Have you noticed high stress levels that seem to be perpetuated by overall negative themes of how life seems to be going or how you think or feel about yourself? God knows that our minds are programmed to act and process things in a manner influenced by our experiences. That is why God encourages us to actively re-route our thinking to adjust our behaviors and improve our wellbeing (Philippians 4:8, Isaiah 26:3).
One well known and widely used psychotherapeutic technique is cognitive behavioral therapy. A simple description of this is that our underlying core beliefs (about ourselves, about life, which may often be negative or distorted) tend to generate automatic thoughts that have certain themes, and these tend to be major driving forces of our emotional states and behavior. Therapy can help us to correct things as therapists can systematically help us identify thinking errors and assist in planning to change things.
What other tools do we have to correct dysfunctional thinking patterns and build new healthier ones?
1. Using the word of God as a mirror to identify negative themes/patterns in our own lives and counterbalance those negative thoughts with God’s word.
2. Use friends, families and especially mentors that can give you another perspective and lens to interpret things differently (Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend”) - So, we are to bear each other's burdens and share love by sharing our gifts with each other and collectively our strengths and weakness will balance one another.
3. Take good care of your body: eat healthy, get adequate sleep, exercise, and engage in enjoyable activities to give your brain and body the fighting chance of combating the inevitable stress that life throws at us! The more you are in a negative emotional state, the easier it will be for you to give a less favorable interpretation of events, possibly even things that are quite obviously out of your control or haven't quite played out yet.