09 Apr Mental Reboot
Don’t you hate when you sit down at your computer and the screen freezes or the cursor just won’t move? There are a number of things that can go wrong with a computer but in most cases all it takes is a simple reboot to get things going again. A reboot will reset and clear the system of any temporary junk that has overwhelmed the computer and has led to poor performance and a sluggish response.
Sometimes, like our computers, we can be so overwhelmed by our responsibilities and schedules that we stop functioning at our optimal capacity and become fatigued and sluggish. We need to hit the Ctrl-Alt-Delete buttons in our lives and undergo a mental reboot. As we continue our theme of renewal this spring, let’s focus on mental renewal.
1. Transformation – Scripture says that we should not be conformed to this world, but we should be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Rom 12:2). There are so many negative influences that we are exposed to in our everyday lives. It may be the negativity of other people, depressing stories on the 24-hour news channels or the endless drama of reality TV shows. Many of these we choose to expose ourselves to but like viruses, they can infect us and multiply until we start to manifest symptoms. Sometimes it is just a matter of balance. If the majority of your time is spent with people that drag you down, balance that with people who uplift you. If you spend every evening watching people fight on reality shows then balance it out by watching encouraging podcasts or recorded sermons. Take some time to honestly evaluate how you spend your time and what stimuli you are exposing yourself to.
2. Think on this – Yes, we are exposed to external things that can drain us mentally, but if we are honest with ourselves, the majority of the time it is all in how we think. Fortunately, scripture tells us exactly what we should think about. Philippians 4:8 says that we should think on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely and that we should dwell on things that are of good report, worthy of praise and of any virtue. Instead of meditating on negative self-talk, we should dwell on thoughts that are positive and encouraging. Make a list of all the negative things you have been telling yourself this past week. Now, tear it up, throw it away and write a list of thoughts inspired by Phil 4:8. Make a conscious effort this week to think on that.
3. Mental gymnastics – Gymnastics is a sport that requires remarkable flexibility and strength. Gymnasts spend countless hours repeating the same routine over and over again until they have perfected it. They strive for the perfect 10 on individual routines but they also move from one apparatus to the next with the goal of being the best all-around. Similarly, we can spend an enormous amount of time and energy on our jobs trying to become the perfect employee. We do the same routine day in and day out until we can do it in our sleep. However, are we challenging ourselves to excel at other things so that we can be the best all-around? What other skills are you learning outside of the job? What hobbies have you explored? Pick up that instrument you haven’t played since high school. Take a class. Write a short story or a poem. Just as we have to stay physically fit, it is critical that we keep ourselves mentally engaged and challenged.