How to Refocus Your Thoughts Using 3×5 Index Cards

3x5 index cards with scriptureThere is a system for taking your thoughts captive and reprogramming your mind with a healthier pattern. Part of this involves the use of 3×5 index cards. When the 3×5 cards are used alone, they can bring some relief for those who are afflicted with anxiety, however, they work best when used with a wider plan for dealing with anxiety.

The purpose is to refocus your thoughts away from something negative or anxiety producing and to dwell on something positive instead. This is super easy to do and is highly effective, especially when used in conjunction with other biblical principles on renewing your mind and spiritual warfare.

Start by finding a scripture that is meaningful to your situation. It should be a positive theme to counteract the negative thing you have been thinking about.

You can choose poetry or quotes from people that are uplifting as well, but scripture is the most powerful and effective. Most of the spiritual battle takes place in the mind where believing lies can destroy peace and well-being. Dwelling instead on the truth of God’s word counteracts the lies and renews your mind by refocusing on things that bring life and health rather than darkness and destruction.

You can pick up 3×5 index cards in any office supply store and often at the stationary isle of the grocery store. You could also add them to your next Amazon order. Click here.

Once you choose a scripture, inspirational quote, or affirmation, write it on a 3×5 card. Be sure to include the reference.

This whole idea is based on this scripture and it is the first one I recommend using.

Philippians 4:8 NAS
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

How this works is that when a negative or anxiety causing thought comes into your mind, take a hold it of and reject it. Immediately begin to dwell on the scripture you have on your 3×5 card. You can carry it in your pocket at all times, so it is easy to simply reach into your pocket and pull out the card. As you do this repeatedly, you are meditating on scripture. As you memorize these scriptures, you will be hiding them in your heart and will be able to retrieve them whenever you need them. They will come to your mind at the most stressful times in your life to comfort and help you. You will also be able to use them to encourage and strengthen others.

I originally used this idea for memorizing scripture, but found that it was very useful for overcoming negative thoughts. Since that time I have shared this idea with many people who have used it to reduce or help them overcome anxiety and to get to know the word of God.

Deuteronomy 30:14
“But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it.”

Speaking the scriptures aloud to yourself and others can be strengthening and helpful as well. When appropriate, you can speak your scriptures aloud to help you memorize them and to not only think, but to hear the word of God spoken. That can increase the effectiveness, will bring you comfort, and  will strengthen your faith.

Despite being super simple, this is a highly effective way to minimize anxiety by refocusing your attention to something positive and helpful. Give it a try today. If you’d like to share some of the scriptures that you are using, please feel free to put them in the comments section.

NASB Study BibleIf you do not have a Bible, of course I recommend you purchase one, but you can also look up words that might help you find scriptures about things you are struggling with like fear, anxiety, doubt, etc. There is an awesome on-line free Bible study tool: Click here:  I use this all the time for Bible study.

There are literally hundreds of choices for Bibles. Click here for a link to the Bible pictured. You can click the link, then type in Bible in the Amazon search and a ton of Bibles will come up, some of them free for phones and Kindles.

Below are some other scriptures that you can add to your list to encourage and strengthen you. I also highly recommend that you spend daily time mediating on the Bible by reading it, thinking about it and praying for understanding.

In case you do not know how to find a verse in the Bible, below is a short introduction to the Bible that will get you started.

The scripture reference tells you where the verse is in the Bible. It starts with the book title, followed by the chapter and verse.

The Bible is divided into books. Each book was written at a different time. There are 66 books with over 40 authors. It was written over a period of thousands of years, as the Lord gave it to His people.

Each book of the Bible is divided into chapters and verses. You can look in the front of the Bible for a table of contents, which will show you where the books are. When you find the book, go to the chapter and then to the verse.

Since the Bible was not written in English, but has been translated, there are various translations. I have listed letters which indicate what translation was used for the scripture listed. My favorite translations are the KVJ (King James Version), the NAS (aka NASB – New American Standard Bible) and the NLT (New Living Translation). I do the majority of my reading in the New American Standard Bible, but a lot of my memorization is in the King James Version, since that is the Bible of my youth.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NAS

All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

Romans 12:2 NAS
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

1 Corinthians 10:5 NAS
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

John 13:34 NAS
“A new commandment I give you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

2 Timothy 1:7 KJV
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and love, and of a sound mind.

1 John  4:10 NAS
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Propitiation: to make peace with. Jesus Christ made peace with God for us.

bamboo 3x5 card box

This is similar to the file I use to keep my cards tidy and handy.

By Cynthia DeWitte

Concepts: Reducing anxiety, refocusing thoughts, scripture memorization, taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, destroying speculations.

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