Thought /thôt/ – Noun: an idea, opinion, or picture formed in the mind about the past, future, or present.
Thunk /thəngk/ – Noun: a pre-thought thought. An idea that is not original.
A.N.T. (Automatic Negative Thought) /ant/ – Noun: gloomy, cynical, negative, complaining and depressing thoughts that are self-defeating in nature. Common ANTs include: guilt-trip, fortune-telling, mind-reading, catastrophizing, filtering and so on.
Af·firm·a·tion /afərˈmāshən/ – Noun: A positive phrase of support or encouragement designed to “program” one’s own mind; a sort of vaccine against automatic negative thoughts.
F.E.A.R. – False Evidence Appearing Real.
H.A.L.T.S. – acronym used to express the idea, “stop and reconsider… don’t make important, pivotal decisions when Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired or Sad.
Beginner Mind /biˈginər mīnd/ – Noun: An attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions, even when studying at an advanced level. From the term Shoshin (初心), originating in Zen Buddhism.
The word thunk was originally used in computer programming circles to refer to an automatically generated “helper” subroutine, whipped up by something we call a compiler during the step between the moment the program is written and the time it is ready to be run.
When we look at our own mind as an inner landscape, then we begin to see that some of our thoughts come up automatically, and that some of these thoughts can drag you down. Thoughts affect behavior, and they also affect your physical health, including blood pressure and stress cortisol.
The growing field of cognitive psychology suggest that we can take charge, recognizing and exterminating Automatic Negative Thoughts, or ANTs, for our own wellness. Common ANTs include: overgeneralizing from negative experience, catastrophising, seeing things in terms of extremes, mistaking feelings for facts, and filtering so as to give greater weight to negative input.
Bible Verses on Thoughts
- Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. – Isaiah 26:3
- For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. – Isaiah 55:8
- Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer – Psalm 19:14
- How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! – Psalm 139:17
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. – Proverb 3:5
- Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. – Proverb 4:23
- Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. – Matthew 22:37
- For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. Mark 7:21-22
- Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. – John 14:1
- For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. – Proverb 23:7
- And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. – Romans 12:2
- For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. – 2 Cor 10:3-6
- Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. -1 Peter 5:8-9
- For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. – 2 Tim 1:7
- From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. – James 4:1-7
Taking Charge of Thunks
Unless you think about your thoughts, they’ll remain automatic. But you CAN take charge. Here are some good ways:
- Ask the helpful question, “do I believe everything I think?” Pre-thought thoughts that can be recognized can be rejected, for greater well-being.
- Stop taking an ant’s eye view. Kill the personalizing ants by remembering it’s not all about you. Everyone else is likely caught in the same ant’s eye view. What is a point of view, after all, except a view from a point? So, take a God’s eye view.
- HALT. This stops the KNEE JERK ANTs when you remember to never make a decision when hungry, angry, lonely or tired. Step back. Five breaths. Sleep on it. Take a walk around the block. Take a cold shower.
- Try affirmations, such as “every day, in every way, I am getting better and better, by the grace of God.”
- Cultivate a prayer life. A healthy prayer life will help you let go of blame and grow in gratitude. It will be easier to notice and crush the
- “Blame ANTS” … crush blame ants with forgiveness. The Lord’s Prayer teaches that we are forgiven as we forgive, and to leave blame aside.
- “Always/Never ANTs” … crush these wallowing-in-self-pity ants, cultivating an attitude of gratitude. All things ultimately will work together for our good.
- “guilt shower ants” … the prayerful message that “God is Love, and I was created in God’s living image. Jesus was willing to live and die for me because of His great love. He loves me still. There is no condemnation in Him. Only love and grace.”
- Carnival ANTs – the mind-readers and fortune tellers. None of us can know the future, nor what’s going on in someone else’s head. You can’t know why they’re behaving badly at you, so don’t assume anything about what that means about you.
See also the related WebDefs entries, such as that on wisdom.
What are WebDefs?
WebDefs – simple definitions of key terms relating to ministry and healing arts – are a regular feature of NHM Ministrants. Offered in conjunction with select key scriptural passages and analysis, WebDefs can be a useful starting place for exploring a topic of interest.