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Take Out the Trash in Your Mind

For years, I was mired in depression. At times the downward spiral seemed like it had no bottom. The medical community says depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. That’s true. But looking back, I can see how I was making it worse by all the garbage in my head. My negative thinking and imagining the worst was fueling the downward spiral.

It took time and practice, but I learned to take out the trash. As I took every thought captive and brought it to Christ, I realized how much trash I was hoarding in my thoughts. I kept recycling thoughts of worthlessness, failure, and pessimism. These were my default thought patterns and it never occurred to me that I had control over my thoughts.

When you go too long without taking out the garbage, it stinks! Your stinking thinking is fueling your depression. You have control over your thoughts. Yes, you may have a chemical imbalance, but why would you want to make your condition worse by adding fuel to the fire of depression? Instead, take responsibility for your thoughts. Take out the trash. Get rid of every negative, unhelpful thought.

Think about it this way:

Would you say that thought to your best friend?

Would God say that thought about you?

If the answer is no, then you shouldn’t say those things to yourself. It’s that simple. 

Write down three negative thoughts you’ve had recently. 




Now write down a positive alternative for each of those thoughts. What would you say to your best friend instead of the negative comment? Or what would God say to you instead of the negative comment?




The point is to begin thinking about your thoughts. Toss out any thought that is unsupportive. Negative thoughts come from the devil. He is the Accuser. God’s Holy Spirit is known as the Comforter and Counselor. He speaks positive things into your life. Listen to him.

If you begin to take out the trash in your mind each day, I guarantee you’ll start seeing your one-percent improvement. This might be the single most effective adjustment you can make to push back depression.

Change one negative thought each day and you’ll change one hundred thoughts soon enough. You’ll experience a snowball effect as the change in thoughts gains momentum and grows.

I want you to realize you have more control than you think. You may have a chemical imbalance in your brain. You can’t control that. But there is so much you can control. Focus on small adjustments each day and you’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll feel.

The above text is from week 2 of Push Back Depression: Experience Daily Improvement for Depression. This 21-day workbook focuses on one topic per week:

  • The One-Percent Solution for Depression

  • Take Out the Trash in Your Mind

  • Breathe Truth through Biblical Affirmations

Each week includes seven days of Scripture, biblical affirmations, and simple exercises to help you apply the concepts to your situation.

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