The 10-Day Negative Thought Fast

Gratitude and Negativity cannot exist side by side. You cannot be grateful while you are in a state of negativity!

There are times when those negative thoughts creep in to your thoughts.

Would you like a simple way to really change your life? Instead of merely getting by, you’ll find that your life can truly be exceptional when you focus on positive solutions rather than the constraints of your challenges.

This 10-Day Negative Thought Fast, originated by Emmett Fox, one of the most popular self-help authors and speakers of the early 20th century, is an adventure you’ll reap many benefits from.

Here are the rules:

1. If you break any of the other rules, you must start the 10 days over from the beginning. To get the full effect, you must complete 10 consecutive days. Giving up negative thoughts is a little like giving up a drug; you’ve got to stop using them completely, otherwise you haven’t truly quit.

2. You cannot focus on a negative thought or remain in a negative emotional state for more than five minutes. Ideally, the time should be much shorter. Five minutes should be plenty of time to recognize what’s going on and put a stop to it. Remember, even one instance of lingering for more than five minutes means starting over.

3. You must focus on solutions. When the negative thoughts start, the idea is to immediately start contemplating possible solutions. Spend your time solving your challenges instead of focusing on them.

  • If you’re like most people, you’ve probably had the same challenges for quite a while without resolution. It’s time to try something else instead of dwelling on what’s wrong.

This sounds deceptively easy, but you may be surprised how difficult it is to give up negativity. We tend to think that worrying helps in some way. But you’ve probably been worrying about a lot of things for a long time and they haven’t improved.

When you’re faced with a negative thought (and there will be many!), the best response is to think to yourself, “How can I solve or improve this challenge?” The point is to immediately begin focusing on solutions. When you ask a good question, you’ll receive good answers.

Over the 10 days, you’ll begin to form a habit of immediately recognizing a negative mental state and then focusing on solutions for what you feel negatively about. If you continue the process after the 10 days are completed, you’ll develop a permanent habit that will only require a minimal amount of maintenance.

You might need several attempts to complete the full 10 days. It’s common to have numerous slips on day one and then a few others later in the process. Refrain from beating yourself up over it. Remember, you’re focusing on solutions.

Taking Your Focus Away From A Negative Thought

One way to help keep the negative thoughts at bay is to ask you positive questions like the following:

  • What’s great about today?
  • What do I like the most about this?
  • What am I most proud of?
  • What am I most looking forward to?

If you’re filling your mind with positive thoughts, there’s no room for the negative stuff. And since we can only consciously think about one thing at a time, making the most out of your thoughts makes sense.

Try this 10-day adventure and see if it doesn’t change your life. You’ll be so amazed at the results that you’ll never want to go back to the old way of dwelling on the challenges in your life. So start this process today and change your life for the better.


  1. Victoria Juster on July 8, 2022 at 8:33 am

    Love this, Paul. Practical solutions that can truly help. Your suggestions for changing focus are excellent ways to shift attention. Thank you!

    • Roy A Ackerman, PhD EA on July 8, 2022 at 1:45 pm

      Given the political situation, that is one TALL order, But, it’s certainly worth a try.

      • Paul on July 11, 2022 at 12:58 am

        Yes. Do not forget to try it as well, Roy.

    • Paul on July 11, 2022 at 12:04 am

      I am glad you liked it, Victoria! I hope you try this challenge.

  2. Cheryl on July 8, 2022 at 10:55 am

    Recently I participated in a research study on self talk. in that study I realize how much I talk to myself. I think I’m ready for this “fast”. Thank you for clearly giving us the steps to do so. I particularly like the questions to take the focus off of negative thoughts.

    • Paul on July 11, 2022 at 12:06 am

      You are welcome, Cheryl. I am glad you liked the challenge. Don’t forget to give it a try.

  3. Martha on July 8, 2022 at 3:10 pm

    I’m normally a positve person but this would be a good test to see if I have negative thoughts lingering in the back up my mind. I’m going to give this a try!

    • Paul on July 11, 2022 at 12:09 am

      Yes! Glad to know that you will give it a try, Martha.

  4. Mia Bella on July 8, 2022 at 6:39 pm

    This is a great idea. I’ve been a bit negative lately and this would be a huge help in turning that around. Thank you, I’m going to start this tomorrow!

    • Paul on July 11, 2022 at 12:10 am

      You are welcome, Mia. Glad to know this post was a help to you. Good luck with the challenge. Be well and stay positive.

  5. Tamara on July 9, 2022 at 2:50 am

    I wonder if some people come with negativity genes – or the other way round, a natural baseline of a solution-oriented positive mind.
    I have been known to try to convert perpetual complainers, but it seems to me they would rather moan and blame others than change anything for the better.
    I find it helps to ask yourself: will the thing I’m unhappy about now be relevant next week? No? Drop it. Yes? Do something about it.

    • Paul on July 11, 2022 at 12:37 am

      There is a nature vs. nurture argument about being pessimistic. Some believe that being a negative thinker can be passed through genetics. But some also believe that the person’s upbringing and environment affect the person. Some also believe that both factors contribute.

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