stop the snowballing of negative thoughts

We’re up at “teeny, tiny red cabin” for a few days.

As I was driving down a back country road yesterday, I was listening to a financial advisor give some pointers about avoiding money mistakes. He said that when we mess up the first time, there are relatively small consequences, (like if we overspent on a meal), the second time we mess up (like maybe buying something expensive, like  an upgrade to our smart phone we can’t afford), the consequences are greater and last longer.

He stated that if we keep following this pattern, our consequences become greater and they last longer. “Pretty soon”, he said, “we’re in a financial mess that will take years to dig out of.”

I immediately thought about depression and thought to myself, “I’ve got to blog about this,” because the exact same principles that apply to not controlling our spending apply to not controlling our thoughts as well. The consequences become larger and larger.

For example, our negative  thoughts. If we don’t catch them early on they can snowball right into one giant ball and careen over every thing. They roll over our good intentions. They roll over any positive feelings we have. They can even damage our relationships.

Let’s say we start our morning by giving into some negative thinking. If we were to stop it right then, we’ll maybe have only lost a few moments of the day.

Let’s say we continue on and it’s noon. Well, if we were to nip our thoughts in the bud then, we’d have lost about half a day. Not good but not too disastrous either.

But let’s say we wallow in our negativity all day. We can still put a stop to our destructive thoughts and retrieve some of the day but it’s going to be a lot harder than it would have been had we corralled them early on. (I am NOT talking about pretending there aren’t negative people and situations we have to deal with but letting our moods and sour thinking run away with us won’t help deal with them anyway.)

For myself, I’ve often found that if I continue to dwell on the wrong things and don’t catch myself early on, not only is my day pretty well ruined, so is my night and very possible the next day. That’s because our destructive thoughts can be very tenacious. They don’t want to give up their home once they’re comfortable.

It’s kind of like a person’s eating habits. (mine, to be precise).

If I start eating bad in the morning I kind of set myself up for craving sweets the rest of the day. If I keep this up I might well put one one or two pounds. It’s easier to lose a pound or two than ten. Ten is easier to lose than twenty, etc. It’s so much easier to handle things before they get out of control.

It’s the same way with depression. It’s so much easier to clip the wings of your depressed mood before it soars away with you than it is to catch it once it’s out of your reach. The scriptures say in Proverbs 23:7 that “as we think in our hearts, so we are.” Think negatively and keep doing on thinking that way and that’s what you become. So today, decide that you will change your negative and moody thinking as soon as you are aware of it.

Your day will go so much smoother.

Tomorrow I’ll talk more about how to do that.

God bless and have a good day.