One of my go-to homework assignments with clients is to take a few days and write down all of the thoughts that they can recall. The good, the bad, the ugly.
That is because our thoughts have great power. They give us energy or suck us dry.
I myself have done this a few times over the past 10 years, and it never fails to surprise me how many negative thoughts are on “repeat.” A few years ago I thought I would do this exercise, only because I had asked a few clients to do it and it had been 5+ years for me. I remember thinking, “I am in a great place right now. This will be way better than last time.”
For me, until I wrote it down, I didn’t realize how unkind I was to myself about my body. The obsessive thoughts of my imperfections and how I wanted to lose 10 pounds were on “repeat” in my head. Of course, there were some positive and empowering thoughts mixed in, but until I did the exercise, I really was unaware the time I spent thinking about losing weight.
For some of my clients, they have general negative thoughts about who they are. Others find themselves sinking in hopeless and defeated thoughts.
Here is your challenge: Write down your thoughts for 3 days. When you find yourself repeating the same thoughts, you can just put a tally mark. Most people find themselves thinking the same thoughts over and over and over. You may not even need the 3 days to see where your thought-blasting-energy needs to go.
I encourage you, with NO judgement of yourself, to bring those patterned, probably in-grained thoughts before God in prayer. Open your journal or phone in your hands, giving them to God. Ask for help.
You may find through this exercise that it is impossible to ignore the depression, anxiety, marriage difficulties, negative self image that you have been trying to minimize.
If you find that your thoughts may have wounds connected to them, such as past abuse, negative words from your parents, it may be wise to work through those with someone. They have power.
You may have heard this verse many times, but I invite you to read it slowly out loud.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.
Let me know how it goes!
Love and peace and grace to you!