What’s on your mind?

As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 3:27.

This is so true. What you think about, what you allow to take up residence, will change your attitude.

Be careful what you think.

Many times I will be going through my day just fine, and then all of a sudden a thought enters my mind. I start to ruminate on that thought. You know what ruminating is?

cowA cow or sheep are one of the mammals that has multiple stomach.  They digest plant-based food by initially softening it within the animal’s first stomach, then regurgitating the semi-digested mass, now known as cud, and chewing it again. The process of rechewing the cud to further break down plant matter and stimulate digestion is called “ruminating”.

Now there are some situations where ruminating over an idea or a project may be helpful, however, if we have a negative thought enter our mind, and we continually bring it back up and chew on it again and again, it can begin to have a negative effect on our attitude. 

For those who have a tendency towards depression or anxiety, ruminating ideas can make it difficult to stay positive. The key is to become aware of our thought processes and if we find ourselves dwelling and ruminating on a negative thought, we need to get rid of it.

Pinpoint the thought that is the culprit

For instance, a thought I have had over the past few month is that I am less than everyone else. I am not as good as ‘them’, especially because I was not able to “keep up” with my job and everything else I had going on.

I have had to learn to work through this with my counselor and when I feel that thought come up, I have to tell myself-

I completely and totally overwhelmed my body and mind. I pushed myself beyond my limits. Not only was my job a major stressor, I had other major family issues taking a toll on me. These things would have taken a toll on anyone. Plus, I have a tendency towards depression. This is not a personal weakness. This is a physical issue, just as any other illness would be.

Take control of your mind

If I do not take control of this thought process, it can (and has before) pushed me even further into depression. Instead of letting the negative thoughts take over, I have to put the positive thoughts in place.

-That I am not less than everybody else, I am just as good as them.

-And as matter of fact, what I can and cannot do does not define my worth. I have worth and value just because I am a human being.

-I have to tell myself that I am in the process of healing.

-That I am learning to take care of myself so that I do not let my life get to the point that I was this summer.

go awayYou can’t stay here…

It is true that we cannot stop a thought from entering our mind. Once it is there, however, we can decide are we going to accept it as truth, are we going to continue to ruminate it over and over, or are we going to push it aside and replace it with a more truthful, healthy thought.

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.

Phil 4:8 NLT

Do you have a problem with thoughts overwhelming you? Taking control of your mind? What can you do differently?

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