Two neighbors had a party in their homes—let’s call them ‘Neighbor A’ and ‘Neighbor B’. Neighbor A meticulously invited respectful and responsible guest, but avoided and even turned away any trouble makers. Neighbor B didn’t set any boundaries to his guest list so he allowed any and everyone into his home. As the parties played out, Neighbor A and his guests had a good time with no worries, but Neighbor B’s guests had wreaked havoc at his quarters. Many of his guests were rude and obnoxious and made a huge mess of things at his house. By the end of each party, Neighbor A’s home remained well intact, but Neighbor B’s home was left in ruins.
This illustration reflects the power of our thoughts. Our minds trigger our attitudes and outward actions which goes on to shape and direct the very course of our lives, so it’s extremely important to pay attention to what we are thinking.
Did You Know…
- The brain releases good and bad chemicals into our brains and bodies—depending on our attitudes!
- A good attitude is a buffer against stress and disease. It promotes a good immune system.
- A bad or negative attitude causes the body to release chemicals into the bloodstream that are inappropriate for the situation and detrimental to health. These will suppress the immune system and can lead to sickness.
- When you are angry your level of reasoning and logic is greatly reduced
- We have Mirrored neurons that causes us to “mirror” others people’s attitudes in our brains without us even being aware of it. In other words, we take on that same mental effect just by witnessing it. This absorption of attitude is called “Emotional Contagion”.
Don’t Be Like ‘Neighbor B’!
We may not always be able to control what thoughts initially come to our minds, but we can choose which ones stay and which ones go just like accepting or turning away guests that seek to enter our homes. When we allow or welcome negative thoughts in our minds, we allow its cancerous nature to infiltrate our lives, naturally, emotionally and spiritually. The effects may not show immediately, but after being incubated and fed for a period of time, they fully manifests through the different facets of our lives, like a baby that started out as a tiny seed in its mother’s womb.
Entertain the Right Thoughts
When it comes to negative thoughts, just say “NO!”, they mean no good and when they’ve run its course, it will leave you a mess to clean up; but don’t just stop there. Once you rid your mind of the bad, you have to immediately fill it with the good. I love the statement “An empty space is still a place” [Source book: Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer]. When we choose to clean up our minds, we can’t afford to leave it idle for just any ole crazy thing to fall back in it from all the influences we face constantly, we have to purpose to fill that space with thoughts that will not only enhance and enrich our lives, but also the lives and well-being of others.
So, What Are You Thinking?!
So now what?…It’s time to evaluate what’s really been on our minds so we can progress our lives in the right direction. Whatever helps us, we must keep; whatever hinders us, it’s time to let it go. Could it be unforgiveness, resentment or even a series of misnomers and misunderstandings that are leading to the bad attitudes we currently have? Whatever it may be we must be completely honest with ourselves and see those thoughts and attitudes for what they really are, life-drainers! Some negative attitudes and thought patterns come from what we expose ourselves to regularly such as our entertainment, company and/or activities we may have to change. Others are much deeper and will require much more effort to get rid of, so don’t hesitate to surround yourself with upstanding people who can assist you to be your best and healthiest self.
Every moment of the day we have to remind ourselves that our lives are shaped by what we think; if it’s positive things we fuel our minds with, we will produce like results; if we choose to let garbage rule our thoughts, we will produce the same. So let’s focus on what will give us the best results as we move forward in our life’s journey. (Philippians 4:8)
Until next time, still enjoying the journey,