Combating the Spiral: Jennie Allen’s Approach to Overcoming Anxiety and Negative Thoughts

Evidently, our minds are experiencing problems; our thoughts keep returning to worry, fear, disgrace and cynicism – to name but a few – over and over. But I believe we can change that; science proves it and aligns perfectly with biblical instruction on taking each thought captive.

Take, for instance, the woman I once encountered who was struggling under immense anxiety due to her teenage daughter making some seriously poor life decisions; her heart breaking in pieces as tears streamed down her cheeks when asking “Jennie, what can I do?.” With tears streaming down her eyes she turned towards me asking me “Jennie what should I do?.”

What should I do?”
Many ladies have asked this question of me over time; these challenges vary widely — such as dishonest husbands or debilitating addictions to failed financial ventures to wayward children to devastating diagnoses etc… etc

After they explain what has been straining their endurance and tempting their hearts but causing problems for them, they ask the same question: “What can I do?”

What they want to know is what steps need to be taken in order to repair their situation or change their perspective, in order to alleviate pain and struggle and maintain peace and tranquility in their life.

Let me provide the most vital piece of knowledge: You aren’t God or all-knowing.

Or if none of these issues is an option for them, they need me to guide them so they don’t succumb to despair and desperation.

What steps should we take? First and foremost, we need to challenge our ideas head on; by drawing upon God, we tear down sturdyholds which divide people. Next we can determine if there’s anything unfaithful or incorrect within ourselves or about God that needs fighting off – then battle ensues there as well.

Pssst… Here is some crucially important advice: You aren’t God nor an all-knowing being!

By allowing our minds to roam aimlessly with anxiety and worry, either consciously or unknowingly, we attempt to usurp God as the all-knowing one and take His place instead of seeing how fortunate we should be that He’s in charge; forgetting we don’t possess all His talents compared with Him alone! Sure we may possess many tools and talents but being God won’t ever be one of our abilities or characteristics!

Now, this may be easier said than done; hence we shall stick together and be immersed in God’s Word. Change takes time; our fears stem from old ideas and sinful patterns encrusting within. But since now we are new creations with Spirit-empowered decisions available to us to usher us towards reality.

Change our mindset is possible.

Once you recognize where it rests on your shoulders, recognizing where there are obstructions may help to unburden yourself of such weighty garments and set them free.

What fear-inducing strategies is Satan using to undermine your religion?

Name it and state its identity. I fear I won’t have enough strength in me to face whatever comes my way in the future.

As I choose to trust God with my life and choices, I know He won’t allow temptation beyond my ability and always gives me strength against temptation.

Fear has arisen that those around me will turn against me.

God has promised not to abandon me and has always kept His promise.

Fear keeps creeping into my thoughts about throwing all my important possessions and people aside, perhaps irretrievably.

God will support me both during my moments of triumphant success and during those of struggle and difficulty. I choose to trust in His care in both situations.

Fearing being found out.

I choose to believe God knows my thoughts before they even form and loves me unconditionally.

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Fear has caused me to believe I cannot complete this work properly.

I choose to believe God has provided everything necessary for a godly existence.

Fearing rejection has me worried.

I choose to trust in God as being my protector and cannot abandon me.

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Fearing I will fail to meet their expectations is my biggest worry.

I choose to believe God wants me to seek only His approval and release any pressure to please others.

Fearing I will fail catastrophically is always present; therefore I want everyone else to see my success or my failure as I pursue my endeavor.

God works through weak spots to fulfill His plans and bring glory. I choose to believe He wants me to use my weaknesses for Him’s good!

Combatting spiral thinking requires pulling ideas from our heads, draining all their energy, and replacing them with something real!

This column draws its inspiration from “Get Out of Your Head.”

Jennie Allen is the visionary behind IF:Gathering, an organization which equips women with gospel-centric resources, events, and community so they may better comprehend who God is while discipling others. Her latest best seller “Get Out of Your Head: Stopping Poisonous Ideas” will release on January 28, 2020 from WaterBrook; other books she has written include Stressed,” Somethin” nd Nothing to Show.” Additionally she holds a master of biblical analysis degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.