We do our best to be accurate. But, due to Covid, conditions change quickly. Please double check published details to avoid disappointment.

Positive Thinking: How to Reduce Negative Thoughts (Hint: Exercise Helps!)

By Holleigh Mason, Finder Blogger: The Fit Friend, and co-founder of Urban Remedy

Are your thoughts holding you hostage each day? Here’s how you can reduce negativity and reinforce positive self-talk to offload that toxic anxiety!


I’m learning how to quieten that monkey mind of mine – that chatter that just goes on all day. Can you relate?  Sadly, so much of that “white noise” is negative, our fears and “what ifs.” It’s also our wishing for more, whether it’s for a better body, more money, more popularity or a better love life. And somehow, those thoughts always return. In fact, neuro-skeptics say we average about 29,000 thoughts a day, while Deepak Chopra has it as high as 60,000!


Exercising Helps

Personally, I’m the queen of distractions: Facebook, phone calls and a whole series of Suits in one sitting. So it comes as no surprise that the happiest hour of my day is spent switching off from technology during my Zumba classes where the happy tunes blare from speakers, and I have no choice but to give my full attention to the instructor.

The good vibes continue after the class because those happy chemicals, endorphins, are racing through my body, and I’m physically satiated. I feel energised, youthful – almost euphoric. 

I highly recommend group exercise classes as a great way to give your mind a break from the typhoon of chatter while doing something good for yourself at the same time. Can’t get to a class or too intimidated? Instead, try going outdoors for a long walk to connect with nature, people around you and the goings on of the day. You will realise that everything that seemed really important in your mind is totally relative in the grand scheme of life.


Change Unhelpful Thinking Habits

But what if you need to ease your anxiety “in the now” – be it at work, home or in a taxi?

I asked my friend Georgia Foster, a world renowned hypnotherapist, for some tips, and she said it is smart do a tiny amount of daily maintenance to reprogramme ourselves.

“Holleigh, your mind is an amazing tool,” Georgia said. “The key to changing our unhelpful thinking habits is to utilise the emotional part of the brain. The best way to do this is to lie somewhere comfortable, put on some relaxing music (if possible), close your eyes and imagine feeling good about yourself, while saying the following mantras that resonate with you. Practice this for five minutes a day and, over a few weeks, your mind will adapt to postive thinking and enact it more easily and comfortably.”

•    It is safe for me to create a more positive future than my past.
•    My mind does know how to be happy, and I am practising it right now.
•    I am feeling more confident as the days and nights go by.
•    I realise that I don’t have to be perfect to be happy.
•    I am enjoying listening to my intuition more each day than ever before.
•    I am open to new opportunities that will enhance my life.
•    I am attracting emotional, kind and loving people.
•    My thoughts are becoming more supportive, no matter what happens.
•    I am enjoying becoming more assertive to having my needs met.
•    I accept that life does not always work out the way I want it to, but that just means something better is coming along.

Taking her advice, I recorded the mantras on my phone and played it every morning for a week when I woke up. As I listened to it, I felt calm and nurtured which was an awesome way to start the day. I definitely saw a shift in my thoughts and level of calm. Plus, the laws of attraction were absolutely at play with the things that I was asking for!

You can also record these mantras with some gentle music in the background.


More Ways to Be in Control

Georgia shared these tips as well:

•    Keep a photo of a funny moment with family or friends or a funny movie scene on your phone or in your diary. When you have negative thoughts, look at those images.
•    Take a deep belly breath in (like in yoga/Pilates), hold for five seconds, then release it. Then breath out as much as you can and count for five seconds. Repeat this three times. Your mind will naturally shift into a more relaxed mode.
•    Imagine hugging someone you love while humming the “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” nursery rhyme to yourself. It will quickly break the negative state.
•    When you know you are going into a potential critical environment, keep yourself protected by imagining a shield around you. Some people prefer to create a bubble or a robe around them – it’s up to your creativity. It’s amazing how much it helps you stay safe.

“Holleigh, don’t let anyone drag you into fearful conversations about life,” Georgia added. “If you feel it is triggering anxiety and fear within, be assertive and ask your company to talk about something nice and happy.”

I want to leave you with a fact that got me through an enormously stressful situation a couple of years ago: Eighty percent of the things that we worry about never, ever manifest. At some point, we have to deal with our negative thoughts and gain control over them. Don’t let your mind be a terrorist in your life, dictating your thoughts. Let it be a beautiful space where you create, plan, appreciate, love and dream. It’s possible – I promise!


About Holleigh Mason

Holleigh Mason is the poster child for how to turn your life around and get healthy, having lost 50+kgs since in the past two years — since moving to Singapore. Finding gaps in the market for new services and consumer brands has been her professional career for over 20 years, which has now expanded to include founding Urban Remedy along with Natalie Dau. With the aim of being Asia’s number one wellness portal, Urban Remedy is about making healthy living options accessible to everyone – no matter age, race or income through global and local information, service directories, events, wellness programs and products, and for those wanting it, a very personalised wellness experience tailored to each individual through communities, content and a wellness dashboard.

Related Articles

exploring a move