The Power of Thoughts
Updated: May 23
Thoughts are powerful. According to the Cleveland Clinic,
“Your brain is a three pound universe that processes 70,000 thoughts each day using 100 billion neurons that connect at more than 500 trillion points through synapses that travel 300 miles/hour.”1
Wow! Our brains are incredible, but the thoughts we think are important.
No one knows this more than Dr. Daniel Amen, a board-certified psychiatrist, clinical neuroscientist, and brain imaging specialist. He has written several books about the power of the brain.2 During his research, he found that people who have higher rates of depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns tend to have more “ANTs” or Automatic Negative Thoughts. He helps us understand that our thoughts influence our feelings, and our feelings influence our behaviors. Therefore, if you start off with a negative thought, it will most likely lead to negative feelings and behaviors. For example, if I tell myself, “I am worthless,” then I may start to feel sad, unlovable, unworthy, and insecure. This could lead to actions such as isolating myself, crying frequently, and even suicidal thoughts and/or self-harm.
Learning how to challenge these negative thoughts is imperative to our mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Scripture points this out to us as well. 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us to “take every thought captive to obey Christ.” Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” We are to think about “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, excellent and worthy of praise,” according to Philippians 4:8. But Paul and Timothy do not stop there. They are clear that we are to “practice these things” in verse 9.
Retraining your brain can be hard, but the key word is practice. Take the former example above and attempt to change it around. What would you say? Really think about it. You might say something like, “I am valuable,” I am worthy,” I am loveable,” “I am a child of God,” or “God don’t make no junk!” Whatever you decide, let it not only impact your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, but your whole life for the better. Remember, thoughts are powerful, but you do not have to let them have power over you.
Enjolé Delgado, LPC
1 Cleveland Clinic (2022) “You Are Your Brain.” Accessed May 24, 2023. Retrieved from URL:
2 Amen, D.G. (2015) Change Your Brain, Change Your Life (Revised and Expanded): The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Lack of Focus, Anger, and Memory Problems. New York: Harmony Books.