How to Stop the Rampage of Negative Thoughts

UPDATED: May 3, 2016
PUBLISHED: January 7, 2015

I am often asked to speak on wellness, stress and the power of positive thinking. No matter the audience, I always urge the attendees to unleash something I call “Humor Being” on a daily basis. As a comedian, it’s my secret to success in life, a secret you deserve to be in on. And I’m here to tell you about, or remind you of, its power.

Related: Use Your ‘Humor Being’ to Be a Better Human Being

But first, what is a sense of humor, really, and what makes it so special? The dictionary says the word sense means “perception or awareness; and correct reasoning; or sound judgment.” The word humor means “turn of mind; to sooth temper or mood, or the mental quality that produces absurd or joyful ideas.” So by definition, a sense of humor is your awareness of the mental quality that can turn your mind in an unusual way, or your need to produce joyful or absurd ideas that can sooth your very being. But the initiative and proficiency by which you apply your sense of humor comes from what I call your Humor Being. 

Your Humor Being is part of your higher self. It’s the part of you that gives emotional stability, peace of mind, and brings out the best of who you are when times get tough. Making a habit of invoking it will make you a happier person with a brighter outlook.

So instead of allowing unfortunate situations, unlucky circumstances and foul people to suck the energy right out of you, turn to humor for a levity break. By living in harmony with your Humor Being, you’ll be able to embrace change more easily and see the bright side of a negative situation, making conscious choices to enjoy yourself.

It doesn’t matter how old you are or what kind of position in life you hold. When you make the shift to find laughter in the midst of any stressful or challenging situation, you regain control. When you make that shift to humor, your brain no longer registers negative thoughts that cause you to be upset. In fact, your brain switches gears and focuses instead on whatever made you laugh.

And even if your brain starts to slip backward to the stressor, you won’t feel as overwhelmed as you were before. Why? Because in addition to signaling to yourself that your problem is laughable, you’ve also stopped the rage of negative thinking. You’ve calmed down your nervous system—you can shift your thoughts and think clearly, reassess the situation, bounce back and take control. Now that’s power!

Related: 9 Ways to Say No to Negativity

Steve Rizzo is the Attitude Adjuster. You can’t attend one of his keynote speeches and leave with the same attitude. He’s a personal development expert, comedian, motivational speaker, and best-selling author. It’s no surprise that he’s been inducted into the Speakers Hall of Fame, an honor bestowed upon on fewer than 250 speakers worldwide since 1977. You can find out more at