7 Ways to Disarm Negative Thoughts

By Katy Kauffman @DiAnnMills

This week’s guest post is by Katy Kauffman

Trapped. Desperate. That’s how I felt. Trapped inside my own mind with no way of escape.  I couldn’t eat, sleep, or pray like I used to. Negative thoughts kept rushing into my mind, and I couldn’t turn them off. I couldn’t even sing without feeling the weight and harassment of enslaving thoughts. Have you been there?

Mental bondage starts with saying yes to one negative thought after another. We don’t realize each thought adds to an invisible chain wrapping itself around our minds and hearts, increasing our mental and emotional turmoil.

So how can we disarm the negative thoughts that plague us and keep new thoughts from making the chain stronger? If you’re in a mental battle right now, try one or all of the following strategies to win and break free. These strategies, by the grace of God, helped me to break out of my mental bondage and stay free.

1. Identify the source of the thoughts.

Did they come from criticism, social media, a TV show, or a negative experience? Did they come from a spiritual enemy? Ask God for help in knowing the source of the thoughts and to limit your exposure to them.

2. Don’t feel guilty if negative thoughts come to mind.

Sometimes we can’t control what thoughts come to mind, but we can control what to do with them. See #3.

3. Refuse thoughts at the door of your mind.

We hold the power of filtering what our mind dwells on. When an enslaving thought comes knocking, don’t open the door. Keep your mind locked up against negative thoughts and open to God and His ways.

4. Flood your mind with good things.

We can’t focus on two things at once. Displace enslaving thoughts with a flood of freeing ones. Keep a journal of positive, liberating Bible verses, and memorize them. When a thought comes knocking, see if it matches the truth of Scripture, and if it doesn’t, quote a verse (or read it) to counteract the negative thought. You can also keep a journal of things you’re grateful for. Focus on good things, so there is less room for the bad stuff.

5. Tap into the power of music to hush negative thoughts.

When my loved one was in the hospital, I was able to calm distressing thoughts by singing the Christian song, Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace). The melody and words calmed my heart and mind, and I was able to focus on God and His power to help my family member. Silence negative thoughts by singing songs that focus on God and His power. Praise Him for who He is, and watch Him calm the turmoil within.

6. Disarm lies with the truth.

Refuse lies from our spiritual enemy Satan by holding fast to the truth of God. Know Scripture for yourself so Satan’s lies can’t steal your joy, zest for life, confidence in God, and assurance of your own self-worth.

7. Align your heart and mind with God’s.

The best way to change how we think is to ask God’s help in aligning our desires, goals, and thinking to His. He is sane, He is sound, He is peace. Drawing close to Him chases away the forces that hold us captive in wrong ways of thinking. He defeats our spiritual enemies, heals past hurts, protects our minds from current attacks, and makes us whole on the inside. He fills us with a love that satisfies our hearts, and He renews our minds with the truth. He is the answer to our bondage, and He is always willing to rescue us if we turn to Him.1

How do you handle an onslaught of negative thinking? Share your tips in the comments, and may truth and God’s help be your weapons to disarm enslaving thoughts so you walk in freedom.

1 Katy Kauffman, Breaking the Chains (Buford, Georgia: Lighthouse Bible Studies, 2017), 31-32, adapted


Katy Kauffman is an award-winning author, an editor of Refresh Bible Study Magazine, and a co-founder of Lighthouse Bible  Studies. Her first compilation, Breaking the Chains, won a 2018 Selah finalist award at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Katy’s books tend to focus on winning life’s spiritual battles, and you can find more of her writing at CBN.com and her poetry at thoughts-about-god.com. She loves spending time with family and friends, making jewelry, and connecting with writers and readers. Connect with her at her blog and on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks, Katy!

DiAnn’s Library Corner

Library Tip: Patrons will rarely express a need for help when negative thoughts stalk them, but media resources can help them work through tough times.

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