One Really Easy Way to Kill Negative Thoughts

Getting rid of negative thoughts doesn’t have to be as arduous as you may think – especially if you happen to have a trash can nearby.

Just chuck the thoughts in the garbage.

It helps if you get them out of your head first, of course, a process you can do by writing down those thoughts on a simple slip of paper. Write them down; toss them out. It can really be that easy, according to a study published in the journal Psychological Science. 

The study consisted of three experiments, all of which involved the ritual of physically throwing away written thoughts versus holding onto them in a pocket or leaving them on their desk.

Study co-author Richard Petty noted results suggested the following:

When (study participants) threw their thoughts away, they didn’t consider them anymore, whether they were positive or negative.

The more convinced the person is that the thoughts are really gone, the better. Just imagining that you throw them away doesn’t seem to work.

On the flipside, he said:

…you can magnify your thoughts, and make them more important to you, by keeping them with you in your wallet or purse.

The ritual of physically dumping the thoughts, either in a tangible trash or even online in a computer recycle bin, won out for purging them every time.

Check out more details on the Association for Psychological Science website: