Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Controlling Your Thoughts, Bracelet Edition

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he... - Proverbs 23:7

After finding myself in a state of exhausted depression earlier in the year, I knew I had to change some things—and getting serious about controlling my thoughts was at the top of the list. Nothing else would change permanently if I didn't get this critical piece under control. I needed to learn to take "every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5) EVERY thought. 

I've been doing pretty well, but as with most things in life, there's always room for improvement and growth. 

One morning this last weekend, after some quality time with my Dad, I was pumped and joyous. Straight up ready to conquer the world, lounge gear and all. By the afternoon, I was so on edge, I couldn't even stand to be around myself! How did I go from yay to blah in a few short hours? THOUGHTS. (Surprise, surprise...)

I don't remember where I let it slip, but I do know it was something minor. The small things are absolutely just that. But, if I don't handle them right away, they'll it sit in my head and travel along the pothole-laden roads of Crudville, gaining speed as they take the ramp into Dunlostmymindton. 

So, there I sat, frustrated. I apologized to my family. I got out my scriptures and put my mind on them. Then I asked the Lord—still feeling exasperated—for some help on how to better remind myself to check my thoughts. 

The answer came immediately (He's so merciful, seriously): wear a bracelet, and every time you notice it, ask yourself: "What am I thinking about right now?" If good stuff, carry on, soldier. If not, get to thinkin' on something positive, pronto. 

I ran to my office, snagged my rubber New England Patriots bracelet, and squeegeed it onto my wrist as fast as I could.

I don't wear bracelets every day, so they grab my attention easily. Today, I realized I had become used to the rubber bracelet and put on the clunky number you see in the picture below. (Bonus feature: it has made me more acutely aware of the presence of fine hairs on my wrist.)

So, what would work for you? A reminder popping up on your phone? A sticky note stuck to something you handle on a regular basis? Let me know what other ideas pop up for you!