I don’t know about you, but sometimes (okay more than just sometimes) my mind likes to get carried away – WAY carried away. Whether it’s a small fear, a task that I’m expected to complete or even just doing something that’s new, my brain has a way of turning things into a potential catastrophe. Before I know it, I’ve turned something of little importance into a whole song and dance, and in the end I’m left feeling stressed out, discouraged and sometimes even insignificant.
Do I like feeling like this? Of course not! Do I choose to do something about it? Most times the answer is no. Why is this?? I truly think that a large portion of this is due to habit, but an even greater factor is that it’s where I’m comfortable. Stressing out is what I’m familiar with and what I know.
When I take a step back and realize what’s going on behind the scenes, how it’s damaging my self-esteem, my frame of mind and even my trust in God, I realize that it is a lot scarier to stay here than it is to take up courage and change my pattern of thought.
It starts with putting things into perspective and recognizing the truth. To see things as they truly are, not how I wish them to be nor what I fear to happen.
My next focus is finding peace. The Bible say, “and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:7.
How does this happen? By lifting up our requests to God through prayer and thanksgiving in our times of anxiousness and anxiety. (Philippians 4:16) God will replace our fear with peace when we give our fears over to him. Wow.
The final thing that we can do is to be conscious and proactive about the mindset in which we choose to live. We need to keep our minds in a healthy state, which again is another constant choice. This past summer, I rediscovered Proverbs 31:25, “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” I see both strength and dignity as mental attributes. They are achieved through living confidently, not being warped in stress and focusing on the things that can be controlled, instead of the things that cannot. Laughing is a release and it comes through relaxation. It is also a result of being joyful and full of hope; all of which are mindsets.
Will making these adjustments completely fix everything? No. Will all doubts, fears and stresses be forever alleviated? Of course not! But when we listen to truths rather than lies, lift up our anxieties to God and live in a mindset of joyful hope, it can truly make a difference to ourselves and directly affect the way that we see the world around us.