I OFTEN STRUGGLE WITH NEGATIVE THOUGHTS. How about you?
Whether they be mine or someone elses, I can quickly get bogged down in negativity. And when I do, it can be hard to push negative thoughts aside to focus on the postive.
So how does one go about changing their negative thoughts to positive thoughts?
That was the quest I started after my divorce when I realized negativity had taken up “what seemed to be a permanent” residence in my mind. I yearned to rid my head of the constant negative thoughts and replace them with positive, uplifting ones. After stumbling over some pretty rough ground, I found by looking to God and His word it could be done. Here is what I learned.
RECOGNIZE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS COME FROM SATAN. Satan wants nothing more than to keep you wallowing in a mire of condemnation and negative thinking. The “poor me” attitude strikes a pose and reaches out to those who will look and listen. Often negative situations become exagerated to gain more sympathy, but ultimately drive people away. It is difficult to look past the “poor me” to the “blessed me” hiding behind fortified walls of low self-esteem. The further Satan can drive you from seeing God’s countless blessings bestowed on you, the more he can control your thoughts. Negative thoughts are not from God.
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS. Finding the good in my day was hard for me after my divorce. In order to change my thoughts from negative to positive, I started a Thankful Journal. Each evening before bed, I’d review my day and look for at least one thing I was thankful for and jot it down. Before long, one blessing turned into two, two into three. You get the picture. My journal entries became longer and longer as I started recognizing the many ways God impacted my day. My eyes turned each morning from noticing the negative to looking for the positive. The more I searched, the easier my blessings were found.
TRUST GOD’S PLAN. Jeremiah 29:11 states, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” God has a plan for our lives. Trust Him. He knows where we are at and where we will be. Even though we can’t perceive all that lies ahead for us, we can trust that God has everything under control – even the seemingly bad things in our life.
KNOW GOD’S WORD. When we know God’s Word and obey it, we can keep negativity from beginning in the first place. If our hearts and minds are centered on God’s Word, the strength we need to move past our difficult circumstances is often just a scripture away. Knowing scripture helps pull us through and allows us to focus on the positive aspects of what we are going through.
DON’T BE HARD ON YOURSELF. If you find negative thoughts attempting to take up permanent residence in your mind, don’t be hard on yourself for letting them in. Begin again. Remember: Negative thoughts come from Satan. Seek a blessing in the situation. Trust God’s plan for you, and find a scripture that will set you back on the right path – the path to positive thinking.
When you focus on the positive, negative thoughts will fade into the background and soon be remembered no more.
“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.” (Philippians 4:8, NLT)
Prayer: Dear God, In a world full of negativity and bad things, help us not to dwell on these, but turn our thoughts to You and the blessings that abound. Encourage us to renew our minds daily and focus on You for You alone bring salvation and eternal life. Let us give thanks for Your love and the sacrifice You gave in the death of Your son for each of us. In Jesus precious name we pray, Amen.
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS: Do you struggle with negative thoughts? How have you handled changing them?