How Your Thinking Relates To Your Emotional Health

Have you ever been asked to think about what you are thinking about? Weird right! The first time I was asked this question I did a double take. Why would I need to think about my own thoughts? Later I learned that we have both subconscious thoughts and conscious thoughts. And, all of our thoughts are directly related to our emotions.

Our emotions are highly governed by our thoughts. That’s just a fancy way of saying our thoughts are in direct relationship with how we feel. Let me give you an example. 

If every day I pull up to my new job and think to myself, “I am not qualified for this job. I just can’t do it.” Then I will experience anxiety every day at work. If I pulled up to the same job and changed the script my emotions would respond differently. That would look like me thinking to myself, “This new job is hard but I’m going to get it. I’m already making progress.” With this positive thought process I may experience brief anxiety but the more dominant feelings are determination and confidence. 

How your thinking relates to emotional health

Let’s Go Deeper 

Let me go even deeper. Our thoughts can happen on both a conscious and subconscious level. Conscious thoughts are those that you can recall easily because they are in the present. Subconscious thoughts are a little more difficult to uncover because they are more deeply rooted. Merriam Webster dictionary defines the adjective subconscious as, “existing in the mind but not immediately available to consciousness.”

subconscious thoughts

An example of subconscious behavior is breathing. Whether you think about it or not your body is going to breathe. Subconscious thinking runs along the same line. Your subconscious thoughts are always going whether you can acknowledge them or not. 

Subconscious thoughts are so important because they drive your behavior and your emotions. The Bible says in Proverbs 23:7, “For as he thinks in his heart so is he.” This thinking is referencing both conscious and subconscious thinking. You become what you think about. If you are always thinking negative thoughts then you will experience negative emotions. 

Your subconscious thoughts go deeper and include your fears, inherent beliefs, true desires, and all of your memories. Subconscious thinking plays a huge role in your emotional health. 

If you don’t know or can’t easily access what you are thinking about on a day to day basis then you most probably regularly experience either an emotional rollercoaster that leaves you bewildered or you stuff your emotions and live as if they are not happening. Both responses are unhealthy. I want to teach you how to access your emotions in a healthy way. 

There Is A Positive Side

The good news is that once you learn how to tap into your subconscious thinking you will learn why you feel the way you do. When I began doing this in my life I was awakened to an entire part of myself that I never knew. It was strange and awesome at the same time.

I was a stuffer (meaning I suppressed my emotions) and I pretended my emotions were not happening. Eventually living this way really hurt me and I went to a dark place experiencing depression and anxiety. Because I had no idea how to deal with my thinking, my emotions were wreaking havoc on my life. 

Accessing our emotions is a powerful tool in emotional healing. But how do we do that? We learn to think about what we’re thinking about. When we can change negative thinking to thoughts of gratitude and positivity then we open ourselves to emotional healing. 

“Your hearts can soar with joyful gratitude when you think of how God made you worthy to receive the glorious inheritance freely given to us by living in the light.”

Colossians 1:12, The Passion Translation

Thoughts Evoke Emotion 

Your thoughts evoke emotion and your emotions determine your environment. If you have ever met a really positive person you will soon discover that they are are a positive thinker. Whatever life throws at them is usually met with a “can do” attitude. The wonderful part of this realization is that anyone can do it. A great way to uncover your thinking is to journal. I created the mindset journal to help with getting in touch with your thought life.

We can all take the power back and choose to reframe our thinking especially with the help of Holy Spirit. Once you know your thoughts, both on the conscious and subconscious level, you can ask yourself questions like:

  • Is this thought true?
  • Does this thought line up with God’s word?
  • What are the possibilities of this ever happening? 

An Exercise In Thinking 

I want to encourage you to recall a time where you experienced an onslaught of emotion and thought to yourself, “where did that come from?” You may have stuffed the emotions as soon as they arrived but you know they were there. Imagine yourself back in that situation and ask yourself, “what was I thinking?” 

Take a deep breath and let the question sit with you. Take your time and get a journal to record your thoughts. Imagine your surroundings, where you were, who was there, and let yourself recall the details of the situation. Don’t allow yourself to escape but rather look around your memory and soak it in. Now ask yourself, “does this remind me of something?” You may recall a past memory or the situation may trigger a fear or a deep desire. Then ask yourself, “what was I thinking? 

Write down your exact thoughts. Ask yourself, “do these thoughts line up with truth?” If not, speak truth (which is usually just the opposite of the negative thought) to your heart and you will begin the process of healing your emotions. Remember to use the word of God as your compass for truth. Another thing that helped me was to write down a scripture with a promise that spoke directly to the negative thought then pray that scripture over your life.

You may be surprised by where your mind went. This is how you think about what you are thinking about. Using this tool to uncover your thoughts is key to learn what is driving your emotions. 

I want to encourage you today to ask Holy Spirit to help you to uncover your conscious and subconscious thoughts. Ask Him also to reveal to you your subconscious thinking as it relates to your life today. Let Him show you the truth about who you are. Most times when we are experiencing negative emotions our thoughts are lining up with a lie rather than the truth. Let Jesus show you the truth.   

“Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him, “When you continue to embrace all that I teach, you prove that you are my true followers. For if you embrace the truth, it will release true freedom into your lives.”

John 8:31-32, The Passion Translation

Pray and invite Jesus into the deep parts of your heart so that He can heal you. Open your heart to hear His perspective on your situation. I want to encourage to you pray the prayer below before doing the exercise on thinking. Let Jesus show you where He wants to heal your heart. 

Prayer To Reveal Your Thinking 

prayer to reveal your subconscious thinking

Dear Jesus, I ask You to today to open my heart so I can uncover my thinking. I give You permission to search my heart and show me my thoughts. I ask You to guide me to Your truth so that I am no longer believing any lies in my thought life. Recall to me a situation where my emotions were wreaking havoc on my life. Show me where You were, Jesus, in that moment. Heal my emotions and set me free. You said in Your word that if I embrace truth it will release true freedom in my life. Show me how to embrace Your truth about my thoughts and my emotions. Amen. 

To learn more about your emotional health check out these blog posts:
The Healing Process 
The Comforter 
The Biggest Lie
A Song of Trust 

Did this blog post speak to your heart? I hope so! Sign up today to receive my emails featuring the latest from Seeking Him Today by going to our Stay In Touch page.