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A Negativity Fast

Have you stopped to consider all the reasons we have to feel anxious, nervous, fretful, and depressed?  Have you thought about all the forces lined up in the attempt to make us feel negative.  Here’s just a short list from a few days worth of news.

Ebola
Enterovirus
Children in college disappearing
FBI Chief warns of impending major terrorist attack
Terrorist groups like ISAL on the move
The Supreme Court punting on the issue of gay marriage
Economics: Inflation – Stagnation – Unemployment
Let’s not even get started on Politics

It’s seems really bad out there

So here’s what I suggest: Let’s All Take A 10-Day Negative Thought Fast

Oh, and let’s ask all our family and friends to join us in the fast.

I found this in an email and it somewhat reminded me of a verse of scripture I preached about recently from Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, through prayers and petition, with thanksgiving, let your request be known to God.  And the peace of God, which passes all human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

This 10-Day Negative Thought Fast, originated by Emmett Fox, one of the most popular self-help authors and speakers of the early 20th century, is an adventure you’ll reap many benefits from.

Here are the rules:

1. If you break any of the other rules, you must start the 10 days over from the beginning. To get the full effect, you must complete 10 consecutive days. Giving up negative thoughts is a little like giving up a drug; you’ve got to stop using them completely, otherwise you haven’t truly quit.

2. You cannot focus on a negative thought or remain in a negative emotional state for more than five minutes. Ideally, the time should be much shorter. Five minutes should be plenty of time to recognize what’s going on and put a stop to it. Remember, even one instance of lingering for more than five minutes means starting over.

3. You must focus on solutions. When the negative thoughts start, the idea is to immediately start contemplating possible solutions. Spend your time solving your challenges instead of focusing on them.

* If you’re like most people, you’ve probably had the same challenges for quite a while without resolution. It’s time to try something else instead of dwelling on what’s wrong.

This sounds deceptively easy, but you may be surprised how difficult it is to give up negativity. We tend to think that worrying helps in some way. But you’ve probably been worrying about a lot of things for a long time and they haven’t improved.

When you’re faced with a negative thought (and there will be many!), the best response is to think to yourself, “How can I solve or improve this challenge?” The point is to immediately begin focusing on solutions. When you ask a good question, you’ll receive good answers.

*  This is where prayer came in during my sermon.  Paul encourage people, in stressful situations, to pray (including offering petitions – seeking Divine help).

Over the 10 days, let’s begin to form a habit of immediately recognizing a negative mental state and then focusing on solutions for what you feel negatively about. If you continue the process after the 10 days are completed, you’ll develop a permanent habit that will only require a minimal amount of maintenance.

You might need several attempts to complete the full 10 days. It’s common to have numerous slips on day one and then a few others later in the process. Refrain from beating yourself up over it. Remember, you’re focusing on solutions.

Taking Your Focus Away From A Negative Thought

One way to help keep the negative thoughts at bay is to ask you positive questions like the following:

* How can I “flip the switch” quickly from negative thoughts to postive thoughts?
* What makes me smile, laugh out loud, sing and celebrate?
* What’s great about today?
* What do I like the most about this?
* What am I most proud of?
* What am I most looking forward to?
* What or who am I most grateful for in my life and why?

Part of the PRAYER that Paul advocated went beyond just bringing petitions (request for guidance or help).  He also included THANKSGIVING.  Three weeks ago, I started a GRATITUDE JOURNAL.  Each day I list 3-8 things for which I am grateful and I celebrate those blessings in my life.  Each day I read this journal and focus on the postive and good God has brought into my life.

If you’re filling your mind with positive thoughts, there’s no room for the negative stuff. And since we can only consciously think about one thing at a time, making the most out of your thoughts makes sense.

Try this 10-day adventure and see if it doesn’t change your life.  It’s made an impact in my life.

Here’s the link to the sermon I preached about this very subject.  http://nieporte.name/anxiety.html

You’ll be so amazed at the results that you’ll never want to go back to the old way of dwelling on the challenges in your life.

So start this process today and change both our lives, and our little corner of the world.

The Seven Day Mental Diet: How to Change Your Life in a Week by: Emmet Fox publisher: Devorss & Co., published: 1935-06-01 ASIN: 0875167381 EAN: 9780875167381 sales rank: 79633 price: $2.97 (new), $14.41 (used)
Change you life in seven days with this simple and direct spiritual plan.The Seven-Day Mental Diet is about throwing out all negativity and thinking only positive thoughts because, as he says, thoughts are things, or they become things. And if you believe that, it follows that everything in your life today is based on past thoughts you had at some point.
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