The average person thinks over 30,000 thoughts a day, but what exactly are those thoughts about? Would you be surprised to know that research shows that 84-92% of our thoughts are toxic or negative? Research has also shown how our minds are developed, so to speak: 50% of our mind-set comes from genetics, 40% are determined by our habitual thoughts, words, feelings, and actions, and only 10% is determined by our circumstances. Yet, most think our circumstances make up the majority of our happiness which in turns determines what we think about. Yet look at those stats again – 50% genetics, 40% by our words and actions, and only 10% circumstances. All of this makes up our thought patterns and those thought patterns in turn make up our day-to-day lives. The truth is whether we like it or not, our lives are the product of our thoughts!
Our minds coast along without our help at all; it is like setting our mind on autopilot, however the trouble is, most of the time, the course set is not one we need to be journeying on. If allowed to just wander, our thoughts will stay in the negative lane of life so to speak. But there is hope! We can change our thoughts and we can direct them to the right path as well! And we when change our thoughts we can change our life. The Bible declares, “as a man thinks in his heart so is he.” Now that is powerful! Think about that; as you think – you believe you are! James Allen said, “ Every action and feeling is preceded by a thought.” So it is imperative we get our thoughts in the right place since it is proven that our thoughts determine our destiny.
OK so how do we change our thoughts? I am not going to say it will be easy, but I promise you that if you do some “training” you will be able to get your thoughts in line. I base my life on what the Bible says, so what does it say about how we think?
Philippians 4:8 “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.”
Pretty straight forward right? But do we do it? Well I can honestly say this is an area I have struggled with, but I can tell you that you can fix it and here is how: Capture your thoughts and replace them with others!
2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us to “Take every thought captive by renewing your mind.” The word capture means “to gain possession or control of.” So when a thought enters your mind, you capture it by stopping it and thinking a new thought instead. Replace that toxic thought with something positive like praise or thankfulness, or something you enjoy. Anything positive to replace the negative toxic thought you have. I will warn you, you will be surprised just how much negative you think about in a 24 hour period when you start “training” your mind. But this realization is good; it will help you to win this battle between your ears!
With every thought you have 2 choices of what to do with that thought: First, you can allow that thought to remain and run rampant and control your mind and ultimately your emotions and your life. Or second, you can capture that thought and replace it with a positive thought and change your life.
To change your thoughts and change your life you must learn to funnel every thought through Philippians 4:8. Then ask yourself some honest questions concerning your thoughts. For example, your thought may be, “I will never get ahead.” Now concerning that thought you must ask yourself on a scale from always true to never true, is this thought true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, excellent, or praiseworthy.
What the Bible tells us to think on may need a little more explanation to help you see where you thoughts really are.
When Philippians tells us to think on things with are true that means thoughts which are consistent with fact or reality. Thoughts which are honest are those which are not deceptive or fraudulent. Thoughts that are just are ones which are based on fact or sound reason. Those thoughts which are pure are thoughts which are free of dirt, defilement, or pollution. When our thoughts are lovely they are ones which have beauty which appeals to our emotions as well as appealing to the eye. When we think on thoughts that are of good report they are thoughts which have a positive account of the proceedings or transactions. Our thoughts that are excellent are ones of the highest or finest quality; those that are exceptionally good. And finally those thoughts that are praiseworthy are ones deserving of praise.
You can change the toxic thoughts you have. It does take some work; but you will be set free by following these simple steps.
Want more help on changing your thoughts? My book, “Help! I’m Alone With My Mind” can do just that!