am

This totally hits home. It’s something my husband will say and I brush off. We can control our mood. Being unhappy or negative is a choice, and you have to decide to look on the bright side. Of course, that’s way easier said than done.


Holly @ couchpotatoathlete July 29, 2010 at 8:09 am

Wow did I need to read this today!

I am the queen of negative thinking — but I have been working on this. I can recognize the negative thinking, acknowledge it and replace it with positive thoughts. Obviously I have a long way to go, but I already feel like I am improving tremendously.

I agree with you about accepting negative thoughts as truth. My husband will tell me I look beautiful and instead of saying “thank you” I will think to myself “no I’m not” and then think of 500 things about myself I want to change. Why do I accept MY thoughts as truth — why can’t I accept my husband’s comments as truths? Our minds are truly amazing, and “Richard” is right — if we can control our thoughts and minds we are set for life. I know my mind is my biggest stumbling block — if I can get over my own thoughts I am good to go!


Gail July 29, 2010 at 12:00 pm

You know what’s so interesting is that it’s so much easier to believe the negative than the positive. I know that’s how it is for me, and I don’t know why! I’m the same way, someone will tell me I look nice or something, and I’m quick to dismiss it and even say so to their face(“Oh, no I don’t”, or “I can’t stand my hair”). Then, slowly, I started realing what I was doing, and now if someone says something nice to me, I accept it and thank them (although sometimes deep down I’m still denying it). But, I do think by just consciencely (sp?) accepting the compliment someone says to me and saying it out loud helps my negative mind to go away. I don’t know if this made any sense at all!


Holly @ couchpotatoathlete\ July 29, 2010 at 12:27 pm

What you said made perfect sense to me. It is in a way CRAZY that when someone gives me a compliment and I know they are being genuine, I still tell myself “No I don’t, I look awful and my hair looks bad, my clothes are this, blah blah blah”. It isn’t healthy and I’m working towards acknowledging those statements and countering them with positive thoughts.


Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans July 29, 2010 at 8:12 am

I do struggle with negative thinking and strive to be more optimistic. I know its a learned behavior that might take time to correct but I believe that in time and with practice I will become the girl with her glass half full!!

Just bought EPL and can’t wait to get into it this weekend.


Daniel July 29, 2010 at 8:16 am

Though it’s getting much better, I’ve struggled with negative thoughts about my body image as well. I used to eat very little and exercise a ton and do crunches non-stop so I could keep my stomach in top condition. After getting back from Greece and taking a 3-week exercise hiatus, I thought about it and said to myself “if working on your abs and having nice definition is so much work that it makes you unhappy, are they really worth having in the first place?”

Simply taking a few extra minutes to assess negative thoughts and think about positive ones to defeat them makes a huge difference in one’s life. :)


jenna July 29, 2010 at 8:16 am

I have always struggled with negative thoughts and still do. It’s an ongoing process that you have to work at everyday. This book is such a great book to show people that others deal with these thoughts, it’s okay, just face your problem head on and teach yourself to change a little everyday.


Tracey July 29, 2010 at 8:20 am

This quote hits home with me too. I have struggled with negative thinking for years. It’s a hard habit to break. Lately, I have gotten back into the downward cycle of negative thoughts (and it is definitely a downward cycle….once you start you get sucked in to more negative thinking). I have been trying to work on being more positive, but sometimes it is very difficult to overcome the negativity my mind creates. I agree with the quote “if you can’t learn to master your thinking, you are in deep trouble forever”. Right now in my life I feel as if I am in deep trouble forever….


Tessa July 29, 2010 at 8:21 am

I find your blog very interesting this morning. I have recently come out of a bad breakup where the person lied to me for quite a long time. I have spent the last two months fretting, worrying and beating myself up. Then I picked up an old book by James Allen called, “As a Man Thinketh”. The book is similar to what you are speaking of and I have employed this technique of focusing on positive things. I’m going to keep practicing! I think your blog this morning is confirmation that I’m on the right path! Blessing to you!


AngelaOSG July 29, 2010 at 5:41 pm

I’m glad you enjoyed it…I wish you all the best with your new journey!


Astrid July 29, 2010 at 8:22 am

Oh Angela, this is an amazing uote and a great topic for discussion! Last night I had a very frustrating conversation with my mom. The thoughts in my head were so negative. After I talked it out, I just told myself that I cannot change the way my mom thinks or acts. That is her. But I can change how I react to her words and actions. She and I are not the same person and it is okay if she doesn’t act the way I hoped. After all, I am only accountable for my own actions and thoughts, no one else’s, right?
I do need to become more diligent about being mindful of the negative thoughts, why they are there, and forgiving myself for having them. That is a huge challenge for me. I keep thinking that I must be a horrible person for thinking certain things. But I am not, I am simply and wonderfuly human.


Jennifer July 29, 2010 at 8:23 am

Wow, this is a perfect quote for me today! I do struggle with negative thoughts all the time, but I have definitely been working on thinking more positively. I truly believe that if/when I put out positive energy into the universe, it will come back to me. As soon as I make an honest effort to put out good things into the world, I can see a dramatic shift in my life. It is in amazing thing. And for me, figuring out where the thoughts come from and why they are there isn’t as important as dismissing them. I mean, sure *eventually* I would like to get everything sorted out, but I try not to focus on figuring them out because then I tend to end up back in negative-thoughtville. For me, it’s more productive to simply acknowledge that I have the bad thoughts, recognize that it’s OK to have bad thoughts (instead of beating myself up for even thinking the way I do), and then just let them go. I think the road down the psychological journey is a long one, but for me it’s really important to remember that I don’t have to get from one end of that road to another in a day, a week, or even a year. The idea that I can take all the time I need to has been really powerful. And the simple recognition that it’s OK to be upset sometimes or that I don’t have to understand WHY I feel a certain way has been a great source of freedom for me. Now instead of thinking “OMG, how could I even THINK that?” I just acknowledge that I think that and if it’s a negative thought, I just let it go.

GREAT quote and perfect timing! Thanks for sharing Ange!!!


Freya @ Brit Chick Runs July 29, 2010 at 8:27 am

I suffer from negative thoughts- not like I used to, but I do still get them, especially when I’m a bit vulnerable (ie sad). They are so horrible, but I recognise I get them so I’m trying SO hard to overcome. I actually really believe in the power of positive thinking and visulization, so hopefully, one day they’ll go and I’ll be much happier :)


*Andrea* July 29, 2010 at 8:29 am

love this quote!!! i tried reading the book when it first came out but i found the first few pages boring so i never got into it. maybe i should try reading it again!

i definitely struggle with negative, self-critical and judgmental thoughts on a daily, even hourly!, basis. seeing a therapist and doing meditation and yoga has helped increase my self-awareness and realize that a person does not equal their thoughts but that thoughts create emotions which create behaviors so if you change a thought this can be powerful! definitely takes practice and more effort for some of us but is a lifelong skill. i think mindfulness helps rather than avoidance and also countering the negative with the positive & pursuing activities that are authentic to your own interests and not what you think is expected


JJ July 29, 2010 at 8:29 am

I have struggled with negative thinking for a long, long, time. If I could suggest one solution, it would be to look at The Work of Byron Katie. She developed a program to address negative thinking and learn to take it apart one thought, or belief, at a time. It is really simple, powerful, and free – just google “the work” to see videos of people working through the process to address their thoughts. It may not be for everyone, but it really helped me and is a tool I can use everyday to keep my thinking on track and focused on kindness and peace.


Lindsay July 29, 2010 at 8:29 am

My dad always tells me 2 things that immediately popped into my head while I was reading this. #1 You will not pass this way again. You’ll never get another July 29, 2010. So enjoy it! #2 Cherish yesterday, Dream tommarow, Live today. Remembering the good days and dreaming about the possibilities in the future can give us the strength to live today. Getting bogged down with things that are not true or projecting your worries onto your present situation will only rob you of the joy that is new every single morning. I just found this blog yesterday and I LOVE it! Thanks for being so transparent and honest!


AngelaOSG July 29, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Awesome advice!


lauren July 29, 2010 at 8:33 am

I LOVE your blog and read it everyday, but never comment. However after reading this post i knew i HAD to comment because of the topic. Im almost recovered from an ed and have been in intensive therapy for 3 years to overcome it and the main thing that has allowed me to get my life back and become such a happier person, free of disordered irrational thinking has been replacing negative thoughts with positive ones! The more you think positively and affirm the positive thoughts the more you believe it and the more your subconsious mind takes them on board. Then over time our subconcious mind can become retrained to think positive thoughts rather than negative ones. I truely believe changing our thoughts and being the “pilot” of our own thoughts and which ones we choose to believe is the key to happiness and the key to overcoming so many personal issues, especially in relation to eating disorders and low self esteem issues. I feel SO lucky to have discovered this at such a young age ( im 19) because i know that whatever the future holds and whatever life throws at me i can handle as long as i watch my thoughts about the situation and dismiss those self- doubting negative thoughts that we all experience in the sight of the unfamiliar.

Your such a role model and an inspiration and i love how many people your helping with your insightful posts! You should be so proud of the amazing person you are!


AngelaOSG July 29, 2010 at 5:42 pm

Wow congrats on your progress and recovery! I can relate to your experience a lot. It takes hard work, but the payoff is amazing. Thanks for your kind words :)


Lizzie July 29, 2010 at 8:34 am

Great post Angela! I am about to enter my mid 30’s (eeeep!) and spending a little more time reflecting on my journey so far and where I want to take it in the coming years – a lot of my 20’s were defined by fear/negative thinking and I truly believe that the first step towards a health appreciation of self is to recognize that there are unhealthy thoughts going on and that regardless of your life experience so far you are undeserving of them. Once you can love and appreciate and know who you are then you are free to be there for others. Also, I didn’t come to this conclusion myself – it’s a combination of one counselling session, a couple of books, and my mum :)


Holly @ Self-love and Running July 29, 2010 at 8:38 am

I used to struggle with negative thinking. I think most of my negative thoughts stemmed from poor self esteem because most of my negative thoughts were about myself and what was or could happen to me. I still have some negative thoughts but I no longer say I am struggling with them. I refuse to give them anymore power over me and while I admit that they are there, I am no longer willing to spend time on them. I am choosing to focus on the positive. I am choosing to love myself and look for the good.

It reminds me of the Native American tale –
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”


AngelaOSG July 29, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Wow very powerful, thank you!


Camille July 29, 2010 at 8:39 am

I struggle with occasional negative thinking (but hey, who doesn’t!?) but I have trained myself well now. Instead of letting the thoughts snowball out of control, I grant myself the knowledge that negative thoughts are normal. If everything was 100% positive and cheery all the time then I would appreciate amazing moods less. Moods are part of being human and instead of chastising yourself for feeling down, I just ride it out and hope for a better mood later!


Rhea (Greek Feaster) July 29, 2010 at 8:40 am

Hey Angela,

Since you’re enjoying EPL so much, I would recommend checking out The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. His writings helped me journey to forgiveness. They are also handy for busy peeps, as you can read a small section at a time and get a lot out of it.
If you do come across it, lemme know what you think!



tanyasDailyProductReviews July 29, 2010 at 8:43 am

it would be easier to struggle with positive thinking!


Ilana July 29, 2010 at 8:45 am

Yes! Yes, yes I agree with this 100%!! Healthy thinking, like healthy eating and physical activity, is a HABIT you have to build and develop and practice. It won’t just happen naturally overnight, although I spent most of my life wishing it would. And even more than thinking positively, it’s INCREDIBLY important to leave room in your heart and your life for the negative, because if you constantly push down and ignore the “bad thoughts,” they don’t just go away. They WILL come back, WILL make themselves heard, and usually they explode out if you’ve been trying to repress them. I used to repress and it was always so bad. Now when I have a bad day, I try to find the cause of the bad day – why do I feel this way, where is it coming from, what can I do about it? And how can I use the positive habits I’ve buuilt up to counter it? I used to be depressed to the point of physical debilitation – couldn’t get out of bed, couldn’t function – and now I know I’m getting better and my healthy thinking and living habits are working because when I have a bad day I don’t automatically backslide into my old self-destructive habits. I eat normally, I get out of bed, I still function, which is unlike what I used to do.
Thank you for posting this!


Gail July 29, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Amen sister!


AngelaOSG July 29, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Love this thanks :)


April @ Crazy Fabulous Life July 29, 2010 at 8:48 am

I’ve definitely struggled with negative thoughts. I have gotten alot better though; whenever a negative thought pops up I push it away and replace it with a positive one. :)


Katie @ Health for the Whole Self July 29, 2010 at 8:59 am

I think a really important step is recognizing that we are not our thoughts; our thoughts are a PART of us, but they do not completely define us. For so long I was unable to grasp that idea. So when the wheels of my head started spinning with negativity, I didn’t realize that I had the power to change that – instead, I just thought that was “who I was.” Simply recognizing that we don’t have to be defined by our thoughts – and that they are within our control – is very powerful!


Kristy July 29, 2010 at 9:03 am

99% of my thoughts used to be NEGATIVE, which means I lead a negative life 99% of the time. My boyfriend suggested I start a “positive” journal were I share my thoughts and feelings but the catch was to write in a positive tone and if I HAD to confide in something negative I countered it was a positive. The repetition approach truly does work! Practice makes perfect  but perfect is still over rated. I just bought the book, can’t wait to start reading – hopefully I will finish before the movie comes out.


Fit Chick in the City July 29, 2010 at 9:08 am

I’m really working on this these days. I think I need to re-read this book based on what you’ve quoted.


Lindsay July 29, 2010 at 9:09 am

My thoughts are consumed with negative energy! I hate it, but my relationship with myself is not where it should be and it’s something I’m trying to work on hourly…I have to take it hourly because trying to take it daily is too much! I must admit though since finding your blog a couple months back, my negative thoughts have decreased some. I’m no where near where I want to be, but progress is progress!! Thank you for always being so inspirational! I’m sure I’m not the only one who can attest to what a beacon of light you are for me every day!


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat July 29, 2010 at 9:12 am

Thankfully, I don’t have really negative thoughts on a regular basis, but just like other people, they’re definitely there sometimes. I find that starting my day off with positive thoughts, and associating with positive people help to keep me thinking optimistically as well.


jassy July 29, 2010 at 9:13 am

this is another way to beat negative thoughts…thanks for sharing! :)


Kelly July 29, 2010 at 9:15 am

I love EPL so much, I can’t wait for it to be a movie- though movies are never as good right? I think I naturally have a lot of positive thoughts and I actually have to make myself think negatively sometimes so I won’t be disappointed if the outcome is not what I expect. I think this is probably just a way you are born and I’m lucky. I think it’s amazing that you can turn your thoughts around like that though!


gail July 29, 2010 at 12:04 pm

The movie is coming out soon – I’ve seen the trailers on TV a lot so probably in the next few weeks. It’s starring Julia Roberts, and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not – ha!


Kendel @ Eating Abroad July 29, 2010 at 9:27 am

One of the things I admire most about my boyfriend is that he always recognizes and questions my negative thinking. Not in a critical, lighten up way, but in a patient, understanding, helpful way. He always reminds me to be as kind to myself as I am to others. It’s a tough one though that I struggle with daily. Thanks for sharing.


AngelaOSG July 29, 2010 at 5:44 pm

You’ve got a keep on your hands…that is awesome :)


Tina July 29, 2010 at 9:28 am

I actually posted a similar statement on my last blog post. I try to live my life with the mindset that I am in control of making it the best possible. That doesn’t mean it will always be happy, but I can choose to focus on as much positive as I can and changing the negatives within my power. You can’t always control what happens in life, but you can always control your reactions to them. Love this mindset.


Shanna @ Shanna Like Banana July 29, 2010 at 9:28 am

This quote is quite profound. The one thing that bothers me is the “dismissing” part. Perhaps it’s her word choice, but I feel ilke that some people can cling to that part and say, “I’m feeling upset again so I choose to push that out of my head.” In reality, unless all the other steps are taken, true power isn’t achieved. Rather the person might say “I’m feeling upset. The reason I’m feeling upset in this moment may be because of X and Y. I am noticing patterns here and need to investigate why I get to this point. I’m going to sit with this emotion for a bit. I’m going to find ways to combat this emotion. Then I will choose an emotion that better suits my happiness and productivity.”

Just my two cents ;)


AngelaOSG July 29, 2010 at 5:45 pm

I love your insight here


Annie D. @ Annie's Simple Life July 29, 2010 at 9:28 am

I needed this quote today. I needed ths quote yesterday. I’ve needed this quote my whole life. THANK YOU for sharing!


Jil @ Peace, Love & Munchies July 29, 2010 at 9:30 am

Love this – for a really long time, any negative thoughts, comments, etc. brought me down…broke me essentially. It didn’t matter what I was doing, but suddenly everything would hault – like it just didn’t matter anymore. I have learned to dismiss things…consider some aspects because sometimes there is truth to them – however, in the end you must dismiss…or you’ll drive yourself into the ground.


Maria @ Oh Healthy Day July 29, 2010 at 9:30 am

I’ve been practicing positive thinking for a few months now and its definitely not easy, but does in fact work! When I’m walking to work in the mornings (usually, I do not want to go), I repeat to myself all the positive aspects of my job. I say, “You are so much more than what you do from 9-5”, “You are lucky to have a great job full of opportunity”, “Your coworkers respect you and appreciate you”. By the time I hit the office door, I’m ready to take on a new day!


Therese July 29, 2010 at 9:41 am

Oh my goodness have I struggled with this! I was SUCH a negative person even though even thought I was soooo positive! I berated myself for EVERYTHING. But I started to do exactly like you did and like Elizabeth talks about, the moment I started to think negatively I stopped immediately and asked myself what PROOF I had to make such a statement. Any excuse I gave myself I was able to put into perspective until I proved to myself that my “proof” wasn’t based in fact and then I would turn the statement around into something positive. I still struggle (even this morning) but I MUCH happier now and better able to manage these negative thoughts!


Anya @ Fitness & Sunshine July 29, 2010 at 9:41 am

What a great quote. I’m working on being more positive myself. :) And so far, it’s working and definitely making me a happier person. It’s very true that I can either let outside circumstances or my negative thoughts overwhelm me, or I can think positively and view situations without letting them affect me too much. This was great reinforcement and an excellent reminder for me to continue.


Heather (Heather's Dish) July 29, 2010 at 9:43 am

i definitely struggle with negative thinking, but I try to sit back and realize that the things I am typically thinking negatively about are worldly things…I can’t take them with me, so why worry about it? I try to remember all of the incredible blessings in my life and realize that there is so much joy to be had if i just let go and let myself have it!

i am loving reading this book right now too…some of it’s kind of “out there” but I would say that 90% of it is completely applicable!


Mary @ Bites and Bliss July 29, 2010 at 9:45 am

I rarely ever have negative thought and feel incredibly lucky to be able to say that. I used to struggle with them a few years back when I was at my unhealthy weight..in fact I remember when I was at a healthy weight, I was so optimistic and always looking at the best in every situation. Then when I was underweight, I became pessimistic- everything was horrible, nothing could be fixed. And now that I’m healthy again, the optimism is back. I think it all has to do with how comfortable you are in your own skin- the thoughts will reflect that.


Rachel July 29, 2010 at 9:46 am

I think that our society teaches us negative thinking. There’s a lot of super stars in our world and if we aren’t living up to those images of “perfection” we tend to think badly of ourselves, down talk, stereotype, etc. It’s important to see yourself, your goals, your life as YOURS and only yours with no other comparisons.

I’m a social worker working on my master’s in social work with a concentration in the clinical setting and one of my favorite theories in counseling that I’ve learned so far is narrative therapy. In a nutshell, narrative therapy focuses on “rewriting” your life story to turn negative thoughts and emotions around into positive ones through different exercises and framing techniques. I LOVE narrative therapy and think it has a lot of similarities to what the EPL quote stems from in meditation.


AngelaOSG July 29, 2010 at 5:46 pm

I love narrative therapy…I actually did it some and it was so helpful!


melissa July 29, 2010 at 10:04 am

I am sure you get this all the time, but what camera do you use?


AngelaOSG July 29, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Canon 30D with a 50 mm lens :)


Lisa @ I'm an Okie July 29, 2010 at 10:22 am

Just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to write these quotes out. I am learning a lot from them and they are definitely making me think and for that, I love them!


AngelaOSG July 29, 2010 at 5:47 pm

Im glad you enjoy them!


Lynna July 29, 2010 at 10:30 am

I often struggle with negative thoughts and I’ve actually used the “Negative –> Positive” Method you mentioned in one of you mentioned in one of your other posts. I found it was very helpful for me to write them down and have something tangible instead of just brooding over the same thought again and again in my mind. Thank you for the suggestion.


AngelaOSG July 29, 2010 at 5:47 pm

I’m really happy to hear that that helped you :)


Rachel @ Fit Fun and Fabulous July 29, 2010 at 10:31 am

Oh gosh this book is so powerful! I’m glad you have been enjoying it. I’ve read it before and need to read it again!

This was a great post for me. I used to be awesome at keeping positive and dismissing negative thoughts. I successfully lost 40 lbs with weight watchers (as I’ve shared with you before) but after setting a final weight goal and NEVER reaching it, deep down I’ve found myself feeling worthless unless I get to that specific number on the scale. The weight loss actually triggered me into really disordered attitudes about food and myself.

Lately I’ve had a real struggle and am turning to therapy again. I’ve really been stuck in the attitude of “If I was X weight, I would be happy. Nothing else will do”. And it is such a damaging attitude. Therapy has been really beneficial for me in the past with other issues, and I will be returning this year to work on my newly developed issues with food and body image.


Amy @ be.you.ti.fully, a.musing July 29, 2010 at 10:35 am

I love the quotes you pick!

I used to be a pretty negative person on the inside too. I thought that my set of beliefs was the right one, and that the way I perceived the world was the only way to perceive the world. Eventually I realized that those thoughts were doing NOTHING for me except making me absolutely miserable. I started letting others (and myself) off the hook more often, and working with a spiritual therapist who helped me understand that I could see things in a different way and that by doing so my happy reality would be no less real than the one I had created with my negative thoughts. Lately, I’ve been working a lot with the teachings of Abraham. There’s nothing about what they say that I don’t resonate with. They have plenty of awesome YouTube clips (search “abraham hicks”) on a multitude of topics.


Callie July 29, 2010 at 10:39 am

Great post.
I’ve been having fewer negative thoughts now. Once they do come up, it does help me to replace them with positive ones as you do. I’ll also pray about it.
I’m now considering reading EPL. It seems so good.


Melissa July 29, 2010 at 10:54 am

Another really great thing to know is that you dont have to dismiss them….you can not grab ahold of them but they dont have to go away to keep going where you want to go/do what you want to do. I practice riding them- like a surfer on a wave. or watch them pass by- like leaves on a stream. The real trick of the mind is… less you try to dismiss unwanted thoughts- the quieter they get. Cool concept but takes practice….I work as a therapist with kids and adults who really struggle with anxious thoughts and get the honor of seeing people practice them and begin living their valued lives again.


Wei Wei July 29, 2010 at 11:08 am

I think that somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew that I was relapsing. I was considering just a Popsicle for lunch, but I argued with myself, gave myself a slap ’round the jowls, and ate a healthier lunch involving veggies and (gasp) carbs. It was surprisingly satisfying to defeat my own thoughts.

Wei Wei


Jennifer July 29, 2010 at 11:12 am

I’m reading Eat, Pray, Love now and found so many powerful quotes. This one with Richards feedback and all of the comments were very thought provoking. Thank you all!!! Some of you might find the post “Focus on the Positive Path” interesting as well. http://jenniferbridge.wordpress.com/2010/05/17/focus-on-the-positive-path/


KatieTX July 29, 2010 at 11:13 am

This is exactly what yoga teaches you to do. Accept your negative thoughts (face) and instead put in a positive affirmation (replace). Soon you will truly believe the positive affirmation and live a much more positive, pleasant life! Amazing! I say this in almost every single yoga class I teach. Anyone who struggles with negativity, find a good yoga instructor and go regularly!


Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope July 29, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Do you have a blog? I ask because i’m trying to follow a lot of yoga instructors since I want to eventually go through training…


KatieTX July 29, 2010 at 2:54 pm

No, I do not blog, I only read them :) I am trained through Yogafit, which is all about bringing yoga into a fitness setting. From there I sneak the yoga philosophy into my fitness clients’ minds :) It is a nice training because you can just one for one weekend at a time instead of blocking off 2 weeks to a month to dedicate to a training. It works better for those who have a busy schedule. I have a full time job as a research assisstant in addition to teaching 10 group fitness/yoga classes per week! I don’t think I would ever have time to blog!


katie July 29, 2010 at 11:17 am

Oh, this is such a struggle! I have periods when I do well, and periods where after a bit of self-reflection, I realize I am being incredibly negative. I so often let my negative thoughts and emotions guide me, and when that happens, it usually leaves me feeling frustrated and horrible. Negative thinking is something I have to be constantly vigilant about.
I was really struck by the way you laid out Richard’s approach. Looked at this way, turning my thinking around really seems like something I can do – I know I can change, I just fall into habits and get lazy sometimes! I’m excited to give it a bit of work.


Amber K July 29, 2010 at 11:18 am

I do sometimes struggle with negative thinking. It happens usually when I am already feeling anxious about something and can lead to a panic attack. It is something I am trying to work on and if I had health insurance I would probably see someone about it. maybe one day!


Kendra July 29, 2010 at 11:21 am

I am not exactly the world’s most positive person and lately I have been working on this very thing. I’ve definitely articulated it a little differently to myself but it all comes down to the same thing. I’ve been fighting through insecurities, self doubt, jealousy, and anxeity and choosing to think differently is a huge part of that.


Amanda July 29, 2010 at 11:32 am

I struggle a lot with negative thoughts but have recently started trying to replace them with more positive thoughts because I felt like I was becoming a very negative unhappy person. Along with trying to replace negative thoughts with positive ones I’m highlighting one thing in my life each day that I love and am thankful for and recording them in my blog. I’ve already started to notice a difference in my moods


Jenn (GH) July 29, 2010 at 11:33 am

GREAT post Angela! I learned similar strategies in my 5+ years in therapy. (Yeah I was a nut job…said TOTALLY tongue and cheek.) WHen I have negative thoughts I also find it super helpful to address the root of my negative thinking. I’d like to read that book.


Jordan July 29, 2010 at 11:35 am

Hi Angela, I really love your blog, and this post in particular. I have struggled with negative thinking a lot in the past year, and I think the power of positivity is so underestimated. When I find myself getting into a rut of negativity, I try to remind myself that no matter what situation or what circumstances I’m in, I have the ability to decide how I’m going to respond. There is always a negative and positive way to respond to anything, and at the end of the day, I want to make the choice to be positive and not let external factors around me control my outlook on life (not that it is always easy …). I personally love this quote by Buddha, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” This quote really resonates with me because I’ve spend so much wasted energy on being annoyed or angry about things that I have no control over. It helps me remember to let things go, move on, and not let negativity thoughts control me. Thank you for posting!


Emily July 29, 2010 at 11:52 am

Man, I need to read this book! The past few days have been No Positivity City in my head. (Sorry, that was unbelievably cheesy.) I can’t stop myself from crying. I’m stuck in New York for another two years until I finish law school (I know some people love the city, but I can’t wait to get out!), live at home with my parents at the age of 26 because I can’t afford NYC rent, I feel lost, lonely, etc. It’s definitely not an easy time in my life, but even when things are going well, I tend to dwell on the negative- I think because I’m always looking for my life to be perfect, and it won’t be perfect until I figure out exactly what’s wrong in my life and fix it. Umm, when am I going to realize that a “perfect” life is not possible?! Maybe now that I’ve written it down.


Gail July 29, 2010 at 11:52 am

Wow, I REALLY need to read this book. Ever since you started blogging about it, so much of what you said has really hit home with me. Yes, I struggle with negative thoughts all the time. I have never seen a therapist (although I agree 100% with Nicole that everyone should and this social stigmata about seeing one needs to go out the window), but in the last 10-15 years I’ve really looked inside myself at why I feel the way I feel. It’s been a struggle, but I have found that once I stopped eating refined foods, especially sugar, with a diet more focused on whole foods that I make myself, and exercise, my mood and even my thoughts have impoved so much. I still have my days, and now I just accept them as they are and move on. I’m the kind of person who always has an inner voice talking all the time (I wish she’d shut up most of the time!), and I find that if I’m not paying attention to it, it’s saying things like “I hate this, I hate that.” I’ve realized that I’m doing that and that I need to stop it. Just the other day, I caught that same little inner voice saying “I love this, I love that.” I was so shocked! I’m reading a book called “The Untethered Soul – the Journey Beyond Yourself” by MIchael Singer that walks you through your thoughts and emotions, helping to uncover the source and fluctuations of your inner energy (that’s on the back cover). I just started reading it, but am finding out a lot.


Gail July 29, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Another thing is that I’ve found is that being negative takes so much out of me, out of my soul and being, and that I just don’t want to deal with it anymore. It’s a waste of my time and energy. Once I’ve trained myself to be more positive, it’s become an addiction, and when I do have a down day, I acknowledge it, go with the flow, and it becomes very short term because my body and mind want (crave) that feeling when I’m feeling good now more than the way it used to crave the bad feelings. Sort of like white sugar. I used to crave white sugar all the time (the worst sweet tooth in the world), once I got off the sugar habit (I eat only fruit now), my body no longer craves it, and when it does get it, it likes the first couple of bites, but then it says that’s enough! No more!


AngelaOSG July 29, 2010 at 5:49 pm

It really does!

I always remind myself ‘it takes 43 muscles to frown and 17 to smile’ Im sure that can be used as an analogy for what negativity does to our body too!


Paige @ Running Around Normal July 29, 2010 at 12:19 pm

What a fantastic quote from EPL. It’s been years since I’ve read the book, but this makes me want to re-read it before the move comes out.


theemptynutjar July 29, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Yes, I struggle a lot Angela. Particularly when life is really really hard right now. I find myself quite jealous of a sibling. She has so so much and all she does is complain or play the “woe is me” card. It bothers me and it gets my tummy all knotted up. Worse, I start to feel hopeless, because if she feels she has nothing…and I have far less (material and physical ability),then I think my situation is seriously poor and dire.

I try try try to focus on me. I try so hard. I just hope I can. Cause otherwise I will be living in a fog of low self-esteem and depression forever.


Amanda July 29, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Angela, thank you so much for this post! I know so many people who think their negative thoughts are FACTS, myself included. I always believed the horrible things I thought about myself were true and that other people thought such things of me as well. It’s like a huge epiphany when you realize that these are beliefs and they CAN be changed…Right now I am reading Psycho Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz which deals with this topic. I also bought the audio version to listen to when I get ready in the mornings and it has helped tremendously.


Cynthia C. July 29, 2010 at 12:51 pm

I’m trying so hard to get rid of the negative thoughts. I beat myself up for so many years that it is taking a lot of work. But They are getting better. That book is on my list to read. Perhaps it should be bumped up to the top.


[email protected] July 29, 2010 at 12:58 pm

I think I was born a pessimist and have struggled with negative thinking for a long time. Recently I feel as though I’ve been able to choose to be more positive, but sometimes it doesn’t seem so easy to choose to be that way. I really do believe in the power of positive thinking and that it can be a huge asset to being healthy. Great conversation.
ps-did you get permission to publish those quotes? I mistakenly quoted a book on my blog before.


Emily July 29, 2010 at 1:30 pm

I know that this is going to sound a little weird, but here is a visualization that works for me:

When I close my eyes, I picture myself standing in a secluded, forest area. Here, in front of me, is an old-fashioned well. It’s the kind that has a wooden lid that closes over the top. I open the lid and I pour into it anything that is bothering me – a problem at work, a person creating negative environments, a song stuck in my head. I shove it into the well and quickly close the lid. Let me tell you – shoving a person for whom you have negative feelings into a well for “safe keeping” is a pretty liberating feeling.

Anyway, as I start to walk away, I may still be able to hear that song or the voice of the person in my mind, but as I break through the trees and onto the beach, all I hear are waves and birds. At this point, I sometimes board a boat and float away to a deserted island, where I dock and perform tasks such as gathering coconuts, fishing or finding a place that looks safe to swim. Usually by this point, the noises and energies of the things bothering me most are far behind me. Even if they’re still ringing in my head, I feel much more relaxed – like nothing else matters but me.

I know it’s kind of a drawn-out visualization, but it’s what works for ME. I have to keep my mental self busy and secluded in order to really shift my focus, since I’m not yet capable of silencing the inside of my head. I’ve gotten this down to the point where sometimes when I have a song stuck in my head, all I have to do is visualize myself grabbing a string of notes out of the air then pushing it into the well and walking away lol. Also, when I’m doing yoga, while I am not balanced enough to really close my eyes and pretend I’m doing yoga on the beach, I can at least drown out thoughts with the sounds of waves and birds. It’s amazing. <3


Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope July 29, 2010 at 2:48 pm

haha, awesome visualization:) thanks for sharing.


wendy @ ABCs and Garden Peas July 29, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Negative thoughts have plagued me my entire life. I won’t get into details here, because they’re pretty ugly, but I did see a therapist for a while. It’s a great thing to do for yourself. Becoming a mother has helped a lot, too, because I just can’t be a negative influence on my son. I think I would have to agree that you have to train yourself away from those kinds of thoughts. Like most things, it’s a journey rather than a destination, but it does feel so much better to be happy, doesn’t it? :)


Valerie July 29, 2010 at 2:54 pm

This entry could not have come at a better time. My boyfriend and I just broke up, and even though it was for the best, it’s still hard not to have some negative thoughts about the matter. But reading this excerpt definitely gives me ideas for how to get through an overall difficult semester and how to change my thinking. I can’t wait to read this book!


Kate July 29, 2010 at 2:56 pm

This has been a daily struggle for me as I deal with disordered eating, and there truly are good days and bad days. I’ve found that positivity and taking care of myself go hand-in-hand. A full night’s sleep, healthy eating and a healthy amount of exercise work wonders – the key is treating myself well enough to do those things and believing I deserve it!


Amy July 29, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Wow, what a great post. I deal with really bad negative self talk especially about my body. Being in recovery from anorexia I constantly catch myself picking apart my body in negative ways. I’ve made a bag of affirmations and each morning I draw one out of the bag and try to live by that affirmation all day. Its hard to be positive when ur feeling down on ueself and trying to gain weight to be healthy. As ur body changes that negativity trys to creep in there and say bad things.


Lisa (bakebikeblog) July 29, 2010 at 4:33 pm

This is really a wonderful post!
Whenever I suffer from negative thoughts, I consciously try to counteract them with a positive one. It works for me!!


Stacey @ Tipping the (Kitchen!) Scales July 29, 2010 at 4:47 pm

I was at the cinema earlier and I saw a poster advertising an upcoming film called Eat, Pray, Love. Is it based on this book, or is it a complete coincidence?


[email protected] July 29, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Negative thinking is my biggest internal struggle, I think. I work on it (positivity, woot!) but, yikes, it does not go away quickly…


AGS July 29, 2010 at 5:20 pm

I am notoriously hard on myself. A classic example is feeling overwhelmed/like an idiot with a new task at work. I am cognizant of the fact that I am still working on a very steep learning curve, and that my work is above par, and business sense very sound. Still, I often feel rediculously incompetent and this causes me to berate myself.

To counter this, I developed a matra to help me to refocus: “I may feel incompetent now, but I’m just learning — and after I complete X, I will be competent.” It’s my way of reminding myself that it’s OK not to be perfect — but that I will succeed and be that much better in the future. I probably say this several times througout the course of any given week. Sometimes multipel times daily!


Niki (Running in Pink) July 29, 2010 at 5:30 pm

This is the perfect time for me to read this post. At the end of my work day, I got some info from my boss that they wouldn’t be able to accommodate the schedule I was hoping to have when I return from my maternity leave. After hearing that, I was became so cranky and full of negative thoughts: “If they can accommodate other employees, why can’t they do this for me?”, “It’s going to be so horrible to go back to work!!” I am still a month away from having my baby and even starting maternity leave!! I should not be filling my mind up with all this negative energy and dread….especially at this time!

Anyway, I’m glad I read this post and you refreshed my memory on this quote from EPL, because it is so true. I don’t want to end up not making the most of the time I have now and will have once Baby arrives because of negative thinking!


Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin July 29, 2010 at 6:32 pm

I highlighted this exact passage in my copy of EPL. It’s such a powerful statement!

Although I have a lot fewer negative thoughts now than I did a few years ago, I still struggle with a few insecurities. Up until now I’ve let those thoughts just bring me down, but since reading that passage I’m going to try harder to combat them. It really helps to know that you’ve managed to overcome negative thinking. :)


Jaclyn T July 29, 2010 at 9:15 pm

I was once told to treat yourself like a good friend….because that is was you are! When a negative thought comes in, instead of spiralling down with it, think of what your advice would be to a friend and follow it. Ex.: if you think “I am so unattractive,” imagine how you would advise a friend having these thoughts. IT WORKS!


Sahar July 29, 2010 at 10:17 pm

This was my favorite quote from the book! It really resonated with me because I have been harboring such negative thoughts recently. I am really trying to put this into practice in my daily life and so far it’s working. Thanks for posting this!


Megs July 30, 2010 at 12:05 am

After reading the blog and comments I switched to my home page and found this:


Hope it helps!


zoe July 30, 2010 at 2:16 am

negative thoughts are so powerful. but so are positive ones! i am finally starting to see the truth in this. i’ve spent the majority of my life as a pessimistic person. my negative thoughts bred negative situations. i felt unhappy with myself and every aspect of my life for a long time. i only recently started to believe in the healing power of positive thinking and how beneficial positivity truly is. i feel lighter and freer since abandoning my negative attitudes. honestly though, some days i simply cannot shake the negativity that seems to wrap itself around me.
but i found a way to combat that horrible bully called negativity: whenever a negative thought crosses my mind (i.e: “ugh, i’m so fat” or “ugh, no one likes me” or “ugh, i’m not smart enough/pretty enough/worthy enough”…it’s usually about appearance. this is the main source of my negativity and anxiety) i immediately force myself to replace the negative thought with a positive one. i remind myself how ridiculous and untrue that thought is. i review all the beauty in my life. there is so much more to life than my appearance. i am a whole person, not just a body.


Nanna July 30, 2010 at 3:26 am

Dear Angela

Thank you so much for taking up this incredibly important subject. This is exactly what i needed to hear. Sometimes, when I’m caught in a spiral of negative thoughts, I get so lonely and sad and can’t help comparing myself to the people i know who always seem happy, thinking that they have no idea what it feels like to struggle like this with yourself. This of course makes me even more depressed.. The problem is, most of us are somehow trained to always put up a smile, to always make it seem like we’re fine, even when we’re not. This makes it easy to get the idea that everyone else is so strong and happy, because you can’t tell whats really going on behind the smile. Reading your post and these comments makes it perfectly clear, how common it is to experience negative thinking. To help myself accept and not get carried away with selv pity next time I am overwhelmed by negative thoughts, I will look at these comments, and take comfort in the fact, that I am not struggling alone.

Thank you so much for your openness and honesty and for a blog that continually inspires, amuses and teaches me.

Nanna from Denmark


marijke July 30, 2010 at 4:29 am

Angela, I saw this news article and I immediately thought of you!



Michelle @Eatingjourney July 30, 2010 at 4:58 am

I am learning and harnessing this. I love what she says about how this is hard because it’s like an old habit. We are our habits and changing them is hard at times. However, the bliss you get when you do..far surpass the stagnation of not.


Kailey (SnackFace) July 30, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Hey Angela! I was just catching up on your posts and absolutely had to comment on this one!

I’ve read Eat, Pray, Love about four times now, and every time I read it, I find something else that speaks to me. This passage specifically helped me in one of my darkest times. Two summers ago, I finally wanted to recover from an eating disorder for no one else other than myself. I was praying every day and eventually saying affirmations every morning. One of them was “I will not harber unhealthy thoughts anymore” (although, I changed the wording around to “I will no longer harber unhealthy thoughts” for flow’s sake). When I read that passage initially, I was like, “YES!” For years I had believed that I could choose my attitude, so why was I having such difficulty being nice to myself and my body?

Anyway, I believe that because I repeated that phrase to myself so many times I was able to believe more and more in myself every day, shedding negativity along the way. Thanks for bringing up such an important topic!


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