I sometimes have clients who are interested in incorporating aspects of their spiritual beliefs into treatment. I learn a lot from clients and their beliefs, either in what exists or what does not exist. I learn to appreciate their view of faith or Higher Power and I have learned not to judge those beliefs, but instead to ask them to share more.
In her book Battlefield of The Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind by Joyce Meyer, she talks a lot about how addressing our thoughts can help improve our life. Meyer is an established Christian Author and Bible teacher who shares her word through various ministries. Although her book is written from a Christian perspective with several references to scripture in the Bible, Meyer shared information that even those who do not subscribe to her faith can relate to.
Meyer described our minds as battlefields and stressed the importance of our thoughts and words and how they impact our lives, whether in a negative or positive way. Meyer suggested that “our actions are a direct result of our thoughts. If we have a negative mind, we will have a negative life.”
I shared this book with a client in the past who identified “God” as the Higher Power and was at the time, struggling with replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts. It was a constant battle to let go of the negative thoughts and the client was very open about discussing how faith in the Higher Power may help with the struggle. The book provided valuable discussion points for the client, and I would like to share some of them with you.
* Our past may explain why we are suffering, but we must not use it as an excuse to stay in bondage
* You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind
* It’s easy to quit; it takes faith to go through
* Your mind plays an important part in your victory
* Often the real problem behind a lack of comprehension is a lack of attention caused by a wandering mind
* It is absolutely impossible to worry and live in peace at the same time
* Judgment and criticism are fruits of a deeper problem- pride
*Your future is not determined by your past or your present
* Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting
* We need to learn to enjoy where we are while we are on our way to where we are going
One thing that I enjoyed about the material in Meyer’s book is that it reminds me a lot of the concepts of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) developed by Dr Aaron T Beck. Changing thoughts from negative to positive or from unhealthy to healthy can improve your life and help you make a positive transition. Although it is true that not all changes are easy, some are necessary.
What are some things that have helped you move from unhealthy to healthy thoughts? What strategies can be used when faced with a mind that is a “battlefield”?