|I am cleaning out the fridge!|
In my last blog, "Party on My Wrist!" I stated that due to my low carb diet and the elimination of processed food, my mind is clearer. And because of including regular exercise into my life, I feel generally better physically and mentally. Now it's time to work on Step 3, which is to change my thoughts. The diet and exercise did help me think clearer but this area still needed further attention.
When you are depressed for a long period of time you develop very negative thought patterns. You "feed" yourself a very negative diet of warped messages about yourself and your life. The often repeated mantras in our heads are, I'm stupid, I'm fat, I'm ugly, I'm unlovable, I'm worthless, my life is meaningless, I'm alone, things will never change.
It's plate cleaning time ladies! Time to get rid of our "stink'in think'in." Time to get rid of all those bad foods for thought and replace it with a diet of fresh and nourishing ones; a diet of positivity and encouragement.
Now I am not suggesting we replace our "stink'in think'in" with a "new age" diet. One that says that we can do no wrong and we are the center of the universe. One that tells us that everything about us is awesome. No, that would be replacing one bad diet with another. What I am recommending is a diet base on the scripture Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things be of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
The fact is that we were all created in the image of God and therefore valuable people. We are not stupid, ugly and worthless, and yet, those are the kind of thoughts we keep feeding ourselves on a daily basis. We need to change the menu.
Philippians 4:8 says we need to think on lovely things, honest things. We aren't to make up lies to make us feel better but rather turn our focus to the things that are of "good report" in our lives.
Thoughts are powerful. They have the ability to bring feelings of anxiety, stress, discontentment and pain. They also have the ability to bring feelings of thankfulness, happiness, contentment and appreciation.
We have to become aware of what we are thinking. We need to filter our thoughts as they come into our minds. If a negative or untrue thought comes in we have to stop it in it's track and replace it . We need to choose to think about something else. In our minds, when we are starting to fill up on negativity we must tell those thoughts to leave, that they have no residence with us and try to think of something lovely instead. We should prepare ahead of time some positive talk to displace the negative.
The attitude of gratitude has to be one of our major food groups on our thought diet. If we are concentrating on what are we thankful for it's impossible to be negative. Do an inventory of yourself and what you are grateful for. Come on now, there has to be something. Write them down and have them ready to go over when you are stuffing your mind with all the negatives about yourself. Things like I am grateful for my blue eyes, or I am grateful that I have pretty hair, or clear skin, that people enjoy my company, that I am a good mom, that people love me, that God loves me.
Another food group we should partake from is "the benefit of the doubt" group. Sometimes we get ourselves all worked up and upset over how we "think" others perceive us. Don't assume people are thinking badly of you just because you are. God calls us to think on things that are true not what we might perceive to be true. And even though some of us think we are , we are not mind readers! So unless, someone comes out and tells you something "bad" about you assume they are not thinking such things. These people are probably your family and friends, fellow church members and wouldn't appreciate you putting such thoughts in their heads when they don't exist.
We have to be good to ourselves. Just like we should watch our diets and nourish our bodies with good and healthy foods we need to do the same for our minds. We need a healthy diet of true, honest, just, pure, lovely and of good report. Feed on these things.