In the center of everyone’s being is a place of pure peace. But as we go through life, we tend to be taken away from this deep sense of self as a result of social conditioning and difficult life situations.

However, by practising mindfulness, we can learn to be aware of the negative thoughts that keep us trapped and instead let go and feel a sense of freedom.

How to release negative thought patterns

One of the easiest ways we can disconnect from our true selves is through habitual negative thinking. It can be easy to cast self-doubt or even blame yourself for things that go wrong.

This can become so common that you didn’t even know when you’re doing it. It just happens.

Mindfulness helps you identify negative thought patterns because you learn to become an observer of your mind. By taking a step back, and simply watching your mind, you recognize negative thought patterns and realize that if you’re observing them, then they’re not really you. It’s when we come aware of our thoughts that we are able to challenge them.

A 4 step mindfulness action plan to let go of negative thoughts

1. Recognize and accept that you are having a negative thought.

2. Calmly let it go.

3. Challenge the thought by asking questions. “What evidence do I have to support this thought?” The chances are that their isn’t much evidence.

4. Replace the thought with something more rational or positive. For example, if you’re thinking that “everyone hates me”, then try thinking of people who are your friends and who you’ve have made feel happy before.

5 steps to practice mindfulness during the day

1. Imagine how young children and animals act in the world. They are curious about everything because it’ s their first time witnessing the wonders of the universe. Try to adopt this attitude!

2. Practice yoga. Yoga can be a great to way to connect with your breathe and your body.

3. Eat mindfully. Eating is the best time to practice mindfulness because so much is going on in your body and mouth. Really observe how the food feels when you eat it.

4. Take a mindful shower. This is a routine task that fits perfectly with mindfulness. Use all your senses to be awed by the wonder and beauty of water hitting your skin!

5. Practice mindful listening. Just listen, without judgment and without preparing or thinking about your response or opinion. Instead, just listen and allow the person space to express their ideas and feelings.

If you would like to learn more mindfulness meditation techniques that inspire peace and presence, check out these practices:

The Most Simple and Effective Meditation Technique That Anyone Can Use

A Simple 5 Minute Meditation Routine That Boosts Your Confidence and Self-Esteem

A 5 Minute Breathing Meditation That Will Help You Let Go of Negative Emotions