There are days, weeks, months, where someone (or something) consumes every waking thought, no matter how hard I try to redirect my focus.
Our brains are obsessive. If there’s someone or something on my mind, the would-haves, could-haves, should-haves, and all else seem to eat my brain. It’s unhealthy. When my head is taken up obsessive thoughts, it’s not focused on Christ. My eyes aren’t fixed on HIM.
What’s a flawed human to do? 2 Corinthians 10:5 states that as followers of Christ, “we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” It’s not easy, but it is doable.
Here are the practical steps I’ve learned on the journey to reclaiming headspace and making it obedient to Christ:
You can’t reclaim your headspace if you don’t know what you’re reclaiming it from. What’s taking up your thoughts and attention? Maybe it’s that boy or girl (such hard space to reclaim), the giant in your life, or the struggle you’re walking through. Something’s eating away at your brain, so figure out what it is.
If it takes up every waking thought you have, you need to get some distance from it. If it’s someone you have romantic interest in, LITERALLY create some space; don’t be weird, but find a way to just spend some time apart from them. It’s hard to stop obsessing over someone when they’re sitting right next to you.
If it’s a situation, take the steps to resolve it, and then walk away from it. For example, if you can’t get that fight with your Mom out of your brain, apologize, and then move away from it. Distance won’t always be literal space-sometimes it just means deciding to not think about something.
“Sometimes to stay alive, you’ve gotta kill your mind.” -TOP
Simply trying to NOT think about something isn’t the answer though; your head will never be empty-it has to be filled with something. “Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest,” urges Hebrews 3:1.
Philippians 4:8 gives an even more pointed answer:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
FILL your mind with Christ, with whatever is lovely. Prompt your thoughts to return and dwell on His goodness and promises instead of what they’re naturally inclined to think about. Let your brain be consumed by truth.
Reclaiming headspace takes TIME. If you’ve thought about something for so long, putting the unhealthy mental obsession to death will not be a five minute process. It will take repetition, discipline, and the reminder that Jesus is BETTER than whatever your mind would choose to dwell on instead.
Take captive every thought. Make it obedient to Christ. Remember that there are plenty of people and things that deserve a place in your thoughts, but nothing deserves every waking moment.