I'm not sure I'm the only one - have you ever had that sinking feeling where you feel like your life is spiralling out of control? I want to share with you five things that will help you when you feel like your life is going 'belly up'!
1. Eliminate the typical 'foggy thinking' that will keep you feeling paralyzed
'Foggy thinking' attacks us all at different points in our life. Thoughts like - "I Can't see my way out of this' or "I don't know what to do next?" or "I feel like my life is out of control".Grab a piece of blank paper and begin to write out everything that is happening in your life. Like a 'mind dump'. Don't worry about punctuation or grammar - just write. Get as many facts down as you can but also write down your feelings. This helps you to be able to eliminate foggy thinking by going on the offensive and not allowing random thoughts to cloud your brain. I prefer a Mind Map - this helps me to break it down in order and add a new 'branch' with every thought that appears. Try it - you may find it will help you as much as it has helped me.
2. Realise that you can never control everything that is going on around you!
There are certain things you can control but there are many you simply cannot. Accept that. Don't frustrate yourself by allowing yourself to get anxious over things you have no control over. One of my sons once got into some trouble and I found myself continually anxious about his situation and it began to affect me. One day I realised that I was expending precious emotional energy that I didn't have onboard and I needed to 'let go' of my son's situation because it was outside of my control. It bought a huge weight off my shoulders, as I handed the burden over to God and put my trust in Him.
Question: What are you holding onto today that you need to let go of? Let it go. It is outside your control. Anxiety has a huge negative effect on our souls.
3. Identify the things you can control and take control!
Don't let others make decisions for you that you are unhappy with. Sure - your employer may have the say at the end of the day but try and work things out so that you are not a puppet on a string! Often our frustrations can mount up because people are making decisions for us and we never asked them to. When Paul wrote to the church he planted in Ephesus and said "I beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling.." (Eph 4:1). Key word? LEAD. How can you live a worthy life without initiative? You can't. We must LEAD our own life and not allow others to sabotage it. Yes - Jesus has got to stay at the helm of all of our lives 'but believe you me' - there are people out there that want to control not only their life, but yours as well! Using my previous example - I looked at how I could help my son and I got on with it, assisting him when and where I could to help him out of his dilemma. It worked out a lot better when I could see how my help was really helping.
4. Never underestimate the power of PRAYER
Surveys have been done - many in fact - where athiests have confessed when they have been in a very tight spot in life, they have cried out to God as a last resort. Amazingly - somehow they were aleviated out of their tight spot! God invites all of humanity to come to him in child like faith and pray. Jesus modeled a life of dependence on his own Father by regularly touching base in prayer and supplication. Once when making a vitally important decision - he stayed up all night praying - to select the 12 Apostles that would form the foundations of the Church. I like what the Apostle Peter said, "Cast all your care upon Him, because He cares for you." (1 Pet 5:7) When I'm feeling like my life is not quite where I'd like it to be - there is nothing quite like taking time to talk it out with God and in the process feel His love for me. Removing the burdens of life make a big difference to anyone's day! Pray. You will be amazed at how God may answer you.
5. Move forward
Stay on the front foot. Momentum is a precious thing in life. If you stay in the same place for too long you can get 'frozen' in time. Psalm 23 is a beautiful Psalm filled with incredible insight. One of those insights is simply this 'Yay though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil'. When you are walking in 'death valley', as long as you KEEP WALKING, eventually you will come out the other side! Don't stop now - keep going!