I often find myself in moments of intense thought. I will see or hear something that will spark a thought, but that is not the end. This thought will take a journey through my mind as I process it and consider storing it. Most will call this moment of intense thought "day dreaming", but that has a positive connotation. Others might say this is just visualization, but that implies that these thoughts are focused and intentional. However, this is not a term for the thoughts that run wild and lead us to be anxious and to worry.
I want to discuss those "wild thoughts" -- the thoughts that create an illusion of our past, present, and future, but are not supported in truth. The reality is that our imaginations, if we let them, can turn against us. It creates within us irrational fear and doubt. We start to treat people differently based on things they have never done. The Bible even advises us on such thoughts. 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us to "take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (NIV). We literally have to catch our thoughts when they start to run away.
Here are some other ways to control our "wild thoughts":
- Meditate. Meditation allows you to look at your thoughts without judging them as they pass through your mind. It gives you an inside look into what is going on in your mind. By incorporating meditation into your daily routine, you will learn how to clear your mind of those harmful thoughts.
- Journaling. Writing down your thoughts helps you to see them more clearly and to think through them rationally.
- Assess your environment. Our thoughts are inspired by what we see and hear. They are also inspired by who we spend our time with. Change the course of your thoughts by changing your circle and what you listen to, watch, and read.
We have to learn how to control our thoughts because thoughts become things and we may begin to manifest these irrational fears and doubts in our lives. By reining in these wild thoughts we can live our lives in the present and without fear.