Today’s Gold Nugget: THINKING
What is your stress level? I want to share with you how your thinking can work against you or for you.
A couple of weeks ago I ran into a real challenge at work where I could not get the right lighting, details, angles, and background to photograph some intricate vintage retro glass ashtrays. I was getting so frustrated, even to the point of hating photographing glass, especially these Murano ones. As I was getting more frustrated, I became totally stressed out and started blaming these ashtrays for my out-of-control state. It took me almost all afternoon to finish this task. I uploaded these pictures on E-Bay and called it a day even though they looked horrible and dark.
The next day I still had the same feeling of hate about photographing glass. Then Dave saw my work and got mad because what I did was unacceptable. Excellence is our policy. And what I did was far from excellence. So, he gave me a lesson on lighting and backgrounds. After all, he went to a photography school, and he understood it.
After the lesson, I got it and said “Well, I know it was a big challenge, but now I do not hate photographing Murano glass anymore or any glass as a matter of fact. I change my mind”. Do you know that after saying these words the stress and frustration totally subsided and disappeared? Peace and joy were restored. Wow! This showed me how your thinking affects your feelings and stress level. Your state of mind is everything. Your thinking makes you who you are. Your “thought patterns” create your own world.
If you constantly work yourself up by getting frustrated, irritated, angered or anxious, fearful, etc. you release hormones like Cortisol and raise your levels of adrenaline. Doing so on a daily basis will make your body and mind sick. Sickness like digestive problems, ulcers, migraines, lack of focus, fertility, constipation, diarrhea, etc…Not fun!
Is there an area or something that really stresses you out? A challenge in your business or at work, health challenges, a relationship going bad, ruminating about past negative experiences, addiction of any kind, or even world events such as inflation and gas prices, wars and rumors of war, shortages, or a bear stock market?
The truth is, it’s not your circumstance that stresses you out. It’s the way you think about it, the way you react to it. Yes, my friend, you can choose what to think and how to react or behave. You can choose to accept or reject what comes to your mind. Thoughts and feelings will come, but you don’t have to yield to anything contrary to what God says, to what is good for you, to your values, etc. You can think on purpose and you can act on purpose.
The lesson to be learned is one change in your thinking can put you back in the right direction. Your thinking works for you when you avoid speaking words like, “I can’t help what I’m thinking or what I’m feeling” or “I’m going out of my mind!”. Instead, say, “My mind is my mind. I can think what I want to think. I choose to think God’s thoughts. His Word renews my mind and I believe something good will happen to me today.”
You will ask me, “Well, what would you have done differently before getting all frustrated and out of shape photographing these ashtrays?” Good question! When I saw I couldn’t get the pictures right, I should have stopped and thought about it for a few minutes, not kept on trying, getting more frustrated and out of shape. Calling Dave for help would have been the right step to take. The truth is, when you are in a stressful state of mind you cannot think straight, and you cannot make good and appropriate decisions. It only comes through remaining calm and thinking things through.
The Word talks a lot about the mind area. Once you are saved, the challenge begins. Your spirit is saved but not your mind and the Lord wants you to work on it. He calls it the renewing of your mind.
So, if you have lost your mind because of your circumstances, it’s time to gain it back. By doing so, you will once again experience peace and joy in your daily living.
Remember this, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. So, let’s STOP the insanity by asking the Lord to reveal the next step and wait for an answer.
I am confident that you, with God’s help, can do this!
How your thinking can work for you by meditating on these things:
2 Corinthians 10:3-5