How I Control My Thoughts

I have discovered a way to control my thoughts. Let me explain.

My therapist explained to me, that I really have no control over the thoughts that enter my mind. As a result, I should not get stressed out or feel guilty when a bad thought appears.

Bad thoughts are not sins.  It all depends on what I do with those thoughts.

As he explained, it's only a thought for the first five seconds. After that, if I continue to entertain that thought, it then becomes a fantasy. And at that point I now own that thought and it can be considered a sin.

However, in the first few seconds no chemicals in my brain are activated and I can remain calm and rational. But after it becomes a fantasy my brain starts producing all those nasty chemicals that feed my emotions and my addiction.

So if I can just get rid of the thought in the first few seconds, I should not feel guilty nor should I suffer any ill effects of the addiction.

So here is the solution I feel was given to me by my Heavenly Father.  When a bad thought enters my mind I say an immediate prayer: “Heavenly Father please help me get rid of this thought. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”  And He does!!!  I don't wait to see where that thought might lead.  I already know where it's going.  I've been there many times before.

So after saying that short prayer, usually within 20 to 30 seconds, that thought is gone!  Later on, even days after, I can still remember exactly where I was when I said that prayer, but I can’t remember the thought.

I'm usually by myself when these thoughts enter my mind, so I often say that prayer out loud. And each time I pray, He blesses me by taking that thought away.

As a result, I have had few real temptations over that last couple of months.


Note #1: A few weeks ago, out of curiosity, I decided to count how many times I said that prayer. It was on a Saturday and I said it five times before I even left the house in the morning. That afternoon I was busy and only said it three more times.  However on a subsequent week day I only said the prayer three times the entire day.

Note #2: This solution works well with bad thoughts. It doesn't work as well with negative emotions such as anger, sadness, loneliness, hurt feelings, self-pity, etc.  For those types of  negative emotions, I still try to follow the steps in "PMS."  Click here for that post.

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