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I found myself doing it again—repeating the same negative thoughts over and over like a broken record. Have you ever caught yourself doing that?
Or maybe you suddenly become aware of ugly subconscious thoughts. Those are the sneaky insidious ones.
Recently, out of the blue, I found myself singing that 80’s “one hit wonder” called Hey Mickey. Just in case you don’t remember this song (I bet you do though!), it goes like this: “Oh, Mickey you’re so fine. You’re so fine, you blow my mind. Hey Mickey!”
After singing it several times, I asked myself why that song was stuck in my head. I determined that I had heard the song playing in the grocery store earlier—several hours earlier. It was just background music. I don’t even remember thinking about. When I was in the store, I was thinking about my grocery list, the coupons that I had, and comparing prices etc. I didn’t even realize that I was also thinking, “Hey Mickey!”
Our minds are incredible like that, aren’t they?
Subconscious – defines all reactions and automatic actions we can become aware of if we think about them. For example, our ability to ride a bike: once we get skilled we stop thinking about our balance, peddling, using the gears and brakes. Yet, we can always become aware of what was done when we think about it.
My point is, negative thinking can become so ingrained that it becomes the background music of our thoughts.
But whether or not our thoughts are conscious or subconscious, they are still impacting.
The thoughts we think matter. A lot.
“Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.” Proverbs 4:23 (NCV)
Negative thoughts are draining. Thoughts containing words like “never,” “should,” and “can’t,” complaints, whining or thoughts that diminish our own or another’s sense of self-worth literally deplete us mentally as well as physically. It’s no wonder we are exhausted by the end of the day!
I recently read online that each person has anywhere from 50,000-70,000 thoughts a day. According to some research, 80 percent of our thoughts are negative and as much as 90 percent are repetitive thoughts from the day before. YIKES!
The brain has been referred to as the “command center” of the body. Therefore,
What we think about influences our actions.
Advertisers are banking on it—literally! A lot is going on in our minds subconsciously, and consciously. Think about those TV jingles that get stuck in our heads. I’ll name a popular one for you: “The Best Part of Waking Up, Is Folgers in Your Cup.” I bet you can think of a few right now!
Watch your thoughts for they become words.
Watch your words for they become actions.
Watch your actions for they become habits.
Watch your habits for they become your character.
And watch your character for it becomes your destiny. ~Margaret Thatcher
So, how do we get ourselves out of these negative thinking patterns and replace them with more useful thoughts? Here are four tips.
1. Invite God into your thoughts.
Tell God to reveal to you negative, unholy, untrue thoughts, patterns, and triggers. King David did it, and we can too!
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
2. Practice Mindfulness
Ask the Lord to help you stay mindful of your thoughts. In other words, think about what you’re thinking about. By practicing mindfulness, you can acknowledge and identify the thinking patterns that have become habitual, then decide whether or not they are founded on the truth of God’s Word.
3. Allow God to Transform Your Mind
“. . .but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (emphasis added) Romans 12:2 NLT
The Greek word for transform is metamorphosis. Sound familiar? It is used today to describe the amazing change a caterpillar goes through when changing into a butterfly. What a beautiful picture of what happens to us spiritually when we allow God to get personal with us and redirect our thoughts and attitudes. It’s a transformation from the inside out.
4. Live Out the Transformed Thoughts
We need to put on the new godly character the Lord is teaching us through His Word, prayer, and daily relationship with Him.
Our character is essentially the sum of our habits. We must choose to make it a habit to get rid of negative thoughts and attitudes and replace them with godly ones found only in the Bible.
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me.” Philippians 4:8-9
Read the underlined portion of the verse above from Philippians. The Bible is full of examples of practice, persistence, perseverance, and hard work. Our minds have collected a lot of negative thoughts through the years. We must persist in the efforts to exchange those old negative thoughts and attitudes for God’s new ones.
With God’s help, YOU CAN CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK! I know because He has done it for me 🙂
The metamorphosis will be beautiful!
We all have thoughts playing in our minds like background music. What is your background music saying?