Choosing the Right Thoughts
Life and death begin in the mind. What we choose to think about charts our course to destruction or success. Incubating positive thoughts is a difficult task, at first, but the more you practice it, the easier it becomes. In fact, if you consciously monitor and control your thoughts, after a while, your mind immediately rejects negative or pessimistic thoughts.
You must be careful about what you feed your mind. What you read, watch on television, and listen too are all sensors to your brain. The local news bombards our minds with drudges of society, the blemishes of the community, and corrupt humanity, but you don’t have to listen to everything the local news delivers. The newspaper and the Internet provide ducts of communication for you to choose what you insert into your mind and how deeply you want to delve into each subject. For one week, try reading the newspaper or the news on the Internet, and see if your choosing what you ingest makes a difference. What type of books do you read? What do you watch on television? What type of movies do you watch? Engage in meaningful activities that nourish, encourage, uplift, and propel you forward.
The relationships and situations that you participate in also contribute to the path of thoughts that you produce. Problems, obstacles, and issues are inevitable; they are part of life. However, obsessing over problems and worrying is not healthy and is counterproductive. People spend too much time rehashing the problem. Use your energy to erect a solution. Pray for peace and guidance. There are people who are married to their problems. No matter what solutions you offer or suggest, they just want to ruminate on the obstacle. Those are relationships and situations that you should avoid because before you know it, you’ll also concentrate more on the problems than on solving the problems. Solutions and resolutions are forward-moving nouns. Worrying is a verb that will set you back. Invest in supportive, positive relationships.
Positive thinking fosters self-awareness, self-acceptance, and confidence. Inherently, as children of God we are already programmed to think about “whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Negative thoughts are foreign obstacles that we must and can purge from our minds.
The enemy attacks us in our minds, so we must diligently guard our minds by filling them with God’s Word and practicing optimism. I am not suggesting that you be unrealistic; however, I am suggesting that you rest in the knowledge that God is in control and He has a plan. Selfish, negative, and paranoid thoughts are from the enemy, and if you succumb to those thoughts, you are susceptible to the enemies’ lies and deception.
Our thoughts lead our words and our actions. We cannot simply think on whatever comes into our heads. We must learn to think about what God wants us to think about. What you think about affects your mood, your health, your relationships, and our lives. Your early morning thoughts are extremely important because those thoughts determine the course of your day. If you wake up allowing the enemy to bombard you with what you don’t have, what you can’t do, the wrong others have done to you, how no one is helping you, how you have to do everything without help, yada, yada, yada…your day is shot.
How do you counteract negative thoughts? Negative thoughts are lies. You counteract lies with truth. God’s Word is the truth. Take control of your thoughts. Chart your own day. When you wake up in the morning, before you deal with your husband, boyfriend, kids, mother, bill collectors, or anyone else, tell yourself, “Today is going to be a great day. Great things are going to happen today.” Say it out loud. Write it down. Recite uplifting scriptures, such as Jeremiah 29:11, Philippians 3:12-14, 4:8, 4:13, 4:19, Deuteronomy 28, Psalm 91, Psalm 18:16-19, Psalm 20, Psalm 29:11, and Job 22:21-28, just to name a few. Don’t let circumstances determine your day. You can control your reaction to things. You cannot control what others do or don’t do. If you fail to take control of your day from the moment that you wake up, you leave yourself open to the whims of other peoples’ words and the enemies’ lies. You cannot just wait for something good to breeze into your mind. You must consciously bring good thoughts to your mind.
I write affirmations that I recite and mediate on daily. I wake up talking to God so that negative thoughts don’t have any room in my mind. I wake up thanking God for my blessings and for protecting, providing, and guiding me. I wake up deciding that this is a new day, unrelated to yesterday or tomorrow, so it is full of new opportunities and success. I use Yoga to focus my mind on one thought at a time, so that a myriad of caustic words, visions, and duties are not shooting through my mind and wrecking my day. Yoga also helps me to cherish myself enough to want what is best for my mind and my body. I keep a journal, which helps me to unleash negative emotions that I do not want to flourish. I have like-minded friends who pray, plan, encourage, and celebrate with me. Most importantly, I have a relationship with God that spurs me, comforts me, and gives me confidence to know that I can think positive thoughts, expect positive things, and accept the good with the bad with grace.
Choose thoughts that lead to life and banish thoughts that lead to death. Deliberately meditate on what is good. Control the information you ingest. Carefully choose your activities and your relationships. Value yourself enough to diligently choose your thoughts. You cannot give up.