“People don’t believe what you tell them.
They rarely believe what you show them.
They often believe what their friends tell them.
They always believe what they tell themselves.”
Do you find this true in your life? Do you believe what you tell yourself? Is it easier to believe the negative thoughts than the positive?
It is much easier for me to believe the negative thoughts I have about myself. It can feel like a war going on inside my head at times. This seems to be a battle many people face. Fortunately we do not need to be defeated! There are weapons that can help fight against the negativity.
Tracy and I have put together a list of the Top 10 Weapons to Use Against Negative Thoughts. Maybe you will find some of these helpful in your own thought life.
10. 5 Deep Breaths
Negative thoughts can cause anxiety and stress. When your head starts swirling with anxious thoughts, take 5 deep breaths. There is medical evidence that breathing deeply can reduce stress and anxiety. Get more information on breathing and relaxation techniques from Mayo Clinic here.
9. Say Stop!
Literally say, “STOP!” Bring the negativity to a grinding halt by saying it out loud. Shout if you like!
Write down your thoughts on paper. Get them out of your head and take a more objective look at them. Respond by writing a positive statement to combat each thought.
7. Talk to a friend
Call a friend and go out for a cup of coffee or a walk or whatever… Talk about how you are feeling. Pick a friend who is a great listener. One who won’t try to fix you but will be encouraging to you. Someone who will pray with you and for you.
6. Do something physical
Head to the gym, join a tennis league, go for a walk outside, clean a bathroom. Release some endorphins. Focus your mind on the the stitch in your side or the pain in your quads. 🙂
5. Listen to positive music
Music has been particularly helpful to me to combat icky thoughts. I love “Christian” music. (I really don’t like that term. I’m not sure why.) Music and lyrics are powerful. You know how you can’t get a song out of your head? That’s a great problem when it’s filled with the promises of God! I like to combine to number 6 with this one for a double whammy against discouragement.
Here’s Life by Beckah Shae. It’s been around for a while but I still like to GET FUNKY with it!
4. Talk about positive things
It’s very difficult to have positive thoughts with out saying positive things out loud. Sometimes this is a challenge if you live with predominantly “glass-half-empty” people. Be an example. Start the trend. It can be contagious!
Isn’t this the answer for everything in life, but it’s so true! As believers, we have the power of the Holy Spirit working in us to do battle with us.
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ
– 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (ESV)
2. Focus on Blessings
Nancy Leigh DeMoss, in her book Choosing Gratitude shares how being grateful is a powerful way to overcome negative thoughts in her life. This book is one of Tracy’s favorites.
“…I’ve discovered that gratitude truly is my life preserver. Even in the most turbulent waters, choosing gratitude rescues me from myself and my runaway emotions. It buoys me on the grace of God and keeps me from drowning in what otherwise would be my natural bent toward doubt, negativity, discouragement and anxiety.” – Nancy Leigh DeMoss from Choosing Gratitude
1. Memorize God’s Truth
I believe God means for us to use His Word as a weapon against negative thoughts. God tells us to put on the full armor of God for protection. His Word is the weapon He provides.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
-Ephesians 6:10-12 (NIV)
Memorize scripture. Recite it when you feel negativity about yourself or others penetrating your mind. I find this helpful even if the verse I am reciting has nothing to do with what I am thinking about. It puts my focus on Him and His goodness. This is one way I fight negative thoughts before I go to sleep at night.
You can see some of our favorite Bible verses to memorize or meditate upon in our Top 10 Bible Verses to Meditate On. You will even get a free printable of all 10 verses to keep with you. Read them out loud every time you are feeling discouraged by negative thoughts.
The last book I read was Crash The Chatterbox – Hearing God’s Voice Above All Others by Steven Furtick. If you struggle with the Chatterbox of negative talk, you will find this book encouraging. Steven Furtick is a pastor and speaker and shares his own personal battles with the Chatterbox. You will probably relate a lot to him.
“Because the voice you believe will determine the future you experience.”
– Steven Furtick, Crash the Chatterbox: Hearing God’s Voice Above All Others
Use weapons every day to fight the battle of negative thoughts. It’s a constant battle. Believe you can be victorious if you keep up the fight. Don’t go it alone.
What helps you battle negative thoughts?
Everyday for 31 days we will be posting a Top 10 List. It is part of the Nester’s Write 31 Days Challenge.
You can find links to all of our Top 10 Lists here.
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