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Motivational Life Coaching Corner: Retraining Your Brain to Think on Those Things that Are Good, Lovely, Praiseworthy, and Peaceful


I have been on a journey for several years to get disciplined in every area of my life. I have been able to get disciplined in being an early riser, exercising, eating healthier, cutting back tv, but my thinking, well that’s been an ongoing attempt that so far has not been as successful as the other areas I have disciplined. 

I wondered what was causing me to have such trouble disciplining my mind. I mean I desperately wanted to, but every attempt to do so ended up in my total frustration that I could not master this area as quickly as I did the other areas. But here I am again believing that if I could discipline myself in other areas, my thoughts could be as well. 


What I have realized is that some areas in our lives will be more challenging to discipline, especially if you have an ingrained pattern of doing something. For instance, my pattern of focusing on the negative for so long has changed my brain. I now have to retrain my brain from the pathway that has been formed in my brain from repeatedly focusing on the negative, and this is no easy task by any means. It will take work and lots of it! 




Let’s get one thing super clear: You can retrain your brain! Your brain is considered to be neuroplastic, meaning it can change! However, there is a process that you will go through as you begin retraining your brain. Many people stop working at disciplining their minds because there is not a true understanding of this process.


When you retrain your brain, it is important to focus on the good aspects of your life. That’s why I recommend retraining your brain to think about those things that are good, lovely, praiseworthy, and peaceful (paraphrase Philippians 4:8-9). When you focus on what the Word of God says your outcome of success in rewiring your brain will be much higher.


There are some things to consider when attempting to retrain your brain. This will help you not to get discouraged in the process, and stop before you see success.


  1. You have to become aware of your thoughts. Look for patterns of repetitive thinking. Pay attention to habitual thoughts. Ask yourself if what you are thinking is helpful to you. 

  2. Your thoughts begin the moment you wake up. Consider developing a morning routine that includes time for prayer, reading the Bible, and/or worship. Avoid technology, including checking emails and phones. If at all possible limit all “small talk” or talk that is not going to produce the day you would desire. In other words, are you getting up talking about the news, your neighbors, or all that you have to do in your day? Focusing and even writing out what you are thankful for in the morning can stop the automatic negative thinking we often do in the morning. 

  3. The brain rewiring process can take a month, and in others, it can take several months. Studies have shown that it can take 2-6 months of consistent and conscious training for our brains to acquire a new habit and “unlearn” an old way of thinking.

  4. Anything we do repetitively, including thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, gets “wired” into our brains. The more these patterns are repeated, the more hard-wired they become. This applies to physical skills like riding a bike, and it also applies to patterns of thought. If we are repeatedly thinking the same thoughts, the brain “wires” those into long-term storage, and they are repeated automatically. You will need to consciously choose a different repeated way of thinking, and repeat, repeat, repeat this. Become aware of all your thoughts and patterns of thoughts, challenge them, and then focus on the good aspects of what you are thinking. Learning to think about the good in any situation will help you rewire your brain. Maybe that's why scripture says to think about those things that are lovely, a good report, praiseworthy, and peaceful.

  5. Be intentional in scanning your environment for what is lovely, beautiful, peaceful, and that brings you joy. Most of what we do is on autopilot, so you must be intentional about finding the lovely in places and spaces that you are used to.  

  6. If you are perhaps struggling with a negative thought cycle because something has happened in your life either recently or in the past that caused you distress, take the time to do the work of “uprooting” what is causing you to stay stuck in the negative thought cycle. You may need to write out what is bothering you, talk it out with God or someone that you trust (but not ruminate, that is to talk repeatedly about distressing events), reframe what the negative thoughts are revolving around the distressing events, and/or choose to find the good if possible in the distressing times. 


Rewiring your brain is possible. You just need to know ahead of time that you will have to put consistent work into making these changes. Remember to see change in forming new thought patterns it could take several months. Don’t give up if you have an off day or a day you feel you went backward. Get up the next day determined to try again. 


 

📌 Resources:


➡️ If you are struggling to retrain your brain, sign up for my online course on disciplining your mind. You will gain the tools and tips to help you have a more disciplined mind.




✅ Also, check out my book, “Disciplining Your Mind, 30 days to a better you!”



🆓 And, if you additional assistance, I am available for life coaching. Let me come alongside you and get to the “roots” of your negative thinking, and how to progress in disciplining your mind. Your first consultation is completely free!





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Check out my free mini course on forming new habits as well as other free stuff.





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