You may not realize this, but your thoughts are powerful. Have you ever noticed that when you are focused on everything in a positive way, positive things happen? Unfortunately, the same is also true with negativity.
If we keep track of what is going on in our lives, we see that things tend to move in the direction of our thoughts. However, the focus of our lives isn't always about what is happening to us, but more of how we think about what is happening to us, or in a lot of cases, what is not happening.
Have you ever worried and agonized over something that hadn’t even happened yet? I know I have. The stress of worrying caused negativity in my mood and low and behold, the thing I spent so much time stressing over didn’t even happen. Typical, right?
The point is, that so many of our negative thoughts can really hold us back from living our best lives. God does not intend this for us, He wants the best for His children and that includes how and what we think about.
You Become What You Think
Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “You become what you think about all day long”.
These words are so true. If your thoughts are ones that focus on getting things done, for example, there is no limit to what you can accomplish in a day, week, or month. The same is true for negative thoughts.
Thoughts to Avoid
There are some thought patterns that can have an adverse effect on your life even though they may seem innocent enough, but it is important to look at them:
It is easy to look at obstacles with a fearful mindset. Don’t let fear stop you. You can be afraid, but move forward anyway. Confront what causes your fear and work through it
Settling for mediocrity
Try not to fall in the trap of thinking that “good enough” is okay and that “it doesn’t get any better than this”. These thoughts put limits on a limitless God. Rather than settle, pray for God to move greatly in your life. Wait in anticipation for that mountain to move and the best outcome to become yours
Feelings of being stuck
The old saying: “I made my bed…” need not apply to your life. There is always room to rectify a bad choice. There is always an opportunity to make a positive change. Doing this is a sign of strength and courage. Besides, with God, every day is new. We wake up to His new mercies each day.
Focus with a Purpose
If you are having trouble focusing on the positive, open your Bible and read; it tells us what to focus our thoughts on:
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
If your thoughts affect your mood and if they can have either a positive or negative impact on your life, isn’t it worth the time it takes to focus on the positive things at all times?
What does the Bible say about keeping your mind focused? Let’s look at a few verses:
Proverbs 23:7 - "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he."
Romans 2:12 - "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is good and acceptable and the perfect will of God."
1 Corinthians 2:16 - For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
2 Timothy 1:7 - For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Proverbs 16:3 - Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established.
Do everything possible to keep your thoughts on good things, especially the things of God and watch the positive increase in your life.
Finally, be purposeful in your thinking. “Bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5b). Don't forget that we have spiritual weapons to help us combat negative thinking, we just have to use them.
The importance of prayer, reading God’s Word, and putting on the armor of God cannot be stressed enough. We have all of the tools we need, but most importantly, we have the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us.
Search Your Thoughts & Combat the Negative
When I find myself in the negative zone, I always sit down alone for a few minutes to pray and to look at what is happening around me. It is imperative to take the time to re-focus so that you can turn your thoughts around. You can do the following to sort it all out:
**Ask yourself what has happened to cause this train of thought, pray for God to reveal these things - this will force you to see if it is something small that perhaps caused an overreaction
**Look at who or what has been in the center of your thoughts, if the thoughts are negative, then God is not your focus at the time - do your best to refocus on God
**Write down the negative thoughts that are dominating your mind - this will allow you to look for the signs of these thoughts popping up in the future
**Look for the spiritual truths that will put an end to your negative thoughts - always validate your thoughts with scripture, the ultimate truth lies in God's Word
**Write down what you are thankful for each and every day. This will help you to focus on everything that you have to be thankful which is a very positive thing to do
Don't let negative thoughts drive the course of your life. If you allow them to, they can become very detrimental to your mental, spiritual, and physical well-being. Remember, we can't always control the things that happen in our lives, but we can certainly control the thoughts that we have about these things.
I challenge you to do the following...for one month, track and take note of your thoughts compared to your moods and see how much they correlate. You will be surprised how much influence your thoughts have on your mood.
Focus your mind on good things, positive things...no matter what, and watch how awesome your mood, attitude and overall life becomes.