In part one of our series, How to Stop Negative Thoughts, we discussed how listening to faith building messages and meditation in the Word of God is an important part of renewing your mind and getting rid of negative thoughts.
Another aspect of renewing your mind is to filter the things you see and listen to and being careful whom you spend time with. Phillipians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think about these things.” (World English Bible)
In 1 Corinthians 33 we find, “Don’t be deceived! Evil companionships corrupt good morals.” (WEB)
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above everything else guard your heart (mind,emotions, thoughts), because from it flow the springs of life.” (International Standard Version)
The things you focus on and think about, will effect your emotions and actions and can even cause physiological changes in your body and brain. According to Caroline Leaf, author of Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health, “Research shows that 75 to 98 percent of mental, physical, and behavioral illness comes from one’s thought life.”
Dr. Leaf talks about how each thought that we have, becomes a physical substance in our brain. Good, positive thoughts are seen as pink, healthy proteins in our brain while negative, destructive thoughts turn into twisted, harmful structures. These deformed proteins cause unhealthy reactions in our bodies that lead to stress, inflammation, and disease, decreased resistance to sicknesses etc.
Our thoughts are determined by the things we focus on. What kind of movies and TV shows do you watch? What kind of music do you listen to? Who do you spend your time with? You can’t get rid of negative thinking unless you filter what goes into your eyes and ears. Granted, you won’t be able to get rid of all the negativity in your life but is there anything you can change?
Some examples: Spend less time with the family member who always focuses on what’s wrong with the world, or that friend from church who gossips about other people. Instead of watching that television show that’s filled with sarcasm, and vulgar language, read an uplifting book or play a fun game with your family. While driving to work, if you can’t find anything positive on the radio, listen to an inspiring CD.