I don't know about you but sometimes my worst enemy is myself. It's all those lies that spiral out of control in my head that I can't seem to control. Too often it's the thoughts in my head that defeat me. It's the insecurities, fear and anxiety that comes from those lies that render me useless more than anything else. So what do I do when my mind is spinning with negative, useless, repetitive thoughts?
1. Turn on some praise music and belt out the words loudly! Granted when others are around this can be more difficult, but if I am in the car or home alone then I am singing the words really loud. I Other times I find just putting on my headphones and listening works too. Music does two things I think. It detracts me from the negative thoughts and helps me focus on words that are praise worthy. It also helps me to remember what truth is.
2. Read. Again this is a way to refocus our thoughts on something else. But as a caution be careful what you are picking up to read. When I am really struggling to think right I find picking up my Bible to read or a solid biblical book helps my thoughts to refocus on truth. Picking up a novel and getting lost in it rarely works for me. Most often it's going straight to the Word of truth that helps feed my mind with truth.
3. Pray. This one can be harder at times because when I am praying my mind is often continuing to repeat the lies in the background. But I just keep praying instead of giving up. Pray that God would remove the thoughts. If it's a real struggle then praying God's word back to Him is also helpful. I find the book of Psalms very good to use as prayers.
4. Call a friend. Not just any girlfriend though, she needs to be one that will speak truthfully to you. One that can encourage you to think right. Calling a friend who tend to be negative or critical all the time will be no help at all. Sometimes just getting the thoughts out helps. And with the right kind of friend you can process through to see if there are deeper issues that you need to deal with.
5. Laugh out loud. Seriously just laugh. Go do something fun with a girlfriend or your family. For me personally, I take life entirely too seriously. When I am especially burdened with over thinking everything I find that taking some time to laugh helps. It's really okay to have fun. Give yourself permission to just let go and enjoy the day with some spontaneous fun. Sometimes I find that calling a friend in number 4 automatically leads to number 5, but again, you need that kind of friend who can do both. Speak truth and make you laugh!
I am sure there are many other ways to help my mind refocus on truth but these often work for me. On particularly difficult days I may need to use them all or a variation of several of them. The thing to remember is that we can choose whether or not we continue thinking negatively.
We also need to remember that if we are struggling to make the right choice to stop it's okay to seek help. It's okay to admit out loud "Today I am struggling and need help." The belief or feeling that we shouldn't need help is just silly and a lie from Satan. I know, I get stuck here often and am afraid to appear too needy. So I don’t ask for help. But we all need help and it really is okay to ask for it.
We need the help of Jesus and His Spirit and we need the help of our brothers and sisters in Christ. So don't stay trapped with your negative thoughts because you are afraid you will appear needy. Because, and you really need to hear this, we are all needy. We all have different areas of neediness but know that we are all weak, needy and in need of help.
So what do you find works best for you when you are in the midst of negative or wrong thinking? I would love to hear from you!
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