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4 Steps to Overcoming Toxic Thoughts

Hi, I’m Kris Reece and I confess, I’m a recovering control freak.

I lived many decades of my life trying desperately to control other people and situations. In classic control freak fashion, I would justify all of my actions (and reactions) by saying things like, “I’m just trying to protect you,” and “I’m not angry, I’m passionate.” I was the type who couldn’t take criticism and blamed others for my misfortune.

And I’ll admit that while I am very happy I am no longer that person, I still get tempted to control sometimes. So I was relieved to discover that there is one area where I was still allowed let my control freak flag fly.

In fact, this is one thing we should all be obsessive about controlling—your thoughts.

That’s right, I want you to apply all of your well-honed controlling muscles on taming your mind.

Romans 12:2 and Ephesians 4:23 reminds us that we are to renew our thoughts daily. That means we need to be in control of what we’re thinking, because if you aren’t, the same toxic thoughts will be controlling your life.

There are 4 steps that you can follow to take control of your toxic thoughts:

Step 1: Capture the thought. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says we are to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. The first step in doing this is to continually identify what you’re thinking about and the content of those thoughts -including the feelings.

Step 2: Interrogate the thought. When you notice yourself having a negative thought, ask it questions such as, “Where did you come from?” and “What are you doing here?” Asking these questions can begin to reveal deeper issues—areas of your life that still need healing or old wounds you haven’t let go of.

Step 3: Line it up with Truth.  You can spend a lifetime ignoring truth and believing lies.  I believe that God’s Word is truth.  So, if you’re worrying about finances and God’s word says that He will supply all of your needs (Phil 4:19) that’s a thought that has to go. If He says that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), then that nagging thought to start eating better likely is from God. When you compare your thoughts to God’s word, you know which thoughts to keep and which to get rid of.

Step 4. Rewrite your thought according to the Word of God (truth). Find the scripture that relates to your thought and then put it into your own words and apply it to whatever situation you’re facing. When a thought is in your own words, you’re more likely to believe it. So, create your new thought and keep repeating it out loud, even if you don’t believe it at first.

If you are struggling with toxic thoughts, I want you to know you’re not alone. There is help. I wrote a book called Build a Beautiful Life Out of Broken Pieces to help you overcome those troublesome thoughts and get back in control of your mind and your life.

Your Friend,
Kris

P.S.  Not sure if your thoughts are toxic?  Find out here – Take the FREE assessment to see “How Toxic are Your Thoughts”

15 replies
  1. Cathy McIntosh
    Cathy McIntosh says:

    I LOVE #2 – Interrogate your thought. “Where did you come from?” “What are you doing here?” That’s a powerful recommendation that will shine light on the source of the thought. If it’s encouraging and uplifting, it’s probably from God. If it’s a thought that tears us down and tries to destroy, it’s absolutely NOT from the Lord. Great post. I struggle with toxic thoughts and appreciate your nudge to overcome.

  2. Dana B
    Dana B says:

    This was very helpful information, especially the tip about rewriting the thought and combatting it with Scripture. Thank you!

  3. Amy
    Amy says:

    As someone who has struggled with anxiety, a HUGE help has been learning how to line up my thoughts with scripture and checking them at the door! It makes all the difference. This was a great post!

  4. Katie Braswell
    Katie Braswell says:

    I love this! I try to take a weekly (sometimes daily) break from lies I’ve been feeding and replacing them with God’s truth. I do this with scripture (like you have done) and actual truths! <3 Encouraging post!

  5. Halee Anthony
    Halee Anthony says:

    Thanks for breaking this down into such a simple four step process. Taking every thought captive sometimes seems like an impossible task, but I know that if the Bible tells me to do it, I can do it with God’s help.

  6. krisreece
    krisreece says:

    Thanks for sharing with us Amy. So glad it can help. Your vulnerability helps others a great deal. Blessings to you!

  7. krisreece
    krisreece says:

    Amen Halee. God never instructs us to do something he doesn’t equip us to do. It’s helpful sometimes to capture the thought in hindsight and work through the process. This helps train us for game time! Thanks so much for sharing.

  8. Aurelie
    Aurelie says:

    Thank you so much for this great and helpful post! You have helped me to stop and view my negatives thoughts which I have been struggling with. It is so true and interesting to line up with the Truth and see the Scripture related to my thoughts.
    Thank you, God, for always hearing me out!

    God bless you!!

  9. krisreece
    krisreece says:

    Thank you Aurelie for sharing your heart and your encouraging words. So true, God always hears us out (even when no one else wants to 😉 Blessings to you!

  10. Jennifer Love
    Jennifer Love says:

    This is a practical, great process and is for EVERYONE! Thanks for putting this together! And with it, Waiting to hear the Lord speak these answers to our hearts. The more I’ve come to anticipate that, the more it is happening. The truth will set us free! 🙂

  11. Olu
    Olu says:

    Awesome Kris,
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and tips. I am a recovering people pleaser and it was only after I started paying attention to my thoughts that I realized I had been allowing weed (unwanted plants) to grow for too long. Thank God for the word. In my recent podcast episode, I interviewed another lady that has done a lot of work in the area of renewing your mind. I enjoyed talking to her.

  12. krisreece
    krisreece says:

    Thank you for sharing Olu and yes, thank God for His word to line up with because our thinking takes us down a wrong road. Blessings to you!

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