Sometimes I get trapped inside my own mind. I mull over every detail of an event. I play out alternative scenarios and try to predict outcomes. I scour over every detail and nuance of situations. Before I realize it, I have trapped myself inside my own mind unable to move forward because of the already played out scenarios that have filled my head. My anxiety level sky rockets and I’m paralyzed in this endless loop of fear of what could happen.
When anxious thoughts are allowed to run rampant, we become prisoners of our own minds. We become hopeless because we no longer can see the light for the darkness of our thoughts. Sometimes these thoughts of anxiety that have been unchecked turn into depression. Charles Stanley defines depression as, “disappointment turned inward.” We have taken our anxious thoughts entertained them and cannot move from them that we become so disappointed in ourselves and our situation we become depressed.
Other times our anxiety puts us in a loop of fear. Fear to move forward because we cannot control the outcome. Afraid of the unknowns, we stand still in our place of hurting even to the the point of not reaching out and asking for help. Anxiety can cause us to doubt God’s goodness and his will for us. It can place us in such a precarious position in our mind that we believe that God is somehow trying to hurt us.
How can we guard ourselves from such a devastating mindset?
We must combat it with truth. The Lord brought to mind this morning, what he has done for me and how these times of anxiety have become less frequent and far less severe. He brought me to some of favorite verses:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
In these verses, Paul is so clear in what to do when we become anxious and how to stop anxious thoughts in their tracks.
Refusal to Entertain
One way we can combat anxious thoughts is by not entraining them. Sometimes thoughts just pop into our minds but it is a decision we make to entertain that thought or to let it pass and combat it with the truth of God’s word. We can prevent ourselves from going down rabbit holes when we identify a thought that could lead us there.
Guarding From Filth
Another way we can combat periods of anxiety, is by what we pour into our minds. Just like our body and food, what we put in is what will come out. If we fill our minds with filth, (certain tv shows, gossip, certain music, sometimes relationships) filth will come out because it has engulfed our minds and permeated our hearts. In Proverbs 4:23, we are urged to guard the heart. “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
We must pour into our minds the words of Truth and allow it to permeate our heart. We will be able to combat the thoughts that cause anxiety by relying and trusting God’s infallible word. Set aside time to be with him whether in the morning or at night or nap time. Be intentional with meeting Him and placing all of your worries and fears at his feet. Trust him that he will care for you and guide you. Meditate on His word throughout the day. Pick a verse and read it throughout your day or write where you will see if frequently. Ask God to speak to you and get still to listen. He will give you the peace that will transcend all understanding and you will walk freely, no longer a prisoner of your own mind.