Why Changing Our Minds is a Good Thing: Creating Healthy Thought Patterns

 

I don’t know about you but I CHANGE MY MIND a lot.

Maybe I have a little perfectionism in me or it’s just that  I like to weigh things carefully and consider all of my options.

My indecision can drive my husband crazy.

Anyone ever used this comeback when your man started rolling his eyes at your vacillation?

” I’m a woman. I have the right to change my mind.”

But seriously, this is why I practice minimalism as much as possible. The fewer decisions I have to make, the better.

I’m learning, however, that CHANGING MY MIND can be a good thing.

If  I can change my MIND , I can change my Experience.

Last week we went back and forth on what we could do for Spring Break. My husband sent me a text message that he had booked a hotel in Gatlinburg , TN  ( while he waited for me to make up my mind.)  I was the one who had suggested that but was having second thoughts. My oldest daughter and son -in-law would be moving overseas soon and I wanted to spend some time with them.

I texted him back and told him I had finally made up my mind and decided I wanted to go to the beach since they could join us there for the weekend. I sent him some VRBO options that were budget friendly and the next morning he sat me down at the computer and forced me to make a decision.  ( because somebody’s got to) We ended up choosing an Air B n B that wasn’t on the beach but was reasonably priced and pet friendly. We opted to keep the cost low and save for a summer trip and getting my car repaired.

I knew when we pulled up that I was going to have to adjust my expectations.  My stored memories of previous beach vacations started comparing facts and telling me this place was not going to deliver the experience I hoped for.

Y ‘all, I am all about Experience.  I don’t  need fancy things but a beautiful view sets the stage for a beautiful mind.

Just give be a glimpse of nature and I can handle anything.

Well, this place didn’t have the view I had in my head, but after taking a deep breath and realizing there would be one just a short walk away, my daughter and I headed in that direction.

As soon as the ocean came into sight, I breathed out  my unmet expectations and breathed in possibility.

How often do we hold unrealistic expectations about our current circumstances that limit our ability to embrace what is right in front of us?

How often do we let our thoughts about them dictate our experience of them?

Want to know why that happens so easily?

Megan Kelly, author of Renewing All Things states the following in her review of Dr. Caroline Leaf‘s book Switch on Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health: 

Every thought you think forms a physical structure and neural pathway in your brain that controls your default way of thinking. If you have been thinking a certain way over and over- those are the pathways you have in your brain so that is what you are automatically going to think because that is what is there.”

“This way of thinking determines our perception of our circumstances and how we see the world.”

This is why two different people with similar circumstances can have two very different experiences.

One can be elated and the other in despair.

Our thoughts become our habits and our habits become our reality.

If we have toxic thought patterns , we will poison every experience.

If we have healthy thought patterns,  we will find life and abundance no matter the circumstance.

Here’s the GOOD NEWS. YOU can intentionally CHOOSE how you want to wire your brain and your brain CAN be rewired.

You can change your MIND.

When you change your mind, you will change your Experience!

This concept is fairly new in science, but it is not new to God. Scripture has been shouting this to us.

” Be transformed by the RENEWING of your MINDS.” Romans 12:12

” Be made NEW in the attitude of your MINDS.” Ephesians 4:23

” Take captive every THOUGHT.” 2 Corinthians 10:5

Colossians 3 and Philippians 4 instruct us to be careful about what we set our MINDS on.

God knows the power of our THOUGHTS. It was His thoughts spoken into being that Created the world. He formed us with minds that have the power to create as well. Our very thoughts will dictate what we choose to create.

Science confirms that we can  physically create new neural pathways and destroy old ones.

Every morning we wake up and have brand new brain cells waited to be wired.

Do you know what that means?

GENESIS was not just in the beginning; God has wired your brain to be able to get up every day and create a NEW beginning!

Deuteronomy 30:19 challenges us to do this.

I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.”

Without THINKING we often choose to hardwire toxic  thoughts and create pathways that stunt our health and wellbeing.

If we want to walk in wellness and learn to harness the creative power God has placed in us , we have to start taking this seriously and begin taking those thoughts captive like our lives depend on it.. because they do.

I’ve been working on this..

After a great first night at the beach, I struggled with a little indecision again the next morning. We walked down to the beach without our chairs thinking we’d just get a quick walk and that we’d come back later when it was warmer. When we got down there we realized it wasn’t as cool as we thought it would be and my daughter wanted to stay.  Needless to say we had to walk back to the beach house, grab our gear and then turn around and go back. No, the rental was not beachside.

I could tell my husband was irritated  and I immediately went into toxic thought mode, assuming if he was upset it must have been something I said or did or didn’t say or do. Anyone else do that? Then I started getting irritated myself. I slowed my pace and hung back letting tears start to well up until the contrast between my internal state and my external surroundings stopped my thoughts in their track. I decided I was not going to let my THOUGHTS steal from the experience I wanted to have today and started going through a practice I learned last week called Emotional Brain Training.

I identified all my negative thoughts and emotions and then shifted to identifying the positive ones. I forced myself to recognize any unrealistic expectations I was holding and then reframed those with realistic ones. Lastly I chose to hold onto and WIRE in the positive thoughts that I ended on and started walking again with a renewed MIND and quickened my pace to catch back up with my husband and daughter.

Maybe you are struggling this morning with circumstances that are much heavier than irritation over lost time and energy.

But here’s the thing I am learning…

We can’t always control the events and circumstances of life, but we can control the thoughts we have about them.

 

“Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
 Behold, I am doing a NEW thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert”

Isaiah 43:18-19

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail. They are NEW every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

 

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