• Erin Lucas

Get Rid of Negative Thoughts

I know that I’ve been writing on the Book of Philippians a lot lately but it is such a powerful read that contains so much wisdom! So here I am, with another post about Philippians 4:8 :)

I try to make my psychology degree useful whenever I possibly can because, as a minister, I don’t get to use it as often as I would like and want to convince myself that a psychology degree for Baylor University was worth it. This past Sunday, in our Senior girls life group, it came in handy!

We were talking about why negative things tend to stand out in our minds and why our thoughts linger on them. For example, in a difficult friendship, coworker or family relationship, the negative interactions tend to stand out in our minds more than the positive ones.

The psychological term for this is negativity bias. Negativity bias is the idea that the things that are negative have a greater effect on one’s state of mind than neutral or positive things.

In other words, we unconsciously remember more negative things because they make bigger impact in our brains.

But the reality of this is that when we put all this focus and attention on the negative things that come across our paths, we leave with broken hearts and severe anxiety over all the negativity we see and have access to because of social media.

What I’ve come to learn is that you will seek out what you set your mind on.

If you linger on negative thoughts, you will begin to notice negative things that are occurring around you tend to stand out in your mind and you cycle of negative thoughts will continue. On the other hand, if you linger on positive thoughts, you will begin to notice the positive that is occurring around you.

I love it when science confirms what is already in Scripture. It does this in Philippians 4:8 when it says, “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.”

If you want to get rid of negative thoughts in your head then focus on the positive. Focus on whatever is true, noble, right, our love and admirable.

Its so easy to fall into the trap of negative thinking but we must realize that what we see heavily influences what we think, and what we think heavily influences the state of our souls. Let’s be careful with what we are allowing our thoughts to linger on.

If you want to break the cycle negative thoughts, meditate on things that are worthy of your attention.

Next time ask: Is this worthy of my thoughts?

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