This post may contain affiliate links, to find out more information please see our disclosure policy.
Use this proven method to immediately eliminate negative thoughts from your mind and reduce the chances of them affecting you in the future.
How to Throw Your Negative Thoughts Away
We all have negative thoughts every once and while, whether it’s due to a difficult situation, a setback or rejection, anxiety, etc. But the severity of these thoughts varies based on individual experiences and circumstances.
For those who are dealing with mental illness, negative thoughts can ruminate for much longer than other people may experience. These type of negative thoughts are often debilitating. Especially when we internalize them as truths and lose hope.
While we may not be able to address those types of thoughts so easily, there is a trick we can use to “throw away” negative thoughts that stem from a bad mindset. These are little bits of negativity that sneak up on us throughout the day, and while they may not be as overwhelming or concerning, they still need to be dealt with.
What to do with Negative Thoughts
Truthfully, I was inspired to write this post based on an article I read about a popular K-pop idol. Members of the girl group Twice were tasked with designing their own merchandise for their upcoming concerts. One member, Tzuyu, debuted her design and it left people a little confused. Her item was a small trash can with a smiley face on it.
Upon closer inspection, fans realized that there was a phrase on the trash can that read “You can put your negative energy here”.
After realizing what it was, everyone fell in love with the idea.
According to this article, “Since the item has dropped, it’s consistently sold out!”
How Does it Work?
I also immediately fell in love with the idea. While her exact trashcan is difficult to get your hands on, a small trash can of your own is not. You can take a sharpie or a label and decorate your trash can however you’d like was well.
(Since it’s really about an idea and not a physical waste, you can even just use a trinket box you already have or up-cycle a cereal box.)
When you are struggling with a negative thought, having this trash can nearby to “throw your thoughts away” can help you shift your perspective and get out of a bad mood or negative mindset.
It seems silly, but it’s a reminder not to dwell on negative thoughts to the point of having them affect your day.
Is it Effective?
You may or may not be surprised to know that this method is not unheard of.
One similar method suggests physically writing down these negative thoughts before going to bed if they are keeping you from sleep and then throwing them away in a box on your nightstand or nearby.
“This simple exercise has worked wonders with clients plagued by never ending lists, worries and anxieties. The outcomes have been removal of distracting thoughts allowing for more focus or rest in some cases.”
Of course, I would imagine you can use this method to write down the thoughts as you are struggling with them throughout the day, and not just at night.
In another instance, a study was conducted where participants were asked to write down their negative thoughts. One group was instructed to physically throw them away, while another group was instructed to only write them down and proofread them.
Researchers found that throwing the thoughts away was a more effective way to stop these thoughts from affecting participants afterwards.
“At some level, it can sound silly. But we found that it really works — by physically throwing away or protecting your thoughts, you influence how you end up using those thoughts,” study researcher Richard Petty, of Ohio State University, said in a statement. “Merely imagining engaging in these actions has no effect.”
I was surprised to learn that psychically throwing away the thoughts has a greater effect than just imagining you threw them away.
When I first saw the trash can that Tzuyu designed, I liked it if even just for pulling yourself out of a bad mindset by looking at it.
I thought of it as having an object as a simple reminder (a physical representation) to not engage in negative thoughts when they pop up in your mind.
While I do trust the results of the study, I think the point is to implement it in a way that works best for you.
Throw Your Negative Thoughts in the Trash
If you struggle with negative thoughts, consider writing them down and physically throwing them away. If you don’t want a dedicated trash can or box for them, you can even just practice throwing them away wherever you put your existing trash.
And even if you are not a fan of this method, hopefully it was still an inspiration to be mindful of your negative thoughts and how they can affect you.
If you found this post helpful, please share it!