What’s On Your Mind?

by:  Toni Samuels

If you’ve ever asked that question to your boyfriend or husband, you’re familiar with the look of panic, bewilderment or anguish that can spread over a man’s face. It’s probably one of their least favorite questions, right up there with, “Honey, do you think we should stop and ask for directions?”

But I have to admit that it’s not a question I like to ask myself, because often I’m quite shocked by what’s there. Jealousy … anger … bitterness … worry … fear – these intruders have all plopped themselves down on a couch in my mind from time to time and tried to make themselves right at home.

Just the other day, as I reviewed my list of 2016 goals, I felt a sense of despair start to creep up on me.

What if I don’t save and invest the amount of money that I’ve targeted?

What if I don’t reach my goal weight this year?

How will I feel if I don’t complete and submit my book proposal by the end of this quarter?

Why is it so difficult for me to meet a nice guy, when So-and-So seems to have no problem?

And on and on it went.

As I sunk deeper into that line of thinking, I noticed that I felt worse and worse.

A dull headache. Apathy. Procrastination. The blahs.

That’s when I knew it was time to redirect my thoughts. One of the biggest areas in counseling today is called cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps people learn to not simply let their thoughts guide them, but for them to guide their thoughts. Our thoughts and our ability to direct them are tremendously powerful.

This isn’t a new idea, though. A great deal of how we feel, what we accomplish and how we invest our lives is supported by some ancient words of wisdom:

“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 … And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8, 9b (NIV)

As I elevated my thoughts, my energy level and sense of expectancy rose as well.

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So, have I mastered this yet? Not exactly. But I’m making progress.

And despite where I am on my “Goals for the Year” list, I’m looking forward to 2016 being a great year! I hope you are, too.

 

By day, Toni Samuels works in corporate communications for a Fortune 500 corporation in New Jersey, but by night she pursues her true passion by writing inspirational stories for her church and other ministries. Toni is a mom of two sons, loves to travel, is a music lover and is passionate about encouraging people through writing.

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