We’ve all heard the saying, you can’t have a positive life with a negative mind.
I have found that to be true time and time again. If I focus on the things that scare or worry me, the next thing I know, my over active imagination runs rampant with worse case scenarios. I’m all worked up and worrying about things that may never happen. Instead of enjoying and living in the moment, my mind is busy elsewhere in turmoil. I’ve wasted time and energy on a realm that doesn’t even exist at that point instead of fully enjoying being alive at that moment.
How much time have I spent spent in that worry and anxiety? Too much to count — decades — when I should have been counting my blessings right then.
The last couple of years have been a journey of working on changing my thinking. I really do believe if you want to change your life, change how you think. Start with your mind, the rest will follow. I have seen the proof in my own life.
Interestingly enough, I ran across a recent study that shows complaining (negative mindset) actually re-wires your brain to be susceptive to depression and anxiety.
Getting a little further out there, epigenetics is the thought that our consciousness changes or regulates our biology. A recent article in Success Magazine delves into this a little further. Because at the base level we’re made of atoms and molecules, and because our brains are constantly re-wiring and are not set, then our bodies react to our thoughts – positive or negative.
As the old saying goes, junk in junk out. So how do I put the good stuff in?
For me, faith is my go-to. When I feel lost, when I feel like I have failed miserably, when I need hope, I seek out God a little harder.
With everything that happened this last year, I stopped going to church for several reasons I won’t go into now except to say that divorce and depression are two areas of ministry that a lot of churches miss. It’s those two times in life when people desperately need the church most.
Recently I decided to visit Lifesprings Church in my town. The message was actually on tithing, but it talked about setting aside things for God FIRST. That got me to thinking about setting aside time for God first.
Years ago, I went to a business seminar and the motivational speaker gave one of the most non-business talks I had ever heard. He talked about reading Psalms and Proverbs…..in the BATHROOM!
It was a talk about filling your mind with positive things, and he said he read his Bible daily and that was his daily habit. He kept his Bible in the bathroom of all places.
When he explained why, it made perfect sense. Especially after you reach a certain age, where is the one place you go – sometimes in a rush – first thing every morning? Yep, you guessed it, the bathroom.
The following year, his friend Connie Podesta was the speaker for the same conference. It was then I learned that the speaker the previous year had just received a cancer diagnosis the day I had heard his message and that was the reason for it being such an unusual message for that setting.
That whole story had such an impact on me that I came back and started reading my Bible in the bathroom. I kept that up for several years, but it was a practice that had lapsed this last year. When I heard the message at Lifespring, I decided it was time to start setting aside my first moments of the day for filling my mind with God’s promises.
I don’t have a lot of room in the camper, so I’ve been reading from my phone first thing in the morning. And yes, in the bathroom because that’s where I go without fail when I get up!
This article by Debbie McDaniel on 33 Verses on fear and anxiety to remind us that God is in control is one of my favorites.
“But now, this is what the Lord says…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1
Another good article is 5 Psalms For People Who Struggle With aAnxiety.
It only takes a couple of minutes to read a few verses and start my day by filling my brain with something positive. I have to say, since I started back I have had a better mindset.
Whether you fill your mind with Tony Robbins, Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen or some other self help / motivational speaker, making the effort to focus on positive thoughts will empower and change your life over time. Each day can be a new start.
What are some of the ways you work on your mindset and your focus? What changes have you seen from that? Are there areas of your thinking you need to improve? What are some ways you can work on your thinking and focus?