I have struggled a lot in my life when it comes to thoughts. I used to have several battles in my mind against all sort of negative things, depression, anxiety, doubts, fear, approval addiction, worry, hypervigilance, you name.
What about you? Do you have any sort of “battles” on the battlefield of your mind?
I will list here a few strategies that I collected from the Word of God and simply changed my life:
- God does want you to think differently
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is— his good, pleasing and perfect will.
The way I apply this is: I must create a new thought pattern and not think what the world wants me to think (negativity, anxiety, etc) – remember the world in this verse represents things against God. And the world is under the power of the evil (1 John 5:19)
- This new thinking is thinking of useful and good things
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.
We should think of things that match at least one of these seven attributes and obviously, nothing that contains something opposite to it, e.g. thoughts of depression.
- We can fight evil though but we need Godly weapons
2 Cor 10:4-5:
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
We can then evaluate the thoughts comparing them to Philippians 4:6 above and if they do not ‘comply’ then we can take them captive to Christ, as the verse above.
These two verses are particularly important because in some cases, no human strategy will set us free from these thoughts; “our weapons are not from this world”.
In practical terms, what I have done to exercise these principles in a daily basis was:
As often as I could, 3, 5, 7, 10 times a day, I:
- Stop for a second
- Collect your thoughts
- Assess if they are Godly or not
- Take the evil one’s captive to Christ
- Discipline your mind to think the good ones
I have been doing that for a couple of years and now, I’m able to identify bad thoughts earlier and tackle them. I would very often stop working and just stare at the computer because I was trapped in a nest of toxic thoughts, now, thanks God, most of the time I can resolve these in a matter of minutes.
You might find your own ways but remember the biblical principles above.
An alternative approach to this, which I happened to have tried to and it worked very well (actually inspired this post) is using the 21 days brain detox by Dr. Caroline Leaf: 21daybraindetox.com.
I hope that helps.
God bless you.