07 Jan Thoughts, are they always true?
King Solomon teaches us to be careful about how we think because the quality of our thoughts will always determine the quality of our life.
Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life. – Proverbs 4:23
All of the time, our brains are turning over thoughts (a new study has found the average person has more than 6000 thoughts every day). However, we are not consciously aware of most of them because it happens relatively fast.
Our automatic thoughts, however, play an important role in our emotional well-being.
People often think that the feelings they experience are caused by external events, situations, and the actions of others, but it is what we think about these things that really determines how we feel.
- Specifically, it is our thoughts and beliefs about the situation or person that makes us feel and respond the way we do.
- Thoughts come automatically to us and we are often not conscious of how or what we are thinking.
- There are 3 kinds of automatic thoughts: neutral, positive, and negative
- If we feel distressed, it is often because we are thinking particularly negative thoughts that contribute to us feeling distressed.
- If we want to improve how we feel, we need to begin by becoming more aware of what we are thinking and changing our thoughts (reframe).
Feelings are not Thoughts
Do our thoughts turn into feelings that have the power to control our behaviour and lives? When we first try to distinguish thoughts from feelings, it can be easy to confuse them. We might be used to talking about thoughts and feelings as being part of the same experience, but it is more helpful to separate them and remember that feelings are not thoughts.
2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us that we are to “Demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
A journal is also a very helpful tool to write down your feelings and thoughts. This will help you to take them apart. You can pray about your feelings and thoughts and ask God to give you the scripture, write it all down.
Use this acronym for journal writing:
T- is it true?
H-does it honour God?
O-what is its origin?
U – is it uplifting?
G – does it involve guilt?
H – is it helpful?
T – is it a temptation?
S – does it strengthen you?
Seek the truth in your thoughts.
Choose to focus your thoughts on the right things. We are to think about those things that are “true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable – Phil. 4:8
When we think about those things, God promises to give us His peace. It is not easy to reframe your thoughts, however, it is possible! As God empowers you to focus your mind on the right things, it will become easier. You can develop a new frame of reference, based on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.
Pastoral Counsellor (special interest in trauma).