anxiety[1]

7 keys to Overcoming Anxiety and Depression

As a psychotherapist, I have been asked this question several times by clients who suffered from anxiety disorders. In their struggles to understand why they could not switch off from worrying, many of them have tried every solution they knew to defeat their anxiety, but all to no avail. Thus, many have watched their anxiety multiply, leading to panic attacks, severe phobias, and even depression. Many lives have been crippled, and worthwhile dreams and goals left unaccomplished.

Having helped many people deal with their anxiety challenges, it is evident that the root cause of anxiety is multifaceted. Although the root causes of some anxiety disorders can remain undiscovered, as it is possible for patients to recover without having to identify the cause, some of the causes I have personally highlighted are: financial difficulties, past traumatic experiences, disappointments, guilt, fear of losing something or someone very important in one’s life, fear of death, parenting, work-related challenges, disability, sickness, ageing, insecurity, loss, just to mention a few.

Now, as a minister of the Gospel, I have a different persuasion. I believe that anxiety, no matter the cause, is a problem of focus. Men do not slump into anxiety disorders because of any of the above causes; they plummeted because they, knowingly or unknowingly, gave their mind an incorrect focus – they fuel their anxiety by focusing on it. This might sound harsh and insensitive to you, especially if you are currently having a battle with anxiety. But think with me for a moment. You will agree with me that life is a sequence of challenges. Life is warfare. Life is a battleground. There is a constant battle over the sanity of our mind. Many potential anxiety generating situations will continue to occur throughout life. Depressing situation will surface. People will disappoint, betray and break our hearts. In this life, we cannot outgrow challenges; we simply must learn how to deal with them.

Therefore, it is not what happens to you in life that matters most; rather it is how you deal with it that is most important. You do not get defeated because you are in a battle; you get defeated because of poor reactions, probably because you lack the capability to win, or maybe because you are not equipped with the right weapons. In a battle of life, your reactions decide your destiny. We might not be able to select the predicaments of our lives. But we can decide how we want to react to them. But appropriate reactions always require appropriate knowledge. That is why knowledge is critical to your freedom and success in life. Something you do know is costing you. I am a strong believer that nearly every human problem is a wisdom problem. If you only how to arrive at a destination, you will not suffer the torture of confusion. But I am glad you are passionate at learning, and that is why you are reading this blog post today.

Now, coming back to reactions, the most powerful reaction for defeating anxiety is correct focussing. Maintaining a correct focus is a powerful weapon to escape negative emotions. Focus is the only desire of the mind. It is impossible for your mind to remain thoughtless.

The mind is designed for thoughts. That is why it is impossible to walk away from a thought, without walking into another. Your mind is in a constant search for focus, and when it finds one, it begins to magnify it. Human mind is a magnifier. It magnifies the fruits of your emotions.

One of the divine intentions of the mind is to resize experiences through focus. God gave you a mind to resize your experiences. Anything small can be made big through focus and anything big can be made small.

For example, thinking about one’s financial difficulties generates a certain level of anxiety. Then through focus, the anxiety gets magnified to a level of severity, which is extremely detrimental to any human’s wellbeing. But if you correct your focus, you can shrink the same anxiety until it becomes powerless to carry out its destructive assignment in you. Your focus decides your peace or your stress.

Although, your mind can pick up a focus, it cannot magnify it without your permission. Therefore, your mind is your responsibility. Your mind is your employee. You are responsible for the activities your mind depletes its energy on. You are responsible for the emotions it magnifies. Your mind is your garden. You are the vinedresser. You can decide to uproot weeds, kill snakes and plants beautiful flowers.

Having established that you are in charge of the affairs of your mind, the next step is to choose a focus for your mind – not just any focus, but a right one. If you do not decide a right focus, your mind will decide its own focus. Right focus births right energy, just as wrong focus diffuses bad emotions.

Now, what must you focus on in order to defeat anxiety and depression?

The answer is simple – the Word of God. I am strongly persuaded that the only antidote to anxiety and depression is the Living Word. The word of God contains divine energy. The Joy of the Lord is hidden in His word. The word of God is the only cure for worry. Your mind is divinely authorized to focus on the positives (Philippians 4:8-9).

Worrying is to sack God as your divine helper, and then give your confused mind the job. No wonder the bible says,“ Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Anxiousness is an explanation of your level of confidence in God. Worrying is a proof of faithlessness. The bible says, “Those who trust in the Lord Are like Mount Zion, Which cannot be moved, but abides forever” (Psalm 125:1).

Depression is the drought of the mind caused by broken focus. Thus, Jesus offers the thirsty the living water, “ On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 17:37-37). The word of God is the fountain of living water. The word of God unleashes an ocean of joy and peace in the desert of anxiety and depression.

7 keys to overcoming anxiety and depression:
1. Accept that you need God’s help. Humility is the seed for restoration. Brokenness and willingness are magnets for divine healing (Psalm 51:17; Isaiah 57:15; Psalm 138:8 ; Psalm 34:18).
2. Confess any known sins in your life. An unconfessed sin is the seed for satanic oppression. Sins authorise the devil (Proverbs 28:13; 2 Chronicles 7:14, 1John 1:9).
3. Forgive everyone who has hurt you. I know this may be difficult for some people. But forgiveness is the seed for recovery (Matthew 6:14; Mark 11:25).
4. Ask the Holy Spirit to heal any bitterness and pain in your heart ( Isaiah 61:3).
5. Focus on the word of God. Flood your mind with the word of God ( Philippians 4:8; Isaiah 26:3; Psalm 119:165; Psalm 19:7-8; Psalm 107:20; Hebrews 4:12).
6. Speak the word of God unto your mind. God gave you a mouth to conquer your mind. Your mouth is your deliverer (Proverbs 12:6; Isaiah 49:2; Jeremiah 5:14)
7. Maintain an attitude of thanksgiving. Worship corrects your focus. Thankfulness is the medicine for moaning. Worship attracts divine presence and breaks up satanic strongholds of anxiety and depression (Psalm 149:6-9; 1 Thessalonians 5:18; Daniel 6:10).

As you focus on the word of God, the peace of God flows through your mind and keeps you in a perpetual state of unprecedented joy.
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3)

Yours in Christ
Wale

 

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