Escaping the Thought Trap

Armando Palazzo

Armando Palazzo

How to Stop My Negative Thoughts?

Struggling with negative thoughts? Maybe with low self-esteem? Self-put downs?

When I think about these thought struggles, I am amazed at how easy it is to adopt or fall into a bad thought habit. That’s right, I said it, “a habit.” All our thought patterns are, in fact, habits.

We have all been trained on how to think and what to think. And these habits can even impact our ability to problem solve, and our ability to decide how and what we use to filter truth vs. untruth. Even learned helplessness is copied and can develop into a (negative) thought and behavioral habit.

This is great news, because just as we develop bad habits, we can retrain our thinking and learn new habits. It is actually pretty simple but requires truth, faith, and commitment.

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (Joshua 1:8)

It’s safe to say, we are the sum of our habits. If you want to know your future, just look at your habits today! It will show you where your thoughts and behaviors will be tomorrow.

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:2)

When I think about setbacks, hurts and the many different pains of life we experience through people, places, things or events, I realize there is a choice we can make; there is a crossroad before us; a decision: Do I hand myself and my emotions over to the hardships of life and allow them to define me? To dictate how I feel and live? Or do I, in my pain, bring it to God and find healing and rest?

I guess that’s the difference between freedom and chains. You may have fear, but fear doesn’t have to have you.

The stories and scripts we tell ourselves are powerful. What we tell ourselves, not only defines our behavior, but also predicts our future. Do we speak negativity and lies in opposition to the Word of God, or do we speak the truth of God as medicine over our hurting souls and against the lies and narratives we have been taught? Being set free is to experience the truth of the gospel showing up in every area of our lives, even in our thought life.

To fight my thought battles, I use Scripture to correct false assumptions and to confront bad behaviors. When our experiences and thoughts don’t line up with biblical truth, we should always yield our thoughts and accept the truth of Scripture in all its authoritative truth. Make it your filter and meditate on it over and over until you develop new thought habits. They will replace the old ones!

Our thoughts can be such a trap. Or they can be the source of a pure spring that flows from the Word of God that is deposited deep into our lives. Don’t be a slave to negative thinking anymore. You no longer have to be. Yield to the truth that can set you free.

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