The Seven-Day Mental Diet
But sometimes our thoughts get away from us and we get stuck in a downward mental spiral. That’s when we need a mental reboot.
Emmet Fox, a pioneer Positive Thinker who read the Bible through a can-do lens, offers just the ticket. It’s the Seven-Day Mental Diet, and it’s a winner.
Says Fox: “It is the food which you furnish to your mind that determines the whole character of your life. Whether you are habitually happy and cheerful, or low-spirited and fearful, depends entirely on the quality of the mental food you feed yourself.”
Our thoughts determine our moods, our moods create our dispositions, and our dispositions make—or break—our happiness.
Turns out, we can be the boss of our own thoughts! Just as we choose which foods to take into our bodies and which people to invite into our lives, so we can choose which thoughts to allow into our consciousness.
Because, Fox stresses, we do indeed have the choice. “If you want to make your life happy and worthwhile, which is what God wishes you to make it, you must begin immediately to train yourself in the habit of thought selection and thought control. This will be exceedingly difficult for the first few days, but if you persevere you will find that it will become rapidly easier, and it is actually the most interesting experiment you could possibly make.” He promises we’ll be amazed by what we learn about ourselves and by how rapidly our lives will change for the better.
Sign us up! But exactly how do we do it? Here are the simple—but not easy!—steps.
1. For seven entire days we do not allow ourselves to dwell for even a moment on any sort of negative thought. Fox describes a negative thought as “Any thought of failure, disappointment or trouble; any thought of criticism, or spite, or jealousy, or condemnation of others or ourselves; any thought of sickness of accident; or, in short, any kind of limitation.” Negative thoughts are actually easy to recognize: when they hit, we feel bad.
2. “Dwell” is the operative word. Of course, negative thoughts will enter our consciousness. Our work during the Seven Day Mental Diet is to not entertain those thoughts. When a negative thought comes, we’re to turn it away. Show it the door, let it go, say bye bye—immediately.
3. If we do catch ourselves dwelling in negativity, the diet is broken. Then we stop. Take a breath, take a break, and start over.
4. What’s essential is that we go straight through for seven full days. According to Fox, seven full days of unbroken mental discipline will turn our minds in a new positive direction, once and for all.
It takes determination and commitment to carefully select each and every thought we choose to think. The very idea that we choose our thoughts is revolutionary. Emmet Fox says, “The discipline will be so strenuous that you could not maintain it consciously for much more than a week, but a week will be enough” to establish the new habit of positive thought. Then watch the positive effects begin!
Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind… (Romans 12:2)
Let us know how it goes!