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Ohana Sessions /
August 10, 2022

How Do We Change Negative Thought Patterns?

How do you talk to yourself?

Is your inner voice gentle or critical?

According to Maeve Ronan, author of the popular book for teens, “It’s the Depression for Me”, that voice is more important than you may realize.

“How you talk to yourself really does matter. Your brain will believe what you say. So, you have to be mindful about what you are saying to yourself.”

I welcomed Maeve to my ‘Ohana Mother Daughter Experience to talk with us about anxiety and depression. Which, I’m sure you know, is incredibly relevant to todays’ world. Statistics showing the number of young people struggling with anxiety and depression have skyrocketed in recent years.

Maeve teaches social emotional skills in her workshops and books that are relatable to Gen Z. She started posting videos about her book, It’s the Depression for Me, in 2020 on TikTok. Those videos racked up millions of views from teens around the world and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

Maeve teaches 3 easy to remember steps to help break the cycle of damaging negative thoughts. Based on her research in cognitive behavioral therapy, she explains that by changing the words you say to yourself, you can train your mind to break free of the constant self-critisim.

Step 1:

Notice. What automatic thoughts continue to come in your inner dialogue? When something challenging or frustrating happens, what do you say to yourself?

Step 2:

Prepare. Before the situation arises, come up with a neutral thought that you will use to replace the negative one. You could use something like, “I’m OK”, or “This feeling isn’t going to last forever.”

Step 3:

Replace. EVERY time that negative thought sneaks up, immediately stop and replace it with your neutral thought. Now, you may not feel like saying something positive. You may not even believe it at first. But do it anyway. In time, your brain is going to create a new habit.

Listen to this clip below as Maeve demonstrates these 3 steps as she shares one of her own embarrassing moments:

Think of the difference these gentle words could make in your own life!

God also cares deeply about your thought life and the way you view yourself. There are many examples in Scripture when God is teaching us to be intentional with our thoughts and speak truth to ourselves.

When we are tempted to believe the lies of the world, God tells us to “take our thoughts captive” in 1 Corinthians 10:5. It isn’t an easy battle. But we serve a mighty God who graciously gives us the strength we need to face all of lifes’ challenges.

Maeve vulnerably shared her story of when she heard these truths from God’s Word for the first time. Listen as share shares below and be encouraged by these beautiful words.

I’m cheering you on to do the hard work of rewriting your own inner script!

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