I found myself in a rut starting two weeks ago. Lots of negative thinking patterns, endless analysis, and frankly – a jumble of emotional overprocessing.
The diagramming exercise below was immensely helpful, based off of Philippians 4:8. It can be used for situational events or for people. Frankly, it was hard for me to sit down and do it, because simmering in my own melancholy woes is a much easier path to take than getting up to actively defeat the lies in my head. Here's how I laid it out:
What is true here?
What is honorable/what are some honorable qualities I have seen throughout this situation or in this person?
What is just?
What is pure?
What is lovely?
What has been commendable? What can I continue to commend going forward?
What excellence lies in this?
What here is worthy of praise?
Some of my responses were silly. But that is outside of the point – the goal is to get up and actively think through each Scriptural exhortation. I found the last question particularly funny. I got to it and thought of David, praising the Lord through absolute hell. Oh, how silly we can all be in our self-obsession.
At the end, I wrote: "And, damnit, Shawn, think about these things."