Learn to identify and overcome toxic thoughts that can become patterns of negative thinking. Develop awareness of your thoughts and choose to let go of the bad habit of unhealthy thinking. Don’t let negative thoughts impact your attitude and relationships.
Toxic thinking and holding onto negative thoughts can wound hearts and crush dreams.
In my last post we talked about 20 toxic ways of thinking that will poison your life. Are you holding onto toxic thoughts that might be impacting your mental health and well-being? Are patterns of toxic thoughts changing your perspective, attitude, or relationship? Consider examples of toxic thoughts that we need to let go of for healthier thoughts and relationships. Are you keeping a list in your head of any of the following types of thoughts that can become toxic?
- Grievances against others.
- Complaints or gripes about situations or people.
- Resentment over things that didn’t work out the way we wanted.
- Reasons we think we will not succeed in life.
- Behaviors we want people to change.
- Standards we expect others to meet.
- Expectations that become demands.
- Disappointments that consume our thoughts.
- Negative self talk.
- Lies we believe about ourselves or others.
- Excuses we make for poor attitudes or behavior.
- Hyper-focusing on failures.
- Dwelling on faults we see in others or ourselves.
- Allowing frustrations and irritations get the best of us.
- Being consumed with fear, worry, or concerns.
- Accusations against ourselves or other people.
- Dwelling on times we believe God let us down.
- Reasons we worry God won’t forgive our sins.
- Prayers we think God didn’t answer.
- Focusing on the things we aren’t good at.
3 Reasons to Let Go of Toxic Thinking
1. Toxic thinking can become an emotional bad habit.
Left unchecked, toxic thinking will make you miserable. Have you noticed that we often keep the longest lists on those we love the most: spouses, parents, siblings, and friends? Sometimes it only takes a critical comment, an unintentional slight, or an angry retort to ignite bitterness. On cue, painful memories flash in our minds as emotions escalate. We bow to familiar accusations that replay like broken records in our heads. Words like always, can’t, and never blast our thoughts as we add another infraction to the list.
- She always lets me down.
- I can’t do this.
- He’ll never change.
- I’ll never be enough.
2. Toxic thinking is a negative filter distorting truth.
Our perspective warps when we relate to God, others, or ourselves based on hurt, resentment, or a lack of forgiveness. Are we keeping tally in an unhealthy way of proving to ourselves resentment is valid? Our list becomes a both a false truth and a cloudy filter through which we interpret life.
3. Toxic thinking influences our speech.
We can begin to echo these words from the book of Job:
“I loathe my very life;
therefore I will give free rein to my complaint
and speak out in the bitterness of my soul. Job 10:1
Have you been there? Are you giving free reign to your complaints? Are you speaking out of the bitterness of your soul?
When it is quiet, and it’s just you and your thoughts, what is your heart saying?
For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. Matthew 12:34-35
Whether our toxic thinking is personal or directed at someone else, this is no way to live. It’s just plain miserable. When you identify unhealthy thoughts that consume our energy and attention, bring your emotions to God. It’s important to learn to process frustration, hurt, anger, and disappointment in healthy ways.
How will you respond to negative thoughts?
Whether we like it or not, awareness of our thoughts brings us to a powerful moment of choice.
- Will you react or respond?
- Will you choose patience or anger?
- Will you resent or forgive?
- Will you move forward or stay stuck?
How often does this powerful moment of choice slip by unnoticed, drowned by mental noise of reciting our lists? [tweetthis]Awareness is the first step to making better choices with our thoughts, words, and actions.[/tweetthis]
A toxic internal list corrodes our soul and complicates our relationships. How much lighter would we feel if we gather the courage to let go of our lists?
What will it take to loosen your grip?
What could happen if you simply remind yourself to let go of your toxic thoughts?
Let’s encourage each other with this simple phrase:
[tweetthis hidden_hashtags=”#toxicthinking #negativethinking”]Let go of your list.[/tweetthis]
Toxic thoughts can prevent us from enjoying life.
Only when we let go of our toxic thinking will we have empty hands and ready hearts to receive God’s blessings. This is an intentional choice we make to obey God and honor others as well as ourselves. Free from our toxic thinking, we can live lightly in the confidence we are loved, valued, and filled in Christ. Without toxic thoughts weighing us down, we find we enjoy life more.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will… Ephesians 1:3-5
Join me next time for a list of Scriptures to combat our toxic lists and negative thinking. Now that’s the kind of list we need to keep!
What type of toxic list do you struggle with?
A Free Resource to Combat Toxic Thinking in Your Life
If negative thinking is a challenge for you, I’ve got a free resource for you in The Deeper Life Collection, my Subscriber Library. Overcome Negative Thinking for a Deeper Life features more information, strategies, encouragement, and 50 Scriptures to blast toxic thoughts from your life. Reflect and pray about one verse each day as you practice the strategies in the book.
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Dig Deeper into Healthy Thoughts and Emotions
Tap into the healing power of practical ways to process thoughts and emotions. Holy in the Moment shares simple ways to build holy habits to overcome anxiety, insecurity, perfectionism, and other challenges that impact our relationships with God, others, and ourselves. Discover practical ways to live in the freedom of your identity in Christ with vibrant faith.
Top Posts to Overcome Toxic Thinking
Enjoy this selection of my most read posts on healthy thoughts and emotions.
- Why Positive Thinking is Good for a Healthy Body, Soul, and Spirit
- How to Identify and Overcome Negative Thinking
- Strategies and Scriptures to Combat Negative Thinking: With Free E-book
- 10 Free Resources for an Emotionally Healthy You