Learn how to be happy – it’s possible when you learn to control your thoughts. In this post, I will share what I have learned about how to be happy and the tools I have used to help me control my thoughts.
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Did you know that 75-98% of physical & mental illnesses today come from our thought life? According to neuroscientist Dr. Caroline Leaf, not only will getting your thoughts under control make you happier, it will greatly improve your physical health as well.
I know from firsthand experience that when thoughts are chaotic, it causes all sorts of havoc in your body also. Most people don’t realize the HUGE connection between mind and body.
We as a culture vastly underestimate the power of our thoughts. We all want to know how to be happy, but don’t realize it takes a good amount of work to get there! It is often misrepresented by today’s society that you cannot control the thoughts flying around in your head, and that if you struggle with a mental difficulty, it is simply a matter of genetics, circumstances, and/or chemicals. There is SO much more to it than that!
In her materials, Dr. Leaf uses her 30+ years of experience in clinical practice and brain research to explain how thoughts form and affect the brain and body. She actually pioneered the concept of neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to change based on our thoughts). People used to laugh at her ideas, but now they are widely accepted in the field of neuroscience. The thing that sets her apart as a neuroscientist is her belief in God, which influences all of her teaching and research. I strongly recommend ALL her materials, but today I will be sharing some of the things I’ve learned from her book “Switch On Your Brain.”
After dealing with mental difficulties myself for several years and trying numerous strategies, Dr. Leaf’s Bible-based materials are what truly turned things around in my life.
The biggest thing I gained from her program is the power of choice. God always gives us choice in our lives. Satan wants me to think I have no choice. I have the power to choose my thoughts at any given moment!
We are severely undisciplined in our thought lives today. So much attention is given to developing physical discipline – diet, exercise, and the like. Almost NO attention is paid to the importance of disciplining our thoughts!
The Bible specifically tells us to “bring ALL thoughts into captivity unto Christ Jesus” (2 Cor. 10:5) and to “set your mind on things above” (Col. 3:2). God would never command us to do something without providing the ability to do it! If you don’t believe you can control your thinking, try this exercise which will help you learn how to be happy:
Get out a piece of paper. On one side, write down a happy memory. On the other side, write down a difficult memory. For 30 seconds, flip the page to the “happy” side and discipline yourself to think about this. If your mind wanders – and that’s normal – simply bring it back to the happy thought. Now flip the paper over and discipline yourself to think about the difficult memory for 30 seconds. You are proving to yourself that you can CHOOSE to think about whatever you want!
No one can force you to dwell on anything you don’t want to dwell on. Yes, unwanted and unpleasant thoughts WILL pop into your mind. These will be triggered by the world around us, memories, and Satan himself. But YOU get to choose whether or not you will continue to focus on those thoughts. In every moment, there is POWER to choose and change your thinking!
We all have negative thoughts swirling around in our head that affect us. But these thoughts are not who we are. The Bible says that we are made in the image of our perfect God. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Tim 1:7). God cannot lie! He has not given you a diseased mind, a weak spirit, or a hateful personality. He doesn’t make junk. We become those things by believing the lies of the enemy – Satan. “He is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).
Sometimes we give Satan more power than he deserves. Jesus said “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matt. 28:18). If Jesus has ALL authority, how much does Satan have? Zero. The ONLY thing Satan can do to your mind is lie to you. It has no power because it has no truth. The only way he can accomplish what he wants is by getting you to believe his lies and act on them. Don’t fall for it!
It is so easy to just accept what the world tells us about physical and mental health. But if it contradicts God’s Word, we must take a closer look. Taking ownership of what we are believing is crucial!
Remember – health is not just what you choose to put into your body. It is also what you put into your mind and choose to dwell on. “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7).
To find out more about this life-changing and scientific material and how to be happy, order “Switch On Your Brain” !
For part 2 of this series, click here.
Check out this similar post: 7 Game-Changing Bible Verses for Depression
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