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Ending Mind(less) Chatter

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” Philippians 4:8 NIV.

In the book Chatter, author Ethan Kross writes that the inner conversations we have with ourselves can make us happy, healthy, or kill us. Diseased inner dialogue convinces people to take their own lives every day of the week.

Our mental chatter directly affects our emotions. If we’re feeling bad, we’re thinking bad, which means we’re saying bad things to ourselves, often without knowing it. We treat ourselves in ways we’d never think of treating others, at least not intentionally. What we’re constantly thinking cannot help but show up in our health, relationships, and productivity.

Kross says, “Using the mind to engage with our thoughts and feelings in the wrong ways can lead professional athletes to forget the skills they’ve spent their careers perfecting.” Our runaway brains can cause us to make bad decisions that ruin lifelong relationships and rip families apart. Every horrible report we see on the evening news started somewhere as negative self-talk.

But we have the power to curb the incessant spew of negativity in our minds. We can learn to watch it like a detached observer, another of us who stands outside the brain and who can hear everything going on inside. Try this. Close your eyes and wait for thoughts to start floating up in your mind. You can actually experience them as they rise up like champagne bubbles from the subconscious. If your rising thoughts are positive, uplifting, and spurring you on to good things, you’re good to go. If not, go to work changing the stream from negative to positive. God gave us this superpower.

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