Anxiety and Depression: How you can manage your “thought life”
Written by Lydia D’Ross, MPA
Your “thought life” can be the power to your happiness or the incubator for anxiety and depression. We sometimes don’t recognize that we war against ourselves by the power of our thoughts. Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down,” causing hopelessness and depression. “My anxious thoughts multiply within me.” One way to develop control over your thoughts is to accept your thoughts, and invite them in. This process can diminish the power your thoughts can have over you. Another approach is to reject thoughts that you do not want repeated in your mind, like a broken record. Be decisive about which thoughts are, or aren’t helpful. In Proverbs 23:7 it says “You become what your thought life makes you.” It’s not your circumstances; it’s your thoughts about your circumstances that produce your emotions. Your thoughts trigger biochemistry that determines your feelings, their duration and their intensity.
What is the answer? “Whoever humbles himself will be exalted and lifted up” Mt 23:12. By humbling ourselves and aligning our will with God’s will, we invite Him to reverse the evil assaults, overcoming our anxiety and depression.
What can we do to start reversing those anxiety thoughts that attempt to control our daily behavior and become over-comers? “My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart.” (Proverbs 4:20–21). Every morning when you wake up, just like you eat your breakfast or take your medication, you take your daily bread; which is the Word of God. Take it like medicine every morning, or when you feel those anxiety symptoms come upon you. Do what the Word says to do, take those thoughts “captive” and “bring them into obedience” to Christ- like thinking in order to exert control over your feelings. (2 Co10:4-5)
When we submit and turn over these thoughts to God, we allow Him to begin working inside of us and replace the anxious thoughts with hope and faith filled words. Our mind begins to change its thought patterns, and anxiety and depression begin to decrease. Only you have control over your thoughts- no one else.
When we recognize within ourselves that sometimes we can feel overwhelmed, we need to realize that we are not alone. There is hope and help for you throughout your journey. Through its RENEWAL program, Brookhaven Hospital offers a place for healing where prayer, counseling and medicine come together to bring to you restorative healing. Whether you decide to receive services inpatient or in our outpatient services, know we care about you and God cares about your overall well being.
Start today, align your thoughts with God’s Word. I leave you with these encouraging thoughts: Through Christ, you are an overcomer!