Input; output. Your mind is a computer. But, whose? Input; output. Daily you must choose.
Those are more or less the lyrics to a song we sang in children's choir twenty years ago. I didn't love the tune to the song, but the words have stuck. What we put into our minds is generally what sticks and what ends up coming out in our words and in our actions.
In the busyness of life, it's all too easy to consume one negative story after another (hello, again, ISIS and Ebola) without acknowledging how we're being changed in this process. However, we can smash the resulting fear and stress by slowing our pace to dwell on good and uplifting words.
It just takes little moments throughout the day and Sabbath rest each week to adjust our focus. Choose a few empowering phrases, quotes, Bible texts, or bring to mind the things that bring you gratitude. Repeat these truths until they drown out all that's stress- and fear-inducing.
When we're uncomfortable, overwhelmed, or facing lots of unknowns, it's all too easy to get discouraged and lost in a whirlwind of negativity. Taking breaks (throughout the day and each week) and calmly repeating positive thoughts is just the catalyst to basically change everything—positive thinking and focusing on goodness and truth is that powerful.