Are you happy? Or are you so caught up in the power of negative thinking that you think you just have to accept that this is how it’s always going to be? What would you give to be happy?
We all want to be happy but the pressures of life often get in the way and rob us of our happiness.
Let’s take a break to see what gets in the way and what we can do to be happy again.
Can you associate with the following scenario?
You were tossing and turning all night long, trying to solve the problem you’ve been dealing with at work for the last three days. Every time you think you have finally found the solution, you come up with another reason why it wouldn’t work. It’s almost as if you’re finding reasons why it wouldn’t work before even trying anything. It feels as if you have just fallen asleep (at last) when the alarm clock goes off. Good heavens, when are you going to get some sleep?
Twenty minutes later and…..you wake up again……with a shock.
Instead of the snooze button, you must have hit the off button on the alarm clock.
You rush through the house like a whirlwind to get ready for work, get in the car and drive like a lunatic to get to the office on time. As you enter the building the lady at reception greets you with a friendly “good morning”. In your mind you just growl back “what’s so good about it?” but on second thought you manage to get that forced smile on your face and answer with a quick “fine thanks and you?”
You hypocrite you….. You are not fine. Who are you kidding?
But does any of this ring a bell? Why can other people be happy (and you always seem to bump into them) and not you?
How Can You Stop The Power of Negative Thinking?
First; let’s determine what’s on your mind.
Yes, what’s on your mind? What you constantly think about will determine your mood and eventually the quality of your day. It all starts with your thoughts. You are what you think. Proverbs 23:7 (NLV) says ‘For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. He says to you, “Eat and drink!” But his heart is not with you’.
What the man in this text is saying is not sincere. Reading the same verse in the NIV translation it reads ‘for he is the kind of person who is always thinking about the cost. “Eat and drink,” he says to you, but his heart is not with you’.
Can you imagine what’s going on inside his mind? What he is saying out loud is not what’s in his heart; it’s not what is on his mind. You are costing him money. Those words he speaks are not spontaneous and sincere. He is calculating the cost. He is most likely always stressed out and irritated; busy calculating possible profits, yet other people are ‘eating into those profits’. Can you imagine the mood this man is in? It is because of what he constantly thinks about.
What Are You Saying?
It has become popular these days and people are encouraged to speak positively in order to “attract positive results”.
I don’t have any problem with speaking positive words. As a matter of fact, I’m all for it. But there is something wrong with the order here. First of all, if you don’t really believe what you are saying, you can speak positively and repeat positive affirmations until eternity comes, it’s not going to make any difference.
Luke 6:44-45 (NIV) says “44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of”. In this case, neither the good man nor the evil man needs to think about what he is going to say. This is what he says spontaneously. And what comes out is what his heart is full of. It is what he really believes.
That means I have to get my thoughts in order first. And if I want to be happy, I should start paying attention to my thought life first. I need to break the power of negative thinking.
If I stay focused on negative thinking, I will be negative. When I stay focused on all my problems and I don’t start focusing on the solutions, I will become stressed and even depressed.Happy is the man who is too busy to worry by day and too tired at night - Leo Aikman Click To Tweet
What Are You Thinking and how Can You Change It?
What were you thinking (or how were you thinking) in the beginning paragraph of this post? What we often do is to get all stressed out with the problem at hand and we say things such as “I can’t find the solution”, or “I just can’t fix this problem”.
So how can you change your thinking? Well, the first place I think of is going to the Word of God. The Bible is filled with positive promises for us. I’m not saying you are going to find the answer you are looking for to solve the problem at work written down for you in the Bible. But; let’s start with John 14:12-14 (NIV) that says “12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it”.
James 1:4-6 (NIV) says” 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind”, and then we look at Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) that says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.
What Is The Next Step For You To Be Happy?
Those are just a few verses but there are much more such promises. The next step is to read these messages/promises and meditate on them by reading them out loud, thinking about them and studying them. Think about what they really mean to you.
This will fill your mind with the promises of God and you will develop faith in them (Romans 10:17). So as your faith develops, guess what starts coming out of your mouth without thinking about it? Yes, the Word of God.
Remember that problem at work? Instead of getting stressed out and frustrated, you’ll start thinking about solutions. As soon as you think of a solution, you’ll start acting upon it.
If you can’t find the solution, you’ll think about James 1:5 that says you can ask God for wisdom and He will give it to you. Start confessing that and stand in faith. Go to bed and get some sleep. You will not add one hour to your life by worrying (Matthew 6:27).You may take away an hour from your life rather than adding one by worrying. Click To Tweet
I’m not saying you should just stop working on the problem. But stop saying that you can’t solve it. Move your focus from the problem to finding the solution – believing that you will find a solution. The answer will come. When you least expect it – you might even be working on something completely different – you may experience that “aha” moment.
Where did that come from? Guess what; another prayer has just been answered. It doesn’t always happen the moment you say amen. But the answer will come. It’s all about believing and trusting God.
Make It a Habit To Be Happy
What you think about will have an effect on what you say. What you say will have an effect on your actions. Your actions have results which confirm what you believe and what you believe is what you are thinking about. Some time ago, I wrote a post on how you can use this process to improve the quality of your life.
It’s not always easy, but we shouldn’t be passively waiting for things around us to happen and then become a product of our circumstances. It is not about what happens to us, it is about how we respond to what happens to us. We have no control of what happens externally from day to day. But we can choose how we respond to those things.
We also have the choice of whose company we keep. Don’t remain in the company of negative thinking people while you are doing your best to get focused on something positive. Seek the company of people who are positive and excited about life.
Change your mind, fight the good fight. Change the way you think, and you will change your life.
Are you in control of your mind? Or are you stuck in the power of negative thinking? Are you a product of your circumstances or are your circumstances a product of your thinking? Which one is it?
What do you do to take control over your thought life and how does it work for you? Let me know in the comment section.
If you are serious about getting your mind under control and being able to jumpstart each day, you might want to look at a book written by Joyce Meyer called – The Mind Connection. It is available on Amazon.