Sometimes when we speak about positive thinking, we can think it’s for the pessimists out there but the truth is we all have a mental and emotional healthiness to maintain. We each have thoughts to monitor, worries to try and cast aside and beliefs that direct where our time and lives are invested in. Even looking at the amount of thoughts that swirl around our heads each day can be overwhelming. Scientists believe we go through between 6,200-60,000 thoughts in a single day! What we think matters. Our thoughts direct what we think of ourselves, what we believe we can achieve, how we view our relationships and how we choose to live.?
It’s essential to understand how important our minds and thoughts are to how we live so that we pay closer attention to what we let in and out. Often when I find myself at my lowest in life, it’s not a particular thought or moment that led me there but rather the gradual compromise of letting lies, worries and negative beliefs stay. Thankfully God knows how our mind’s work. His word is full of wisdom and truth-filled promises directed at trying to help shape our minds and hearts to how we were created to be.
That all sounds really good but how do you go about having a positive, Christ-filled mindset that the Bible so often speaks of? In Philippians when Paul is talking about living in this peace and joy, he speaks about what a healthy thought life looks like: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, 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.” (Philippians 4:8)
It’s in this verse God really spells out where he wants our minds to be directed and spending time on. This is the joy and truth-filled mindset that God is wanting for us. By identifying what is from our Heavenly Father, he is helping point out what thoughts are intruders: the lies, the crushing negativity, the hurtful opinions etc. God gives us his promises and strength to stand on and to combat the enemy and his lies. It’s a mental battle and very much a daily one where what we choose will direct what we do.
Five Steps to Having a Positive and Truth-filled Mindset
?1. Identifying your untrue thoughts and bad habits. Reflecting on what is going through your head and where your time is being spent and comparing it to what Jesus says will help you to recognise the thinking patterns that are destructive and distracting. And once they’re recognised, making sure they are thrown out of your headspace and day-to-day.
?2. Prioritising your time with God. This sounds like a textbook tip but it’s a solid one. Making sure that before you start or finish the day you spend time asking the Holy Spirit what he thinks, what God’s word is saying and reminding yourself of who you are in Christ will completely shift your whole perspective for that day. It will help your focus and clear your thinking as well.
3. Speaking to someone you trust. Talking with a trusted friend or a mentor who can offer wisdom really helps to encourage, challenge and keep you accountable. Putting our thoughts into words helps clear our heads and get a different perspective on what we’re thinking. ??
4. Take time to look after yourself. Stress and busyness can be one of the biggest distractions. Remember to give your mind and body rest and healthiness. Whether that is eating more healthily, breathing exercises, 15 minute stretches or reading a book, it’s important to know when you need to stop for a minute.
5. Start living out your purpose. Seeing purpose and goodness in your day-to-day really helps your mindset to reflect that as well. By starting to live out where you think God is calling you and helping those around you, it increases your mental focus and all round mental health as you see the positive in your daily life.
God gave us a lot of power when he gave us choice. What our mindset looks like very much depends on our choices and control. It might be difficult at first but once you live life in a way of truth and joy imagine how much more God can use you! The enemy knows who you can become and he’ll do anything to slow you down so keep going. It’s hard and it requires a lot more effort but with God in your corner, there’s nothing that you can’t do.
By Lottie Hood
If you are struggling with anxiety, Rebel Hearts Rebel Girls has published a small book “Be free from anxiety” available to buy here for £5 inc p&p.