Anxiety and Lies
Anxiety is a real part of life, we all face it at some level, and we deal with it on a daily basis. However, some have deep struggles with anxiety. So I want to start this post with a word of encouragement, if you have issues with anxiety where your anxiety disrupts your life in such a way as to cause issues with your health, self-care, sleep, causing depressed moods that linger or are very repetitive, and or any other such symptoms please reach out to your doctor or a counselor in your local area. They are there to help and there is no shame in seeking out there assistance.
While some have an enduring burden with anxiety and will need more help then reframing exercises can provide, most can take some steps to help battle the normal wear and tear of anxiety in life. As most probably have experienced, unnecessary anxiety can be a real joy stealer. As someone who personally battles anxiety in my own life, I have been there many times. What is so sad is the realization after events of how many times it was the result of undue anxiety. By that I mean over things that weren't really a threat or an issue, but more born out of negative self-talk.
With this in mind I want to encourage you to consider how lies impact your thinking. The Christian knows that lies are sin, and therefore by their very nature they are destructive. The Christian also needs to understand that lies share their very nature with Satan himself.
You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. - John 8:44 NKJV
Knowing the destructive nature of lies, most of us would not be actively willing to entertain such things in our lives. Right? If we had people that constantly told us lies, we would seek to remedy that by confronting the person or may be ignoring that person. We may find it necessary to stop confiding in that person and we would seek to protect ourselves from any potential lie that may be given from such an individual. But what if we are that individual whispering lies into our own heads?
Though we may not be willing to accept lies from others, we may not be as quick to route them out in our own self-talk, that is what we say to ourselves in our inner voice. These false statements we entertain can be a fountain head from which much anxiety and unnecessary stress flows in our life.
We need to learn to confront these lies in ourselves, because these lies can greatly impact the anxiety we experience in our lives. Ok, but what do we do about them?
When you are consistently rehearsing a thought in your mind, a negative thought that is making you anxious, consider doing the following.
Ask yourself if the thought is actually true?
Is the the concern based on facts, feelings, or fears?
What you might find is that many of those anxious thoughts are not based on truth or facts.
Confront your thinking with provable facts, not just more emotions or fears.
You can take some additional steps in this regard as well. Ask yourself questions like "What would my best friend think of this situation?" or "What advice would I give someone else if they were facing this same situation?" Ask yourself "how will this really effect my life if it did happen?" or "will this even matter in a few days, or weeks?"
This is not a fool-proof way to rid ourselves of all possible anxiety we might face, but it is a way to take control over the anxiety that stems from lies that creep into our self-talk and then are rehearsed over over again in our thoughts. We take control of our own thoughts rather than them taking control over us.
May be Paul can give us some advice here as well,
"casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ." - 2 Corinthians 10:5