How To Renew Your Mind And Think More Positively
Do you sometimes wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Some days I wake with dread, fear and depression. I remember one day in 1998 when I was overcome with anxiety and regret. It was toward the beginning of the Great Recession and I realized that an investment property I had bought decreased to about half its purchased value. I broke out in a sweat and had a hard time thinking about anything else. For days and even months after that I struggled with feelings of regret, fear and disillusionment. Sad, huh?How do you renew your mind in difficult times like those?
In one sense it wasn’t just “all in my head”—the financial loss was real and drastic. However in another sense, it WAS all in my head. The problems were real. But I was responsible to do the following: “…casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…” (2 Corinthians 10:5 KJV)
I needed and wanted to bring “into captivity every thought” and “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)
How do you do that? How do you renew your mind? Frankly, it was difficult to do. Over the following days, weeks and months I worked hard and learned great lessons. I was gradually freed from the wrong thinking that had me emotionally distraught.
I’m not saying that there is nothing that will ever bother me again, but rather that I learned to deal much better with life’s setbacks and struggles.
So, here are 5 ways to renew your mind and think more positively:
01. Ask the Holy Spirit for help.
Wow, this is amazing! We are not meant to “go it alone.” God’s Spirit is with believers to help us when we ask and surrender to Him.
One of the names for the Holy Spirit is “the comforter” — “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your
remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26 KJV)
Pray for comfort, wisdom, learning and guidance from the Holy Spirit. He will answer. You will get the help you need. To learn more about how to do this click HERE for my article on this topic.
02. Redirect your thoughts by practicing thought-replacement.
There are places where we might not be comfortable or safe: a dark alley, a séance, a riot. Hopefully we have the sense to leave those places.
Similarly, there are also places we shouldn’t go to in our thoughts. Hopefully we have the sense and mental discipline to leave those places also.
Thoughts of discontentment, faithlessness, focusing on failures, resentment, lust, worry and others are dangerous to our mental and spiritual health. We must avoid them as much as possible.
The way to avoid destructive thoughts is NOT to try to simply avoid them. That doesn’t work—our minds don’t run in a vacuum. We must redirect our thoughts to positive and helpful things.
We are instructed to do this in Philippians 4:8: “Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise.” (CEV)
03. Fill your mind with God’s Word
What can we redirect our thoughts to? One of the best places is the Bible. You can renew your mind when you redirect it to the Truths of Scripture.
How can you do that?
Read the Bible
Memorize Scripture. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, He always answered with Scripture. Memorized Scripture is always with you.
Meditate on the Word of God. Don’t let Scripture go in one ear and out the other—mull it over in your mind.
04. Eliminate unbiblical ideas about suffering.
A major issue when Christians struggle is that they feel betrayed by God. The core of this issue is that we have a flawed theology about suffering.
We tend to think that God promises a nearly problem-free life if we follow Jesus. This certainly was confusing to me—if God loved me, how could he allow these things to happen?
Rather than trying to answer that multi-faceted issue here, please read my articles:
3 Trees That Explain Suffering (first of a series of 3 articles)
05. Think thankfully.
It’s impossible to whine when you are thankful. If you’re down in the dumps, use the ladder of praise and thanksgiving to climb out of there!
It’s very hard to be discouraged or depressed when you are actively thanking God for His goodness and all your blessings.