Fifteen minutes to a healthier mind? Yes, please. And believe it or not, taking just a few minutes of effort to improve your mindset really does lead to lasting change when done consistently.
Recently, we looked at 15-minute healthy habits for our bodies. In the next post we’ll look at 15-minute healthy habits for our spirits. This week let’s give attention to our minds. An improved mindset pays big dividends in every area of our lives.
Do not be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what the will of God is, His good, pleasing, and perfect will. Romans 12:2
Doldrums of Life
In 2020 like many people, I was stuck in the doldrums. I lost my spark, struggled with my calling, fought to overcome general anxiety, missed our family get-togethers in a COVID world, and often caught myself thinking gloomy, defeated thoughts.
I’ve talked with a lot of you who felt the same way. Honestly, I think it was a worldwide struggle.
A big takeaway I learned during 2020 and 2021 is I may not have been able to change the circumstances I was in, but I could change my mind.
And you can too.
Yes, I know it’s hard to break bad habits. The enemy of our souls doesn’t want us to do this. Joyce Meyer says in her Battlefield of the Mind Devotional “For the devil to control your life, all he needs to do is to control your thoughts.” (p. 114).
We can’t let him do that!
At first, breaking the habit of negative thinking will feel like swimming upstream. But as we persist a few minutes each day, we’ll make progress.
How To Improve Your Mindset
Be intentional by taking small steps everyday.
1. Recognize that the enemy attacks your mind all the time, so work on winning this battle. How? One of my all-time favorite books is Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer or the Battlefield of the Mind Devotional. Both books are written to read very quickly. You can easily finish a section in just two or three minutes.
My copy is well used, and I frequently go back and read a section to keep it fresh in my mind.
3.Invest in yourself. What is something that that you’ve always wanted to try or learn to do that would bring you and perhaps others joy? Maybe you’ve always wanted to try knitting, acting, painting, learning a language, playing an instrument, writing a book, or ____________(fill in the blank).
Mary has always wanted to learn to play the violin, and about one year ago, she started taking lessons. At first she found it discouraging because she couldn’t play well, and as a musician, this really bothered her. But as she has persisted, her skills are expanding and progressing.
Note: And if you’re using the excuse of being too old to learn a new skill, think again. That’s called a fixed mindset, and it will limit your possibilities. Mary and I are both grandmothers, and we love to learn. Become a lifelong learner. I truly believe when we stop learning, it’s the first step to checking out of life.
2. Speak affirmations over your life. I like to do both scripture-based affirmations and regular affirmations as well. Choose one or two themes/topics that you may be struggling with in your life. Perhaps you would like to improve your job skills in your chosen field. Write an affirmation stating what you want to be true.
For example, I am a writer, and I would like to expand my reach by doing more work in other genres. I recently wrote the following affirmations.
Example #1 I am a skilled writer of magazine articles, books, and blog posts. Editors seek me out.
Example #2 I have a popular line of greeting cards and novelty items.
Example #3. I write blog posts that encourage women and have a wide reach.
Perhaps you struggle with making decisions. Try this:
Example #4 I make the best decisions because I have asked God for wisdom,and He gives it to me generously without finding fault.
4. Try deep breathing. Deep breathing is a wonderful destressing tool for your mind and your body. I recently discovered a Christian app that incorporates some deep breathing into it. It’s called Reflect: Christian Mindfulness.
Try it out. It offers many options such as Bible Reflections, Meditation Basics, Imaginative Contemplations, Lectio Divina, Reflective Prayer, Stress & Anxiety, and Christmas Reflections.
How’s It Working for Us?
We’ve both made significant progress in improving our mindsets. Much of the time, I’m able to catch those negative thoughts and replace them with the truth of who God says He is, I am, or how He’s working in my life.
The affirmations we pray over ourselves each day are beginning to seep into our minds, and I am excited about the opportunities that God will open up for us. We both invest in ourselves through music lessons, professional classes to help us level up our skills, and by investing time in Bible study and prayer opportunities online and at our churches.
Next time you catch yourself trapped in a gloomy thought pattern, decided to do better. You now have some action steps to put into play to improve your mindset. Try one and watch how God reshapes your life.
Apply: Decide to read one of the books, write an affirmation, learn something new, or try the Reflect app — and let us know how it’s going with a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!
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