Saturday, February 26, 2011

Detoxing our Emotions...

One of things that is done in a detox center is to give the person who is in detox a place to express feelings. There is a reason they do this, because those built up emotions and feelings if kept inside become toxic.

Well, in the same way if we are in the process of detoxing our thoughts and our words we have to deal with emotions that have built up possibly over years. Because all those toxic, negative thoughts have been dumping negative emotions into our spirit and soul. I liken it to a garbage can that keeps being filled up but never emptied out. After a while you can't push the stuff down anymore and it begins to overflow and that is the point where we are no longer stuffing our emotions but we are having outbursts of emotion, many times at inopportune times.

In one of the videos I use, the statement is made that - "Unresolved emotions have a high resurrection rate". In other words,if you hide and bury your emotions, the time will come that they will surely come pouring out.

Getting your emotions out creates a healthy environment in our mind and body.

Some signs that you may be holding in our emotions:
    • Irritability
    • Short temper
    • Over reacting
    • Anxiety
    • Frustration
    • Fear
    • Impulsive
    • A desire for control
    • Perfectionism
    • Self-Doubt
So you say, "Ok I get it, I'm holding in my emotions. So how do I get them out?" I'm glad you asked. What you don't do is begin to explode on everybody.

You need to develop some ways to express emotions appropriately, in an environment that is safe, accepting and non-judgmental.

Here are some suggestions:
  1. Although most people know this helps they don't do it - but if you have emotions that are stuck this will work... WRITING OUT YOUR FEELINGS. Take some time each week to sit down and either journal or just get a piece of paper and write out how you feel and why and with who. Then if you are afraid someone will see it shred it or tear it up. The main thing is to get that built up STUFF out.
  2. Talk to someone. This needs to be a safe, non-judgemental person who will mostly just listen. Again, you are emptying out the garbage and possibly may get some new perspectives as you talk.
Some other ways that people dump emotions appropriately
    • writing poetry
    • drawing
    • typing on a computer
    • talking to yourself on a computer camera
    • exercise and talk to yourself why you are exercising
The main point here is to empty out negative emotions on a regular basis.

Next post: Detoxing our Emotions: Letting go of unforgiveness.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Detoxing our Words...

If we are going to talk about changing our thoughts we have to talk about the words we speak also, as they go hand in hand. Your words come from your thoughts and they influence the circumstances of your life. Just like the negative thoughts, negative words also cause your to release negative chemicals into your brain. Negative words reinforce the negative thoughts which in many cases will reinforce a negative memory. (remember our negative memory strongholds from last post)

We not talking about "positive self-talk" here. Alot of self-talk is speaking a positive but not believing the positive in our mind and heart. For this to work you both have to speak it and believe it in your mind.

So how do we do this? We do it by changing our attitude about the negatives in our past or our present by changing our thoughts about it and our speech about it;

First, we don't pretend things are great when they aren't.
We acknowledge that an issue exists

Second, we consider how we can cope with it. (We come up with a plan)

Third, we decide whether we can do it alone or if we need help.

There are some past issues that sometimes have a root that needs to be talked about and healed from but many times we can begin to see our circumstances(whether past or present) in a different more positive way and we begin to think more positively - we will speak more positively and then we actually grow a new memory over the painful one - The old one won't go away but the new one will be more in the forefront and this new memory will see the circumstance in a new light, a positive one. Its not just speaking or thinking positively that makes the difference it is when we finally begin to believe it is true.

This is where, if this is a struggle we need to see ourselves as God sees us and we need to see our circumstances whether past or present in the framework of His plan for our lives. We can choose to look at these in the positive light of how these circumstances have caused us to grow, become better people, become strong and closer to Him. In every circumstance, I truly do believe we can find a positive and frame a bad memory or a bad circumstance into a good thought and experience. It is a choice.

Genesis 50:20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.

Next Post: Detoxing our Emotions.....

Friday, February 18, 2011

Thoughts Detox Eval cont.

The next step in the evaluation process is to look at three thoughts that seem good and positive but if we believe them unconditionally they can create conflict and stress in our life.

The statements are:
  • I must do well
  • You must treat me well
  • The world must be easy
Although these seem like harmless thoughts in real life no one does well all the time, everyone is mistreated at times and life is not easy or fair.

So when we think "I must do well" it can generate feelings that are not good for you. Expecting unrealistic performance from yourself and others creates a negative effect on your mental and physical health. Notice I said "unrealistic" as I am not saying that we do not do our best or achieve many good things in life.

But if you base your thought life on these 3 statements it will create toxic thoughts and emotions.
So the next part of our evaluation is a realization that we need to let go of unrealistic thinking. Another word for this is "Expectations" We need to do all we can to improve and take care of ourselves, physically, emotionally and spiritually but we need to be realistic about what real life is and how people are and the world is.

Here is how toxic thoughts affect us:
  • Thoughts create your mood
  • When you experience a negative emotion you will feel depressed or anxious
  • A negative thought linked to emotional turmoil will be distorted
There are 4 simple techniques involved in this first step to controlling our thought life:
  1. Understanding how a thought forms. Everything starts with a thought.
  2. You have to consciously become aware of your thoughts - this will actually activate a "strainer" in your brain that will begin over time to "highlight" your thoughts. In other words, bring the thoughts to the forefront of the brain so you can quickly recognize them.
  3. Make a conscious decision to accept the thought (if it is good for you - produces good feelings, or creates action ) or reject the thought (if it is bad for you - creates toxic emotions and paralyzes you emotionally) For best results talk to yourself out loud.
  4. Deal with emotional strongholds. A stronghold is a belief that is strongly upheld - if you have some of the memories you have created toxic beliefs and emotions in you it becomes a stronghold in your brain and in your thought process. The way you combat this it to create positive, healthy thinking to replace those toxic thoughts and memories. Correct, positive thinking actually "grows" your brain and new connections.
Next post we will talk about how the words we speak work hand in hand with our thoughts

Monday, February 14, 2011

Thought Detox Evaluation

When you are admitted into a detox program one of the first things they do is give you an evaluation. This is to give the staff an idea of where some of the root problems are coming from.

In the same way as we are planning to detox our thought process we need to do an evaluation so we can know where specifically the problem lies.

So today we will do our evaluation.

Today list the following patterns in your thought life:

1. How many times have you said or thought, " could-have, should-have or would-have today?
2. How many times have you inwardly thought "if only"
3. How many scenarios have you thought and created of an unpredictable future?
4. How many times have you played over a conversation or situation that is painful to you?
5. Are you going through the motions of the day not really having a goal.
6. Are you forming a personal identity around a problem or disease? Do you say things like, 'my arthritis", my heart problem" "my unhappy marriage" my problem child"
7. Do you ever make comments like, "nothing ever goes right for me" "everything I do fails', my life is always a mess"
8. Are you honest with yourself?
9. Do you spend alot of time speculating about things (forming an opinion on something with out evidence of it being true)
10. Do you allow your mind to be passive? (allowing it to drift and go where it wants to go without limits and challenges)

If you answered yes to even one of these you need to check yourself into "Thought DETOX!'

Consciously controlling your thoughts is the Main Step of detoxing your thoughts. Your part in this is to learn to not allow thoughts to rampage through your mind but to analyze a thought before you accept or reject it.

You have to take the time to look at your thoughts. Research has shows that an environment in your brain or positive, healthy thoughts can lead to significant structural changes in the brains cortex in only 4 days.

Just remember that just like detoxing from a harmful substance is hard and you want to go back to the substance because even though it hurts you it is a habit that is comfortable and feels safe for you - the same if true for your thoughts - your old patterns and habits in your thinking are comfortable and safe and you will at first want to return back to them even though they are hurting you - this will take:

1. You admitting you have a thought problem
2. Preserving to keep going even when you fall
3. Acknowledging that even though you have certain practical things you must do, it is God would will give you the strength and ability to carry it through and heal any areas that need to be healed in your thinking. To continually ask Him to help you in this process.

Next post we will discuss what to do after the evaluation is done - The next step in Detoxing our Thoughts.

We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity. 2 Corinthians 10:5b (the message)

Some information in this post is taken from " Who Switched off My Brain?" by dr. caroline leaf

Friday, February 11, 2011

Detoxing Your Thoughts

Many of you are familiar with the 12 step programs for those with chemical addictions.  Well, an unhealthy thought life is just another type of chemical addiction or habit.  It involves good or bad chemicals being released in our brains and affecting our spirit, soul and body.  So today we are going to talk about "Detoxing" our thoughts.

I do want you to know that this is not just something that I believe is a good thing, but something I have done in my own life.  I am not perfect and never will be but when I look at where I used to be and where I am now I would say I am definitely a recovering negative thought addict.

In my 20's and 30's I was a very negative, depressed person.  Most people would not have known that as I wore a great 'happy" mask.  In my 40's life got a little crazy and many of life circumstances turned my very even keel little world upside down and I had to make a decision.  The decision was if I continue to be depressed and negative then these events were going to destroy me.  I would not be able to cope.  Or I could decide to begin to work on my thoughts and create with God's help a more positive, healthy way of coping and looking at life even in the mist of very difficult circumstances.  I really believe that decision has saved my life in many ways.  I know my health is better because of it but I am a more emotionally stable and healthy person also as a result. 

Again, I want to stress I still go down those trails of negativity sometimes but I usually catch it before it goes too far.  The key is not to eliminate negative thoughts because that is impossible but the key is to control them and catch them before they grow.

For example - I used have an negative, unhealthy thought enter my mind.  Maybe a worry or someone offended me or I became anxious about something then I began to FEEL the emotion of it, then it could be hours and sometimes days and at the worse weeks that this thing would consume me.  Now when that thought enters my mind and the emotion or feeling begin to erupt,  I am very aware - to the point that I begin to battle it immediately - On the occasion I allow it some growth it still doesn't form to adulthood :)  probably stop it in the toddler stage. 

The awareness of your thoughts becomes a habit over time - a very good habit. 

Next post we will talk about some questions we need to ask ourselves before we start the DETOX process of our brain.

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

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Controlling our Thoughts and Emotions

I'm Back!!!  After doing a month of financial stuff I had to take a week to recover.....  :)  Just kidding.  It's been very busy here and I was contemplating my next blog post and where I want to go with it. 

Well, I do not have anything new to share but I have decide to return to a subject that I have posted on a couple other times.  It is a subject that we always need to work on and need constant reminders about.  It is about our thoughts and emotions. 

As someone who has the opportunity to talk to about of people about their problems - I see such a correlation between being a healthy person in our spirit, soul and body and how we think.  I have been reading and getting any information I can get my hands on about how our thinking controls and effects just about every part of our spirit, soul and body - which is every part of us. 

Here are some statistics to get us started:

  • When your happy or thinking good things your brain releases "feel-good" chemicals.
  • When you are thinking sad, fearful or angry thoughts your brain releases a different type of chemical - those that are damaging to our bodies
  • 87% of illnesses can be attributed to our thought life and approximately 13% to diet, genetics and environment. 
  • Studies link more chronic diseases to an epidemic of toxic emotions in our culture than ever before.  They cause migraines, hypertension, strokes, cancer, diabetes, infections and allergies to name a few.  These illness are increasing worldwide.
  • Depression is linked to a risk of cancer and heart disease
  • Anxiety/fear  is linked to IBS, headaches and heart problems.
  • 75% to 90% of visits to primary care physicians result from stress-related disorders
Are you convinced that it is important for you to get control of your thoughts and emotions.  We all have times where we will struggle with depression, anxiety, fear or anger but it is when we stay there too long that it begins to have these damaging affects on us.  We need to move through these emotions quickly and not get stuck in some negative pattern. 

What we will be talking about for a few days or weeks is "coping strategies" to help avoid a build up of these "toxic" thoughts and emotions.  Effective coping strategies will detoxify your brain and give you back control of your body and mind. 

It is possible to lead an emotionally happy and physically healthy life by simply learning to control your thoughts. 

A couple books I recommend on this subject and will be pulling some information out of are:
Who Switched off my Brain? by Caroline leaf
Battlefield of the Mind  by Joyce Meyers 

Philippians 4:8 Begin to think on the Word or begin to sing a praise song to God. Make a conscious effort to fill your mind with good, pure, wholesome, and lovely thoughts.