Overcoming Negative Thoughts


by Mark Sandoval, M.D.

Thoughts like worry, fear, bitterness, and guilt can cripple us emotionally and physically. And unfortunately, many of us have never found the key to freedom from these thoughts. But the solution is simple.

Overcoming negative thoughts comes down to a principle, which I call the displacement principle. It goes some- thing like this: If you are thinking about negative things, think about something else. If I have a negative thought, I simply displace it by actively thinking upon something else.

Suppose that your negative thought or feeling is one of guilt. Maybe you think, “God can never forgive me for what I have done.” What can you replace that with? I would suggest 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Take a 3X5 card, write out the text for 1 John 1:9, along with a prayer of faith like this one: “Lord, thank you for giving me the truth of Your Word. I choose to believe that I am forgiven, because You said so. Thank You for forgiving me.”

Now comes the 4-Second Rule. From the time that you realize you are thinking negatively, you have 4 seconds to pull out your 3X5 card and start reading it out loud. Why out loud? Because “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17. Every time you have the negative thought/feeling, read out loud what is on your 3X5 card, and concentrating on what you are reading. If you get done and the negative thought/feeling is still there, do it again!

This is a battle of the mind. Imagine you are in an old fashioned battle with swords and shields. Now, imagine that the enemy line is advancing toward you, and you leave your sword in its sheath. What will happen to you? You will die. If you take your sword out and take one whack at the enemy with it and put it back in it’s sheath, what will happen to you? You will still die. The only way you will survive the battle is if you use the sword every time the enemy advances. We are told in Ephesians 6:17 that the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. So, every time the thought or feeling comes, use your sword!

If your issue is feeling unloved, take Jeremiah 31:3, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” Write a prayer of faith like this one: “Lord, thank You for giving me the truth of Your Word. I choose to believe that I am loved because You said so. Thank You for loving me.” Every time you recognized that you feel unloved or have a thought of being unloved, you have four seconds to pull out your Jeremiah 31:3 card and read it out loud. If, when you are done, the unloved feeling/thought persists, do it again! Take it from my experience, the battle is fierce early on, but with time, the negative thoughts and feelings become less intense and come less often, until there is a consistent victory over those negative thoughts and feelings.

For other issues, consider these texts. “I can’t do it.” Philippians 4:13. “I’m not worth it.” John 3:16. “I am all alone.” Hebrews 13:5.

Source: From the July 2015,
Uchee Pines Newsletter, "Emphasis: Your Health". You may subscribe to the Uchee Pines Newsletter here.