So, something hit me the other day – and it was one of those instances where after it happened it was like, “why did I not think of this before now?”
It started at lunch the other day – Dean and I were discussing a friend of mine who is pregnant and having some anxiety about her pregnancy and about being a good mother. I don’t think this is highly unusual, but I remembered that during my pregnancy I really did not have that much anxiety, (at least compared to my anxiety after Calvin was born!) I attribute a lot of this to the fact that most everything went “right” during my pregnancy – my checkups were always good and I never had circumstances that really made me worry about my or my baby’s health.
Dean, however, reminded me that during my pregnancy, I was actively doing my Hypnobabies program daily – part of which entailed listening to a 30 minute MP3 track called “Joyful Affirmations.” So for 5 months before I gave birth, I was constantly listening to phrases like, “pregnancy is natural, normal, healthy and safe” and “my body is giving my baby everything he needs.” I listened to those tracks up to the day Calvin was born … and then I stopped. And those of you who have followed my other blog posts know that four weeks later I was admitted to the hospital for severe postpartum depression.
How powerful are thoughts? My friend, Sarah, and I are reading a book together called, Think Good. It has challenged me to be more observant of what I am thinking about throughout the day, and has reminded me how my thoughts can affect my mood, anxiety levels, and behavior. One activity the book challenged us to do was to keep a thought journal for 24 hours – and while this honestly was impossible due to, well, life, I did attempt it. When I looked back over it, I found many more thoughts of worry, anxiety, and jealousy than I did of contentment, thankfulness, and peace.
How powerful are your thoughts? There are lots of verses in the bible that encourage mediating on good and positive things.
One of my favorites is in Philippians – Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Psalm chapter 1 says – But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.
Growing up I remember warnings about watching bad t.v. shows or listening to bad music because it would “affect me.” I also remember rolling my eyes at that and thinking it didn’t affect me. (Think back to Jennifer Connelly in Labrinth – “You have no power over me!”)
But I think God, being wiser than me, knows that the things I spend my time thinking about and listening to or watching will most certainly affect me – which is why He wants me to think about good and pure and beautiful things.
So… how powerful are your thoughts? It hit me that maybe finding 30 minutes a day to listen to positive affirmations really would make a difference in my life. I stopped listening to my “Joyful Affirmations” because it was only meant for the time while I was pregnant. What I didn’t consider was that there are many more ways to incorporate affirmations into my life no matter what stage of life I am in – and many good reasons to do so!
All that being said, I have downloaded two different meditation and positive affirmation apps, and am planning on taking time to listen to them daily. If I end up liking them I’ll try to write a review on here later!
I will write an update on how it’s going in a few weeks – in the meantime, if any of you have any positive affirmation apps or techniques please share them with me! I’m looking forward to seeing positive change in my thoughts and in my life!
4 thoughts on “Think Happy Thoughts”
Erica, this is great. What a wonderful reminder! Please keep us posted on what apps and habits you find most helpful.
Thanks, Gretchen! I want to write another post about specifics, but I did think of that book you loaned to me about Mindfulness – the two apps I’m using right now are HeadSpace and ThinkUp – only the free versions so far but I know the pay versions offer so much more. I’m debating subscribing.
What I would suggest is keeping tabs on things to be thankful for, even things as mundane as waking up healthy in the morning, having shoes to wear, silverware to eat with. I know it sounds silly, but so often we are blind to the millions of blessings we are surrounded by every day. When I focus on the things I have to be thankful for (and actually thank God for them) my attitude is completely different. I’ve recently noticed how many times Paul writes that we should be thankful, the main one that I think of is also in Philippians: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition *with thanksgiving* present your requests to God…”
Great suggestion, Sherry! Thanks for your comment. I love the book of Philippians – it has so many simple and yet challenging things in it! One of my favorite verses is Phil 2: 14-15 where it talks about doing everything without complaining or arguing – a simple idea but so hard to do.