Anxiety & Perspective
In Numbers 13 v.17-33 God told Moses to send spies to explore the land of Canaan. They returned afraid, saying, “We are but grasshoppers in our and in the inhabitant’s eyes.” However, Caleb had a different perspective, his evaluation was positive; how we interpret life’s challenges can affect us emotionally.
Learn to develop optimism and positivity and acquire a ‘Caleb Spirit’.
We all have some sort of faulty thinking, such as ‘black and white’ thinking, over-generalising, personalising, jumping to negative conclusions, predicting catastrophe, comparing, mind reading etc. We have this self-talk, alongside some rigid rules, which we unconsciously adhere to and the ‘oughts and shoulds’ in our lives. There are ‘life scripts’ which are passed down through generations and unconsciously we may teach our children to be anxious about life. Try to identify your own thinking patterns by monitoring them in times when you feel upset, name them, and then look for solutions to resolve the anxiety-invoking situations.
Let’s try this out....
Think an anxious thought, and then ask yourself the following questions:
What evidence do I have to support this thought?
What evidence do I have against this thought?
What other views are there?
What would God say to me?
How is my thinking affecting me?
Is my thinking helpful?
Challenge and dispute your automatic faulty thinking.
Write it down.
You can then replace your fears with the truth.
The bible says to ‘take thoughts captive’ 2 Cor.10 v.5, and in
Romans 12 v.2 ‘Be transformed by the renewing of your spirit.’
Proverbs 23 v.7 ‘As a man thinks so he is.’
John 14 v.27 ‘ Peace I give you…’
Expect the anxiety to get better because it will get better. It may not be totally overcome, but it can be lessened and you can learn to manage it.
Acknowledge what you fear may never happen.
The more we focus on our fear the larger it gets; turn the binoculars around and the lion becomes an over-grown pussycat miles away. It’s about getting things into perspective. We are stronger than we think, knowing that whatever happens God is faithful to his promises.
Have a Blessed New Year.