How to Stop Negative Thoughts

Is the glass half full or half empty? I’ll bet you have been asked that question a time or two. Everyone knows you are supposed to answer with the happy and uplifting answer of “half full”. However, what do we do when life doesn’t feel “half full?”

As a youth minister I often get young women (and men) who come to me with issues they are facing. One that I witness over and over again is the trap of their own mind. They often ( and I can relate) feel overwhelmed by their own thoughts and insecurities, and have zero idea how to break free from those unhealthy thought patterns.

Have you ever felt trapped by your negative thoughts? I don’t know about you but sometimes I feel trapped inside my own thoughts, emotions, and negative self-talk. It can feel like an unending roller coaster ride. As much as I attempt to think positive, I often end up stuck in the cycle of pessimism, self-doubt, and loneliness all inside my head.

Now if you are like me, you don’t set out to have a bad day. You don’t want to be a negative person! In fact, you want to wake up and be that upbeat and positive person that just exudes confidence right? Well nearly every day I set out to be that positive thinking and condiment women of God, the problem is the devil always tries to drag me back down. One bad moment in my day and suddenly I slip into blaming myself and watching my confidence slowly ebb away.  Well it wasn’t until recently that I realized how much I was letting negativity rule my life and— my health!

Did you know that all that negative self-talk and thoughts are hurting your health? I must admit I always knew that negativity couldn’t be good for your health, but I never truly realized the impact it had until I researched some of the repercussions and symptoms. What hit me like a ton of bricks—I had  more than a few of those symptoms.


Negativity and Your Health

Negative self-talk, self-doubt, and overall negativity do a number on your body both physically and emotionally! Here are just few of the symptoms that negativity can cause the body.

Physical Ailments:

Fatigue

Muscle Tension

Chest Pain

Headaches

Digestive Problems

Sleep Disorders

Emotional Ailments:

Depression

Anxiety

Mood Swings

Stress

Low Motivation

Loneliness

Higher chances of addiction


Talk about a slap to your body’s health! After I researched all the impacts of negativity I was blow away by how much damage I was doing to myself emotionally, physically, and spiritual by dwelling in my negativity.

What about you? Do you have any of those symptoms that might be caused by the cycle of negative thinking?

Scripture tells us that we need to “take every thought captive to Christ” (2  Corinthians 10:5)

What a powerful command.  Our thoughts are sinful. As humans we often allow the sin of the world impact us on the inside.  The devil tries to convince us that we are shameful, and wants us to fester in the brokenness of the world. Christ tells us that is no way to think! He wants us to present every emotion, every thought, and every deed and make them captive to the cross! The only way to break your cycle of negativity sister is to present it to Christ.

Philippians 4:8 gives us a beautiful illustration how to think  “Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
think about such things! Sister we are meant to be noble thinkers!

Imagine with me what a positive outlook could do for your soul? How could positivity affect your health and day to day life?


Positivity and Your Health

Physical Benefits:

Boosts Metabolism and Immune System

Helps promote a healthy heart

Low blood pressure

Less Stress

Longer life span

Less pain

Healthy Weight

Emotional Benefits:

Lower depression Rates

Calm/ Less worry

Boosts Self Esteem

More Confidence


Sisters! Who doesn’t want to be more confident and live longer??

It’s unmistakable that we were meant for a life of joy and positivity? So you might be wondering, how do we change? What even is positivity?

Well positivity isn’t just being the energizer bunny all the time and ignoring the suffering the world holds.

 Positivity is being joyful despite your circumstances.

Positivity begins when you stop the cycle of negative self-talk and instead live joyfully.

Proverbs perfectly tells us that “a joyful heart is good medicine” Proverbs 17:22

The more we dwell in the grace and promise of God the more joy we have, no matter what is going on around us!

 Positive thinking is learning to cultivate the best despite the situation you are in.

So let’s break the cycle sister!


Stopping Negative Self Talk

Stop Thinking in Black or White- one of the quickest routes to continual negativity is to approach every situation as black or white, good or bad. Don’t fall into the pattern of thinking you succeeded or failed no matter your situation. Always attempt to assess a situation from a middle ground.

Don’t blame yourself for everything- A trap of negativity often becomes blaming yourself for any missteps or failures. Learn to stop shifting the blame to yourself and begin telling yourself, “ I did the best I could in the circumstances I was in”

Think rationally and proportionally-  Negative people tend to blow things out of proportion. They make mountains out of mole hills. Whenever you are in a new situation try to think logically and proportionally to what happened. Don’t let one small event or occurrence ruin a whole day!

Identify where your thoughts are coming from- If you are stuck in constant negative thoughts ask yourself where they are stemming from? Do they come from a past event? A failure? When you are able to identity where the thoughts stem from you can begin to redirect and confront each thought positivity.

Redirect your thoughts- Negative thoughts can lead us to dark places and unhealthy habits. When you feel yourself slipping into negativity start to redirect your thoughts immediately! Don’t settle into those thoughts. Find something to distract yourself with, take a walk, or call a friend to break those negative patterns.

Laugh More- Joy is good medicine. So is laughter! Try to laugh more in the difficult circumstances. Humor helps to lighten any downtrodden heart! Learn to laugh off mistakes instead of hold onto them.

Count your blessings- Need to think positive? Start counting the blessings in your life. Make a list of all the people you love, the gifts you have, and the undeserved blessings! It will quickly reframe your mind to one of thankfulness.

Pray about it- “Take every thought captive to Christ.” The best way to beat negative thoughts is to address them directly to Christ.  Prayer is the most powerful tool in thinking positively.  Allow Christ to address every doubt and insecurity.


Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer”(Rom 12:12)

Sisters, I pray that any undesirable, destructive, or harmful thoughts in your head would be eliminated. Let’s transform our health and hearts through the power of positive thinking.

After all, Christ didn’t sacrifice himself to watch us drown in negativity. So let’s stop today. Don’t give the devil a foothold in your mind!

No matter the circumstances, no matter the failures, you are purposefully made, and purposefully loved.  No one can steal your joy.

 

<3 Erica