Updated: Jan 17
Have you ever tried to stop thinking about something, but all you could do was continue thinking about it?
This happens to me a lot. The moment I recognize I'm thinking about something too much, my mind goes into overdrive to keep my focus on it. Crazy how that happens.
If you've ever experienced anything like that, at the moment, it might not seem like it's possible to control your thoughts. But with God, anything is possible!
Last year, I left one of my freelance jobs. It was the only one that was bringing me consistent income, but I left because I let my emotions get the best of me and made a very irrational decision.
The day I left, I barely made it out of the door before I started tearing. I think I felt hurt and like a failure. Whatever I was feeling, though, I couldn't control my tears. My mind was consumed with so much negative talk and I couldn't think about anything else.
As I was rushing to the train to go home and wiping every tear off my face as quickly as it fell, I remember thinking to myself, "Ok Maggie, don't start crying. You're going to draw unwanted attention to yourself if you start crying."
For the next 20 minutes, I fought hard (and I mean hard) to hold back my tears until I at least got home.
When I got off the train, I walked past a GNC and randomly decided to pick up some vitamins. Who does that? —get vitamins while they're trying to stop crying. Apparently, I do.
In the vitamin store, a man who worked there came up to me and asked if he could help me with anything. We started chatting about the different vitamin options, and before I knew it, I wasn't fighting to hold my tears back anymore.
My focus just needed a little re-routing.
God knows that your mind is a custom to thinking damaging thoughts, which is why He gave you the blueprint to control them. Scripture promises that when you align your thoughts with God’s, His peace, which passes all understanding, will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
Repeating to yourself, “Don’t think about (enter thing),” never works. But, replacing negative thoughts with good, Christ-like ones, does.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. —Philippians 4:8
Even when faced with tough situations, God wants you to think pure thoughts. Worrying and letting your mind run wild with negative thoughts leads to a very stressful life. And that's not what God intended for you.
When you practice keeping your mind on Christ and praiseworthy things, you'll find yourself smiling more and experiencing joy during challenging times.
Training your mind to quiet bad thoughts won't happen overnight though. But just as you learn to ride a bike, when you practice replacing negative thoughts with good ones, it will soon become second nature.
Your mind is like a sponge—everything that you put in it (intentionally and unintentionally) is absorbed.
If you struggle with quieting your negative thoughts, I strongly suggest you filter what you watch, read, and listen to. Yes, that even means those juicy, drama-filled shows that you can’t wait to watch every week and your gossiping best friend.
Filtering what you expose yourself to will bring you peace. Read, watch, and listen to things that uplift and empower you. Stay focused on Godly things, and soon you’ll be saying, “Adios,” to stinking thinking.
Challenge: God has blessed you, whether you acknowledge Him or not. What are 3 things you’re grateful for today? Focusing on what you're grateful for is a sure way to quiet negative thoughts. I’d love to hear from you. Reply to this email or on the discussion page, and I’ll share with you how gratitude helped me change my life.
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You were born to do great things. Keep moving forward. You got this!