Hello, fellow explorers of the wonders of our brains.
Last week I presented a way to renew your minds: 4 steps, 15 minutes, every day for a month. Have you decided to try it yet?
When I share this plan, I find that people are sometimes confused in two areas:
- Do NOT wait for a negative thought to enter your mind before you practice thinking your alternative thoughts. Instead, practice your alternative thoughts seven times each day so that your brain will recognize and comfortably follow that familiar path. It’s like practicing scales on the piano or swinging a bat. You practice your thoughts with the correct form, so that when you need to utilize them, you will be ready.
- The concept of developing an “alternative thought” might be confusing at first. It is simply a healthy alternative to the negative pathway your brain has become accustomed to following. Because the paths in your brain are unique to you, the alternate thought paths will also be of your own design.
Hope that helps. I’ve included some examples below to help you get started.
Examples of Unhealthy thought paths | Alternative Thoughts to Practice.
- “Trust” or the lack of it is the area you are led to work on. In reviewing what you wrote, you realized that it is hard for you to trust others.
- You might visualize God holding your hand as you walk, steadying you when you stumble, and lifting you up when you fall.
- You might sing the chorus to the old hymn: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”
- Repeat the first three verses of Psalm 46: “God is our refuge and strength…”
- You are alienated from or irritated by a friend, family member, or coworker.
- Offer prayers of blessing (good health, success, peace) for that person.
- Change the dread of meeting this person to anticipation by practicing a different reaction when meeting them. Rather than, “I don’t want to go to work in the same office with so-and-so,” think something positive, such as “this person is always on time to work and finishes what she starts.” If that works, start saying those positive things out loud, to them.
- Change “My dad and I always argue” to “My dad’s strong opinions come out of the experiences he has had in life.”
- Visualize yourself and this person laughing together.
- “I’m not good enough.”
- Repeat Genesis 1:27 “God created me in his own image; God patterned me after himself.”
- Sing or listen to “Good, Good Father” by Chris Tomlin
- Visualize God smiling as he watches you in your day-to-day activities.
- Make a list (of at least one thing!) that you like about yourself today.
- “I can’t!”
- “This is hard now, but I’ll get better.”
- “I’ve got this—bring it on. I’m going to get it right yet.”
- “All I have to do is start. The rest will follow with practice.”