“How can I control my thoughts when they seem out of my control?” New Era, Sept. 2019, 27.
When unworthy thoughts pop into your head and try to stick around, it can feel like you’re not in control. But there are things you can do to keep your thoughts in check. And if you build good thought-habits, then over time, battling bad thoughts won’t seem so overwhelming. Here are a few ideas:
Ask for Heavenly Father’s help. He wants you to turn to Him and will bless you. “Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings” (Alma 37:37).
Remember the Savior. “Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not” (Doctrine and Covenants 6:36). Partake of the sacrament each week. Study the scriptures regularly. “Let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord” (Alma 37:36).
Know you have a choice. Thoughts sometimes just come. But whether you try to cast off a bad thought or dwell on it is a choice you make.
Fill your mind with good things. If you have a backlog of good and positive things in your memory—hymns, scriptures, quotes, experiences, images—you can call upon them and quickly replace bad thoughts.
Try to recognize patterns. Pay attention to what’s going on in and around you when you’ve struggled with bad thoughts. How were you feeling? What were you doing? What was going on in your life? If you notice commonalities, you can be aware of the circumstances that lead to more bad thoughts and fortify yourself against them.