You ever get caught up in negative thoughts or feelings that won’t go away? Like a song that you can’t get out of your head, a destructive thought or group of thoughts goes round and round in your head and you are stuck. Those noxious thoughts or feelings make life so much harder. Maybe you can’t sleep or feel grumpy. Maybe, it is a form of self sabotage.
However negative, there is
a simple way to detach yourself from negative thoughts and emotions.
Did something come to mind? Maybe you aren’t all stressed out about something, but once in a while you are triggered by something negative and you choose to carry it around with you. You are mad all week and it wears you out. Your anger or your depression might start to wear you down.
I was watching a show where a character was trying out for a dance position and got caught up in thinking, “I am going to be cut, I am not going to make it.” She said she heard it in her head constantly. Guess what? She didn’t make it.
She was caught up in her own head and let the destructive thoughts take over and guide her right to what she let her mind dwell on. This was a simple example, but maybe your thoughts are much worse. You can stop the negative thoughts.
Do you have one of those? Do you have a pattern of thought that gets you when you are down? Does it try to take you down a slippery slope of self loathing or anger?
Do your negative thoughts make you feel tired and argumentative?
There is a way to let go of those, but it takes a radical choice. You have to decide that those thoughts have no business trying to derail your life.
It starts with awareness.
When you realize you are having negative/destructive/angry/self hatred thoughts, you can choose to cut them off before they take root. You can also jerk them up by the root and cast them aside. How do you do it?
You say No.
How do you get rid of unproductive, negative, or harmful thoughts and emotions?
You say No, and cast them aside.
When I was in youth ministry, I use to tell the young people that being unkind or joking around in a coarse way was coarse jesting and that it was incorrect. We all laughed about it, but it stuck with them. Any time a new person came around, they would tell the new kid, “We don’t do that here, it is incorrect.”
Because I wanted to foster a positive, encouraging environment that was inclusive of any type of kid or young person, I decided that all the kidding around wasn’t always positive. We wanted a place where a young person could relax and not have to jockey to be the cool kid or defend themselves from attack.
It was a safe place. By redirecting all coarse jesting that was hurtful with a simple “incorrect” statement, it stopped.
You can stop the negative thoughts attack on yourself by yourself the same way.
SAY NO. All that negative destructive harmful mess is INCORRECT.
Then, choose a place to switch to. You and God are in charge of your brain.
If you cast aside the unwanted negative thoughts, you can ask God to put better thoughts there instead.
You can think in a way that makes you feel better inside.
Have a positive thought at the ready.
I used to make lists of positive thoughts, a good things list. After having gone through some terrible things, I needed a lot of positive reinforcement.
When your brain gets stuck on any negative idea, mentally or literally tell it NO. Then say what you would rather happen. What you tell yourself is powerful.
For instance, if my brain spouts off “You are going to have a terrible time” I say the opposite. I say “No, I am going to have a great time.” I negate the negative thought.
If I voiced the negative thought out loud, I then voice the positive thought out loud. I speak positive encouraging words to myself.
If I feel angry and feel like I want to wallow in being angry, I catch myself. I say NO.
As soon as I realize it, I say “No,” and also say out loud, “Go.” I choose NOT to wallow there. I choose better thoughts, better feelings. It might take a few minutes, but I collect myself and remind myself of all the good things I would rather think about, and let it go.
Make your list of good things in your life and use them as ammunition against destructive thoughts.
We don’t have to be prisoners of our thoughts and feelings. It is in our power to cast them aside, let them go, and choose better.
Did you feel that?
With God’s help, you can choose better.
If you are a Christian, you can say “In the name of Jesus, I cast aside _______. God please fill this place with something beautiful and uplifting.”
(Put whatever negative thought or feeling you have in the blank and cast it aside in the name of Jesus. Then, ask God to fill that place with the wonderful opposite.)
Our hearts and minds will go where we tell them to go.
Our feelings will mind if we discipline them.
Say “No, now go in Jesus’ name. God fill this place with joy and new life.”
Choose the best. Break free from every chain.
Barefoot and thinking lovely thoughts,
You might also enjoy: Feeling Better Tools, the Good Things List
I have written several posts on this idea of thought pattern redirecting. So to read additional information, try one of these posts. One is If you can name it, you can get rid of it.
Another is Fight For Your Life.
You can also read The Power of Words
If your issue is that you need some deep peace in your life and spiritual direction? Try this post: In times of trouble or despair, Jesus.
… Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on these things.…