I hope you guys and gals have been enjoying the Quick to Listen & Slow To Speak Series. If you are visiting my blog for the first time you can go here and here for the first two installments. Today I will be sharing 12 more practical tips to help master our thoughts to ensure a great quality of life for us and those around us.
Mastering Our Thoughts takes full intentionality. If we do not control them, they will control us. We need a practical plan to ensure we do not make fools of ourselves and enemies with others.
Here are 12 Practical Tips for Mastering Your Thoughts
Change Your company/ Walk away – Let’s admit it. We all have those people in our circle that bring out the worse in us. You know them. They may be the ones you call on — when you need to get away from the harsh realities of life and have some ‘fun’. The ones that will let you do what you want when you want regardless of the consequences – You know the ones. They breed ideologies that many times go against the morals and beyond the guard rails you have set for your life. You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Beware of those persuade you to do wrong. If this is you, it may be time to change your circle of influence. It will be hard — but walk away.
Change the station – If the tv station, radio station, streaming station, or podcasts are influencing your thoughts, words, and actions in adverse ways, it may very well be time to nix them.
Adopt the H.A.L.T Principle – To ensure your make wise decisions and healthy choices, avoid making any plans and entering serious conversations while you are hungry-angry-lonely-tired. Seek to devise a contingency response when you sense these emotions arising. For more on the HALT Principle, go here.
Write things down – Jotting down your feelings and thoughts about any scenario helps you to both gauge the present situation and respond responsibly. It helps you to further decipher between truth and emotions. When others give instruction, it bodes well for us to immediately write it down. This simple but effective exercise can help you distinguish what was said from what you think was said.
Invest in creativity – Do not let boredom and idleness get the best of you. I am sure you have heard the sayings:
Harness the gifts and skills that have been given to you and make the most of them. Whether it be drawing, painting, singing, public speaking, calligraphy, woodworking. Invest in the areas of creativity for the good of yourself and humanity. It’s amazing how positive actions can affect your thought life.
Invest in others – I firmly believe that when we invest in the well-being of others, our thoughts align as well. Seeking opportunities to do good require us to think excellent things, powerful things, life changing things. A constant reminder that there is more to life than you once envisioned. This keeps us grounded and humble.
Change your view – There are times you must change your environment and times where you must change your perspective. Both require a change of view. You will be surprised how an adjustment in both physical and mental space can alter your outlook for the better. Seek places and spaces that promote positive thinking.
Create a routine – A schedule can change your life. An intentional practical life plan consisting of healthy habits is a surefire way to affect the way you think. Take some time to assess your daily routine and the thoughts that are associated with them. Are these activities life-giving or life-taking? What present activities promote positive thought?
Sober up – Do not be given to drunkenness or excess. An over-consumption of alcohol/stimulants/depressants affects one’s abilities to think clearly. If you struggle, please seek professional help.
Look up: Seek out an eternal perspective for all things temporary. We must remind ourselves of the reality that the things we become so fixated on will not last forever but will depreciate and decay with time and age. There is more to life than the things we own. Do not let these things own you.
De-clutter your life – Generate a habit of removing the excess from your life. Clean spaces, places, diets, lifestyles, and relationships make for a clear conscience and a healthy view of self.
Commit to Truth – Devote yourself to hearing, reading, speaking, seeing, and living truth. Become vulnerable to cross-examination. Allow God to examine your mind and your motive. Let Him reveal to you the blind spots, lies, and areas of struggle that seek to dominate your thought life. In Psalm 139:4, David, one of the kings in the life of early Israel, said: ‘You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD.‘ This can be an embarrassing reality or a comforting one. God knows exactly what we are going to say before we say. He knows every thought that consumes our grey matter – The light-hearted, serious, funny, sordid, seeded, and embarrassing details. Allow God to dispel the lies and lead you towards truth. When truth is revealed, seek to embody it and live it out.