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3 Steps to Create New Pathways in Your Mind

Our lives often go in the direction of our most persistent thoughts – but changing course can happen in 3 steps!

Mental Health
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What kind of person do you want to be 2 years from now? Believe it or not, you can make a pretty solid prediction based on one thing: your state of mind. The parent, manager, leader, friend, or spouse you’ll be 2 years from now will largely be shaped by the thoughts you embrace today.  

All of this is happening invisibly, behind the scenes, in our minds. Our mindset is powerful because it can change the way we see the world around us, as well as ourselves. Our lives go in the direction of our strongest, most persistent thoughts.  

But is it possible to course-correct? 

3 steps to create new pathways in your mind 

Your thoughts create something called neural pathways in your brain. Neural pathways are like a path in the woods created by animals walking in the same places over and over again, tamping down the ground. Essentially, the thoughts you think the most establish the path of least resistance in your mind, becoming the thoughts you think the easiest. But with time, you can create new pathways for the thoughts you actually want to have.  

That’s because God can change your thinking! Romans 12:2 says that you can “let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” And when he transforms our thinking, that changes our beliefs, which changes our identity, which then changes our actions. Here are three steps to invite God to change your thinking and create new pathways in your mind: 

1. Recognize negative mindsets 

The closer you draw to Jesus, the easier you’ll be able to recognize negative thinking when it happens. That’s because God’s Word reminds us who we are in Christ – and we become more aware when our thoughts and actions don’t align with this identity.  

To recognize your negative mindsets, ask yourself questions like “Does this thought line up with who God says I am?” Or ask if your thoughts are true, helpful, and kind

2. Remove the negativity 

To nip a negative thought pattern in the bud, you need to look at the internal and external factors that let these thoughts fester. You may need to make a conscious decision not to ruminate – or fixate – on your unhelpful thoughts. Sure, you can’t choose which thoughts enter your mind, but it’s within your power to choose which thoughts you keep. 

You may also have to take a good look around. Is anything in your environment feeding your negative thoughts? The media we consume, the company we keep, and even our personal routines and habits may be doing more harm than good.  

It’s ok to call in a professional! 

If getting a grasp on your negative thoughts feels impossible, you may be struggling with mental illness. Conditions like anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder can make negative thoughts feel extra loud – and hard to outrun. We’d love to help you find a counselor who can give you the specialized help you need! 

3. Replace your thoughts with the truth 

Ephesians 4:21-23 tells us to “throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life” so you can “let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.” This happens when we spend time reading God’s Word, spending time processing it, and letting it take root in our hearts and minds.  

A practical way to do this is to repeat a truth from the Bible three times every time you have a negative thought. If you struggle with anxious thoughts, for example, repeat one of these three Bible verses for anxiety to recenter your mind. The more you do this, the quicker you’ll be able to readjust your mindset and overcome negative thoughts. 

One thought at a time 

Unfortunately, negative thinking is next to impossible to quit cold turkey. Instead of trying to tackle every thought that pops up and winding up in an exhausting game of whack-a-mole, focus on correcting one negative thought at a time. As this thought fades into the background, you can shift your focus to the next one, and over time your thinking – and your life – will change! 


As you look to the Bible for encouraging truth, you may want to start with this list of 14 Bible verses for fear & worry


LCBC stands for Lives Changed By Christ. We are one church in multiple locations across Pennsylvania. Find the location closest to you or join us for Church Online. We can’t wait to connect with you!

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