Do you ever find yourself thinking negative thoughts about yourself? Maybe you’re quick to anger or dwell on hurt feelings. Maybe you beat yourself up for not being good enough or question your worthiness.
These thought patterns are called cognitive distortions, and they’re actually more common than you might think. In fact, we all have them to some degree. But the good news is that there’s a way to change them.
In this blog post, we will discuss the power of the tongue in relation to negative thoughts and how the Bible can help us replace them with God’s truth. I leverage my clinical background to explain this in detail.
As we begin, let’s start with a quick definition of what negative thoughts and cognitive distortions are.
What are negative thoughts and cognitive distortions
Negative thoughts are any thoughts that are harmful or unhelpful to us. They can be things we believe about ourselves, other people, or the world around us. These thoughts can make us feel anxious, stressed, depressed, and even lead to self-destructive behaviors.
Negative thoughts are like weeds that grow in the garden of our minds. They can take over and crowd out the good things we want to think about ourselves. Not only do negative thoughts make us feel bad, but they also have a negative impact on our physical health.
Cognitive distortions are ways that our brain tricks us into thinking about things that are not true. These distortions can lead us to believe things about ourselves, other people, and the world around us that are not accurate. These thoughts can make us feel anxious, stressed, depressed, and even lead to self-destructive behaviors.
Negative thoughts stick the most
Thoughts are always running through our minds. It’s a constant stream that never stops. Sometimes, it can be challenging to focus on one thing because of all the thoughts racing through our heads. Some of these thoughts are positive, and some are negative. Negative thoughts can be like a broken record, playing over and over in our minds until we believe them. Unfortunately, negative thoughts tend to stick with us the most.
These negative thoughts can come from a variety of sources. Maybe someone told us we were not good enough or failed at something and beat ourselves up about it. Perhaps we have certain beliefs about ourselves that are not based in reality. Whatever the source, negative thoughts can take over and cause us to feel down about ourselves.
How the Bible helps us replace negative thoughts
The Bible tells us that the tongue has the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21). This is true not only for the words we speak to others but also for the thoughts we allow to take up residence in our minds. Just as we can use our words to build someone up, we can use our thoughts to tear ourselves down.
Fortunately, the Bible also gives us the tools we need to replace negative thoughts with God’s truth. In Philippians, we are told to think about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8)
There are many cognitive distortions that can cause us to have negative thoughts about ourselves. These include black-and-white thinking, jumping to conclusions, and personalization. The Bible can help us identify these cognitive distortions and reframe our thinking.
For example, black-and-white thinking is when we see things as all good or all bad, with no middle ground. We may think that we are a failure if we make one mistake. This is not true! We are human and will make mistakes, but that does not mean we are failures. The Bible tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). We are imperfect beings, but we are still loved and accepted by God.
Another cognitive distortion is jumping to conclusions. This is when we assume that we know what someone is thinking or that something terrible is going to happen. We may think that everyone is judging us or that we are not good enough. These are all negative thoughts that are not based in reality. The Bible tells us not to worry about tomorrow, for today has enough troubles of its own (Matthew 6:34)
Personalization is when we take responsibility for things that are not our fault. We may think that we are to blame for someone else’s bad mood or that we should have known better than to make a certain decision. The truth is, we are not responsible for other people’s feelings or actions. We can only control our own thoughts and actions. The Bible tells us to cast all our anxieties on him as he cares for us (1 Peter 5:7)
Importance of Biblical Affirmations
Biblical affirmations can help us replace negative thoughts with God’s truth. They are positive statements that we can say when we feel down about ourselves.
Some examples of biblical affirmations include:
– I am set free! (based off John 8:36)
– I am a wonderful work and creation of God! (based off Psalm 139:14)
– The Grace of God is sufficient for me (based off 2 Corinthians 12:9)
These are just a few examples of the many biblical affirmations that can help us replace negative thoughts with God’s truth. When we start to believe these affirmations, our negative thoughts will begin to fade away. If you need help tailoring or creating biblical affirmations, please read this post titled: How to Create a list of Christian Affirmations
The Bible is full of verses that can help us reframe our thinking and replace negative thoughts with God’s truth. If you are struggling with negative thoughts, I encourage you to spend some time reading the Bible and allow God’s word to speak into your life. You may also want to consider speaking with a counselor or therapist who can help you identify and change negative thought patterns.