Stop believing everything you think, and stop hacking your brain with positive thoughts. It doesn’t work long-term. The secret to healthy thoughts is deeper than your mind. Learn the secrets to healthy thoughts inside!
I’ve thought of many things, most of which were never true. Or at least it never came to fruition. Although, I still let my mind wander into the black hole that can take a common headache and make it a death sentence with one quick conclusion that it must be brain cancer.
Looking back, it seems silly to have thought such things. But there are other normalized thoughts that are just as silly, but because they’re normal, they get overlooked. In time, they become our reality.
What you think creates your action, no matter how much you will yourself to do something different.
Researchers estimate we have upwards of 70,000 thoughts each day. Contrary to popular belief, these thoughts aren’t floating around in the space between your skull. They have a biological impact, changing the action you live and the outcome you experience.
Ironically, of those 70,000 thoughts, at least 95% are the same as they were yesterday. Our mind follows loops and repeated patterns because patterns are a form of safety. You must understand your thought loops and why you have them to have healthy thoughts.
Inside this podcast, my husband Payton and I talk about our five years process of doing the work to healthify our minds and what we found. It may shock you as it goes against the self-help norm.
The Power of Healthy Thoughts
Your mind can be a wild landscape. In some ways, it feels untamed, even out of your control. If you don’t know how to process it, most likely, you’ll distract from your mind or numb it with a substance that can help you escape your thoughts.
In the short term, it works, but long term, you’ll keep repeating the same thoughts based on the same old loops because this is what your body knows and what has kept you safe.
Your body has done a lot, even gone through a lot, to keep you safe and alive. Changing your thoughts begins by respecting this process. Which can mean respecting the place you are, even if you hate it.
Respecting something doesn’t mean you enable it to stay.
The second aspect to healthify your thoughts is awareness. Pay attention to what goes through your mind.
What are you thinking?
Paying attention seems simple until you realize you spend a lot of time avoiding your thoughts. Instead of paying attention, you distract yourself through external things like other people, systems, and plans. But you can’t change what you don’t know or what you’re not aware is happening.
Pay attention to your thoughts.
You may not like it.
It could be really scary.
Maybe it’s hurtful.
But unless you know, you’ll never be able to flood truth into those unheatlhy and damaging thoughts to change them. The way to change is to observe your thinking mind (the uncontrolled part of your brain that rules wildly) and be the wiser parent to these thoughts. Injecting truth and wisdom, so you don’t act out whatever your thinking mind is fixating on.
Understanding your two minds, the thinking and observing mind, is perhaps the most powerful tool in changing your thoughts. Once you understand what is running through your mind, you can understand why you have those thoughts and create a new identity to change them.
Here are a few steps I took to help to have healthy thoughts.
01: Observe your thinking mind
I mentioned it above, but you cannot change what you do not know. The first step in healthifying your mind is to pay attention to your thoughts. Pay attention to all of them. Not to judge, change, suppress, or distract yourself from them, but to know them. Once you know what you think you can start to analyze your thoughts.
02: Analyze your thoughts
Ask yourself, are the thoughts I’m having true or untrue? If they’re true, ask if they’re helpful or hurtful. If they are helpful, act accordingly. If they’re hurtful or untrue, start to understand why you’ve believed these thoughts. Understand what is deeper than the thought. What is the story behind what you’re thinking?
03: Dig into the story behind the thoughts
The story you tell yourself is the one you live, or at least you perceive to live. But your story may not be accurate or trustworthy or move you in your desired direction. There is a bigger story for your life—one of freedom, healing, and thriving. But you have to know the original story to supply the truth to transform it.
04: Supply Truth To Your Mind
You can’t believe everything you think. And you can’t believe everything you’ve built your life story on. Once you start to analyze your story, fill in the gaps, delete parts harming you, and fill it with truth. Of course, you, as a broken human being, can only do so much for yourself.
That’s why we all need to believe in something bigger than ourselves. To get outside of our minds and live for something greater. There is power in the truth of the gospel, as living and powerful inside of you. But you have to fill your story with this. Not to see it as a story but as your story.
05: Learn to Release Thoughts
The old story and old thoughts will always tempt you looking to control you. But they don’t have to. You can learn to release old, hurtful thoughts or anything that doesn’t serve you. The next time a negative thought takes over, acknowledge it and remind yourself this is untrue. Then take a deep breath and release it.
06: Take a deep breath
It seems silly, but breathing is one of the most potent physical mechanisms that trigger the brain. The deeper you breathe, the more relaxed your brain and the more likely you are to let go of the old and welcome in the new. Take a few deep breaths. Whenever you want to release something, blow out the old and breathe in the new.
07: Do something
After you free the old thought, make room for the new one. It may seem different at first, and different can feel scary if you haven’t built a healthier perspective of change. That’s why you can’t just think differently. You have to act accordingly.
Think of the thought as the momentum and the action as the glue. It doesn’t have to be something big. It could just be relaxing and breathing into the new thought. Or it could be doing something to support it, like reading, drinking a glass of water, or stepping out and allowing sunlight to hit your skin. Remind your mind the new thought is safe by doing something to support and supply that safety.
08: Stay Consistent
Thought loops are powerful and sometimes hard to break. The best way to break them is to form a new loop and ensure it’s complete. The way you do that is to supply truth to back up what you speak. Then continuously repeat that over and over. Some people call this faking it until you make it, but I think of it as living it before you solidify it. Keep repeating it, even when you fail or when it’s hard. Keep repeating it, and eventually, this will become your new pattern.
Want to dive in deeper into how to have healthy thoughts? You might like these resources!
Healing your body cannot happen without learning how to have healthy thoughts and soul care. You are one whole being, and healing requires healing your whole. I’ve rounded up a few resources you might like! Dig in and let me know what you think!
- Why You Can’t Do What You Know You Should
- Understanding Your Two Minds
- Jesus Therapy: You Don’t Need a New Story
- Why I Gave Up Finding Myself
- The Connection Between Your Mind and Metabolic Health
If you want to change for good, let me show you an unconventional approach you haven’t heard of. A new perspective that shifts change from something scary to something you crave! Inside this live, 4-part workshop, I share how to create new loops, energize your mind, thrive in change, and hold you accountable with a 30-Day Nourish Challenge.