Sunday, May 21, 2017

Why You Feel the Way You Do

Your feelings follow your thoughts like a caboose lags behind a locomotive. If your "thought locomotive" goes into the valley, then your "feelings caboose" will follow it into the valley. But if the locomotive goes up a mountain, the caboose lags behind the train at first but it will eventually follow it up the mountain

Here’s a test to show how thoughts affect moods:

1. When I’m happy, I’ve been thinking _______________ thoughts.
2. When I’m sad, I’ve been thinking ________________ thoughts.
3. When I’m angry, I’ve been thinking _______________ thoughts.
4. When I’m depressed, I’ve been thinking _____________ thoughts.

The answers are: 1. happy 2. sad 3. angry 4. depressing
Do you see the correlation between the way you think and the way you feel? What you think about produces the mood you are in. Your thoughts tell your emotions what to do. Emotions simply respond to the information that is fed to them.

If you watch a horror movie, you’ll be afraid even though you know the movie isn’t real. If you watch a sad movie, you’ll cry. A comedy will make you laugh and put you in a happy mood. If you’re depressed, it’s because you've been dwelling on depressing thoughts. Some depression is caused by other factors, but it’s primarily caused by dwelling on negative thoughts, which produces the feelings of depression.

What you think about is the problem, but it’s also the solution to the problem. If your thoughts affect your emotions, then your moods can be reversed by changing the way you think. Philippians 4:8 tells us to dwell on positive, healthy thoughts. Paul says, “Rejoice in the Lord always; I will say it again, rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4). Thinking positively releases endorphins that correct the chemical imbalances caused by depression. Although God didn't explain to us the medical reasons for rejoicing, He did tell us "a joyful heart is good medicine" (Proverbs 17:22). (Slaying Your Giants, pp.179-180)

Do you want to change how you feel? Decide today to change what you think about.
To READ SAMPLE CHAPTERS of Slaying Your Giants click here: Sample Chapters
(NOTE: The 20-Lesson Discussion Guide for Small Groups must be purchased separately)

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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174  Twitter: @KentCrockett