Overcoming Anxiety and Depression – Fight
Fighting doesn’t always mean resorting to violence. We know that the weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds, and that is exactly what we intend to do…demolish the strongholds of anxiety and depression.
Do not allow these killers (anxiety and depression) to murder you, which is precisely their purpose. Make no mistake about it ladies, anxiety and depression can be just as deadly as some forms of cancer and you must fight against it with everything in you. Known for being relentless and ruthless, do not underestimate the enemy of your soul, whose determined to steal, kill, and destroy. Anxiety and depression will attack with no holds barred. Therefore be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might! When your strength is depleted, remain standing and let the Lord fight your battles. Your first line of defense is ALWAYS GOD.
There are several tactics that can be implemented when breaking the cycle of ungodly thinking. Because both anxiety and depression are known for altering the perception of their captors, you are their main target. If they can get you to believe that you are anything less than what God says, they’ve won half the battle. The blows that anxiety and depression throw at you may sometimes leave you dazed, confused, and barely able to see clearly. If the way you view yourself is off, if your vision is even slightly skewed, the way you view yourself must be reestablished immediately. Be determined in your strategy to overcome by any means necessary. Do not let your guard down and extend no mercy because trust that none will be reciprocated. You must fight for your right to be free from the mental prison that will not hesitate to arrest all other aspects of living. Roll up your sleeves and fight ladies, fight for your life in Christ.
Just one more day to go before our journey comes to an end, are you still with me ladies? Hang in there because I saved the best for last. Today, I pray that each of you would be endowed with the supernatural power of the One who fights constantly for you, with you, and on your behalf – the Champion of life, death, and satan himself: the One and Only, Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Overcoming Anxiety and Depression – Focus
I am all too familiar with the negative spin that anxiety and depression puts on everything from future expectations to the way you see yourself and everything in between. Contrary to popular belief (and popular usually means those who haven’t dealt with depression personally), when battling with these two monsters, blanket statements like “mind over matter,” “wishful thinking,” and (my all-time favorite…NOT) “just think positive” will not cut it. As a matter of fact, it could actually make things worse because now feelings of guilt develop due to you not being able to “positive think” it away.
If anxiety and depression were that easy to get rid of, why is it that an alarming amount of people have these issues and the number of people dealing with them are constantly growing? Ladies, anxiety and depression is so much more than being “down in the dumps” and to overcome it means you must be willing to concentrate on the Lord wholeheartedly.
To break out of the ungodly thought process you must focus – control your mind, don’t allow your mind to control you. Yes, thoughts will come (guaranteed), however, you do not have to entertain those thoughts. Be intentional in your thinking and purposeful in your processing.
While in these bouts of mental anguish, remember who you are in God, and should you forget, revert back to the only truth that does not waver – His word. Listen ladies, you cannot rely on your feelings because not only are they unstable but they can lie to you as well. It is crucial that you become completely dependent upon the Lord of hosts. He is the same today, yesterday, and forever.
Unfortunately, many people who have issues with anxiety and depression, are also perfectionists. Perfectionists are constantly holding themselves to higher standards and unrealistic expectations. Sometimes people fail to realize that God is not interested in their attempts at being perfect, He doesn’t have to look beyond His own throne for perfection (quoted by Laurie Lewis). God already knows you are incapable of perfection. Alleviate self-imposed stress by allowing yourself to be less than perfect, instead focus on who you are in Him.
Writing has always been therapeutic in my opinion. Consider keeping an ungodly verses godly thought journal. Whenever an ungodly thoughts pops into your head, write it down, afterwards, write a godly truth (may include scriptures) that will negate the ungodly thought. Focus on the godly truth you wrote down, read it often, memorize it. Soon, each time the ungodly thought enters your mind the godly thought will be sure to follow. It won’t take long for you to obtain a few pages full of godly thoughts that are now ineffective due to the godly truth you chose to focus on. If you keep you mind on the Lord, He’ll keep you in perfect peace.
Wow ladies, it has been awesome to share with you today. As we come to another day’s end, please know that my prayer for you is that you would fully concentrate on God’s goodness and His grace. You won’t want to miss tip six, join me again tomorrow! May the Lord keep you, until we meet again.
Exercise is such an ugly word, wouldn’t you agree ladies? LOL! In spite of how we may feel about the word, it is a necessary evil. I’m sure you’re all too familiar with the spirit of heaviness that causes such menial tasks, such as getting out of bed or taking a shower, to be insurmountable, much less exercising. However, research tells us that staying fit is proven to be just as effective as prescription medications used to treat anxiety and depression. Apparently, staying fit with regular physical activity such as exercise, actually triggers new cell growth in the brain which has several benefits. It causes muscle tension relief and it increases mood-enhancing neurotransmitters and endorphins, as well as reducing high levels of stress.
When establishing a fitness routine, keep in mind that most of your benefits will come from exercising at least thirty minutes or more every day. Whether you are an amateur or an expert as it pertains to fitness, you can start small. If you do too much too soon, your fitness action plan will fall apart before you know it. Short bursts of activity in 10 minute intervals will have a noticeable effect on your mood. Buckets of sweat, gym memberships, personal trainers, signing up for marathons, etc. are not necessary to be fit. Any activity that gets your arms and legs moving and raises your heart rate may be considered as exercise. Dancing, swimming, walking, running, (requires moving of the limbs and accelerating the heart rate) can all be incorporated into your daily routine. It makes it easier if you choose activities you enjoy because you’re more likely to stick with it. Committing to several small activities spread throughout the day can quickly add up. It also allows you to tackle your fitness routine in small doses rather than all at once. With the smaller portions it doesn’t seem as overwhelming, especially to those of us who don’t exercise regularly.
There are several ways to implement those smaller chunks of exercise into your day, like parking your vehicle in the farthest spot on the lot, using the stairs instead of the elevators, make walking the dog a part of your daily routine, etc. These are all small adjustments that will make huge impacts.
Four down, three to go! I hope you all will join me again tomorrow as we discuss our fifth tip. My prayer is that every woman who is having this battle will know without a shadow of a doubt that she is not alone. Lord, I ask that You remind these ladies who love You that you have loved them with an everlasting love and nothing will separate them from the miraculous love that You have so freely given to each woman. Speak to them throughout the day in ways that would assure them that You are right there in the storm with them, providing shelter making it impossible for them to get swept up by the treacherous wind and rain. Remember ladies, your hope is in God alone. Blessings!
When we become adults, the world suddenly becomes so serious. For adults, fun is something that we simply don’t have time to indulge. We have unscheduled it on our calendars and removed it from our to-do lists.
We have to come to the realization that in order to overcome anxiety and depression, we gotta have some fun. Girls just wanna have fun, right?! Do things that relax and energize you. In doing so you will learn how to better manage stress, develop healthy habits, and schedule some long overdue, fun activities into your day.
In your pursuit for fun, try exposing yourself to a little sunlight each day, a minimum of at least fifteen minutes per day. Sunlight actually helps to improve your mood. Sitting in a garden, reading a book under a tree, even taking a stroll in the park will help in obtaining your daily dose of sun.
It’s not unusual for anxiety and depression to alter your normal sleep pattern. Whether you’re sleeping too much or too little, your mood will be affected by it. On average we need about eight hours of sleep, which should be your goal each night. You may even need to try some relaxation techniques prior to your bedtime, it will help to relieve some of the symptoms of anxiety and depression, while reducing stress. It can also enhance feelings of joy and well-being. Creating healthy sleeping habits will definitely help to improve your mood.
Before anxiety and depression took over your life, you had fun and enjoyed doing certain things. Of course you can’t force yourself to fun, however, you can make a conscience decision to participate in activities that you once found to be pleasurable like an old hobby you’d like to revisit, or an interest you may want to explore. Investigate your creative side through art (painting, sculpting, etc.), writing, build a collection of some sort, or take a trip to the park, the beach, even the mountains with a few friends. Music has the ability to greatly influence its listeners, it has extreme mood altering capabilities. Having said that, be careful when selecting your playlists. Opt for music that makes you feel good, empowered, inspired, strong, etc. Stay away from dark music with violent lyrics, sad songs, and music that triggers painful memories.
You will have to push yourself to have fun because most likely you won’t feel up to doing anything, but follow through with it anyway. It may not happen the first time, but eventually you’ll notice a gradual improvement in your moods accompanied by being more energetic. Whether you see change immediately or not, continue to make time for fun.
This brings us to yet another end ladies and I’d love to hear from you. What are your thoughts thus far? This question may be a little premature but have you been able to apply what you’ve learned to your life? I’m excited to hear your feedback. If you want to share with me personally as opposed to commenting below, please feel free to contact me via email at: Takiela@TakielaBynum.com . Looking forward to hearing from you soon. Blessings!
Overcoming Anxiety and Depression – Food
You’ve heard the phrase, “you are what you eat” right? Well, to my surprise there is some truth to that old adage. Actually what you eat has a huge impact on the way you feel. When dealing with anxiety and depression, your goal should be a balanced diet of complex carbs, low-fat carbs, and plenty of fruits and veggies. Stay away from “comfort foods” and do not to succumb to the urge of emotional eating, especially if it includes trans or saturated fats, high levels of artificial or chemical preservatives or hormones (some meats), alcoholic beverages, and caffeine. Minimize your sugar and refined carbs such as French fries, pasta, cookies, brownies, cakes, pies, baked goods, sugary snacks, etc. These foods will temporarily make you feel good but your mood and energy will quickly crash, which could cause you to feel worse. These types of foods have a tendency to adversely affect not just your mood, but your brain as well.
Complex carbs will increase your serotonin levels. Foods such as whole grain breads, whole-wheat pasta, oatmeal, baked potatoes are all full of complex carbs that will increase your serotonin levels without the crash like refined carbs.
Implement more super foods into your daily intake. Nuts, bananas, and brown rice are all foods rich in nutrients that can boost your mood. Increase your vitamin B consumption by taking a B-complex vitamin supplement or eating more eggs, chicken, leafy greens, and beans. Deficiencies in B vitamins can trigger mood swings.
Sometimes, when battling with anxiety or depression, you don’t have much of an appetite at all. When you don’t feel well, it’s not uncommon for your food intake to significantly decrease from little to nothing. Skipping meals is a bad idea because long stretches between meals can make you feel both tired and irritable. Make it a goal to eat a small meal or snack every three or four hours.
Well ladies, as we bring today’s discussion to a close, I hope you will join me tomorrow for the third tip on overcoming anxiety and depression. I am praying that the Lord will demonstrate His power in your life while you walk through this emotionally challenging journey. May you experience the glory of the Lord in ways you never have before. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. Until we meet again ladies, blessings!
It’s a dirty topic, but somebody’s gotta discuss it – anxiety and depression.
Before we go there (anxiety and depression), let’s talk about what redefining flourish means.
redefine: to state or set forth the meaning, explain, identify the nature, essential qualities of, specify distinctly, determine or fix boundaries or extent of, to make clear the outline or format of. (www.dictionary.com)
flourish: to be in a vigorous state; thrive; to be in its or one’s prime; be at the height of fame, excellence, influence, etc. successful, prosper, grow luxuriantly. (www.dictionary.com)
Essentially, the concept regarding the phrase redefining flourish is this – to go beyond the boundaries of the traditional definition of the word flourish, breaking out of the restrictive description of the word flourish.
Ladies, the Lord does not get any glory when His daughters are walking around oppressed, defeated, or broken. He takes no pleasure in us being imprisoned by our thoughts.
Some may not realize it but anxiety and depression are both head conditions, (before you take offence, hear me out please), meaning it starts in the mind (the battle ground of the enemy) and then travels to the heart spreading like a cancerous disease, eventually infecting the entire body. Once the mind has the heart convinced, the body will follow. They (anxiety and depression) are the byproducts of fear, it is their driving force. When we are plagued by fear, it cripples us to the point of paralyzation. Medically speaking, when a person suffers from paralysis of any kind, it’s because of an injury or disease of the nerves, spinal cord, or brain (NOTE: it does not list heart). The brain registers the information and the heart carries it out. For example, if someone is depressed, the brain alerts the heart, and the heart sends out the notification by pumping the depression tainted blood to the rest of the body – when the mind has the heart convinced, the body will follow.
This gives new meaning to a few of those popular verses in the Bible that urge us to keep our minds in check (Romans 12:1-2 NIV, Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV), even going as far as offering suggestions on what to think on (Philippians 4:8 NIV). God reminds us in His word that He has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV). When a person is paralyzed (even if it’s by fear), I’d venture to say that the word power wouldn’t be on the list used to describe their feelings. Just sayin. Love is a force that holds its own, it can tap into a level of courage that was previously dormant. There is nothing like a sound mind. It embodies peace, rational thinking, and understanding.
The word of God says “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Mat 7:11 NIV It says it in Luke 11:13 NIV as well. (NOTE: In these two passages of Scripture, the “good gifts” mentioned are referring to the Holy Spirit.) In addition, the Bible clearly states in James 4:2 KJV, “…ye have not, because ye ask not.” and the NIV translation says it like this, “You do not have because you do not ask God.” Verse 24 in Mark 11 explains, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received in, and it will be yours.”
After reviewing the previously mentioned Scriptures, think about these questions before you answer, be honest with yourself and rest assure that God already knows the answer. You can lie to others, and even to yourself, but there is no hiding the truth from the Lord of the universe. 1. What have you asked God to do for you regarding anxiety and depression? 2. When you ask Him, do you fully believe that He will deliver? As I pondered these same questions myself quite a few years ago, I hate to admit it, but I was ashamed of my answers. After coming to that realization, I fell on my knees and asked God to forgive me. In my prayer, I asked God to provide me with an action plan for overcoming and to strengthen me for the journey ahead. There was work to do and I needed to get started right away, thus my research began.
Overcoming Anxiety and Depression – Family and Friends
It is important to have a support system available to you because it plays a major role in helping to overcome the struggles associated with anxiety and depression. While in the storms of anxiety and depression, maintaining a godly perspective along with sustaining the minimum effort needed to overcome this relentless pair, may seem impossible. Not to mention that the very nature of these beasts (anxiety and depression) makes it difficult to reach out for help. By adding isolation to the emotional turmoil, it can quickly turn a bad situation to much worse. However, on the flipside, retaining emotionally healthy close relationships with a trusted family member or friend can be vital in the process of overcoming.
Often times, reaching out to someone who is close, simply isn’t an option for various reasons like embarrassment, guilt, shame, exhaustion, etc. However, when these thoughts invade your mind, know that it is the enemy talking, using anxiety and depression as his voice. The enemy of your soul would have you believe that reaching out for help is a sign of weakness and that couldn’t be further from the truth. The people who love and care about you want to help you. Also, making new friends and improving your support system is always a plus.
Surround yourself with family and friends who love and care for you. It is important to spend time talking face to face with people you trust. They only need to listen, they don’t have to fix you. Ask for help and support that is beneficial to you. Don’t expect people to automatically know how to help, be as specific as possible.
Remain involved in social activities, regardless of how you feel. Sometimes, when dealing with anxiety and depression, you’ll probably feel more comfortable retreating into your shell but resist these feelings. Being around other people will help you overcome.
My prayer is that you don’t’ get weary as you walk this difficult journey. God will strengthen you, He will order your steps, continue to trust Him and believe He is able to do what is impossible for you. Join me tomorrow to discuss the second tip for overcoming anxiety and depression.
by Takiela Bynum 2013©
The Scarless Letter
I know you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders right now. Family issues, the kids at school, boy drama, grades, and the list goes on. Add sex (pregnancy scare or worse), drugs, or alcohol into the equation and it upgrades your life from bad to worse.
Does this sound familiar?
When I look at you, I see the past me. My prayer is that when you look at me, you’ll see the (possible) future you. Twenty years ago I was fifteen and dealing with the issues of life. Feeling lost and I would often embrace thoughts of eternal sleep. My mind had grown tired of the endless troubles going on in my life at that time. I wanted to escape. I wanted peace. I began to cut. My only hope was that one day I’d hit a vein that would take me out of my misery…forever.
Understand that no one told me that my life wouldn’t always be filled with hurt and pain. I didn’t know that I’d have a life bursting with more joy that I could ever imagine. I wasn’t aware that every scar I put on my body, I’d have to give an account for one day (to my children). My present hurt prevented me from seeing my future hope.
When you’re in a hopeless state of mind, you may not realize it, but you’re telling God that even He is incapable of solving your problems. It’s too complicated for Him to resolve. You’re saying things are the worst it could ever be and will always be this way, ultimately shutting out the only One who can bring you out.
Your future in Christ is much brighter than any darkness you will ever endure. (Read Roman 8:18) No one shared that truth with me which makes me obligated to share this vital information with you.
Today let’s make a pledge, from this day forward we’re going “scarless!” We can’t do anything about the old scars but we can choose not to make new scars. Let’s put down our razors and pick up scarlet red eyeliner. When or if we ever get the urge to cut, use the red eyeliner. It’ll help remind you of the blood Jesus shed on the cross for you and it’ll also wash away…never leaving a scar.
I, (insert name here), being of sound mind and body, here do pledge to God and all who love me on this month (insert month here), of this day (insert day here), in this year (insert year here) to bury all self-harming ways, never to be exhumed again! In the sight of God and all witnesses, I promise if and/or when I get the urge to self-harm, I’ll replace my instrument of destruction with an instrument that represents hope, a scarlet red eyeliner pencil, instead. I will do this in remembrance of the blood Jesus shed on the cross for me, (insert name here). I am committed to the “scarless” pledge. With God nothing is impossible.
Find an accountability partner, someone who will help you commit to this pledge. Know that you have fans cheering you on and praying for you in heaven and all over the earth. Even though I’ll already be praying, if you’d like me to pray for a specific person/situation or if I can help in another way comment below publicly or email me privately (firstname.lastname@example.org). Take the “scarless” pledge today!
Our prayer team and Takiela love taking the concerns of others to the throne of God. Yes, we pray each week on Throne Room Thursday. However, because life doesn’t have a pause button, we have committed to pray everyday with and for each of you. If you have a prayer request you’d like to submit, no matter what day it is, please send it to us.
Let us stand in agreement with you and make our petitions known to the Lord – Phil 4:6. The all powerful Lord tells us that where two or three are gathered in His name He is in the midst of them…imagine if you had an entire team of godly women praying on your behalf?!
How can we pray for you today?
[contact-form-7 id=”237″ title=”Prayer Request”]
I am thankful for the best group of ladies surrounding me with encouragement, wise counsel, who also pray with and for me. They are from different walks of life, churches, jobs and businesses. God, thankfully, knows what he is doing.
I mention my ladies because they have sharpened me, advised me, watched me grow, fall, cry, laugh, build my business, proofread for me, traveled with me and love me BIG. Do you have a support system in place to love you to health, wealth and growth? If not, I pray God fills your cup to overflowing with those you can be blessed by and be a blessing to as you walk the rest of your days on this earth. My ladies came to mind today as I write because of a situation that arose overnight. I prayed for all involved. I called ‘Z’ (not her real name) to ask if what I was thinking made sense. She said she had been there done that so her experience allowed her to advise me wisely. She said, go ahead and walk out what you’re feeling, but if I had time to meet with her in person, she was willing to do so because I need to care for me before I could ‘not care’ for others’ actions. She recognized (and mentioned) my emotions were high. We set a time to meet. It is wonderful to have someone’s full attention. See you soon ‘Z.’
Sunday, my ladies made me feel welcome at the ladies’ meeting. I had the pleasure of enjoying their questions of where have I been, even though I taught class two Sundays ago. We have lots of fun and their faces are a blessing to me.
Go out and hug your lady friends and or family who inspire you.Till we meet again, God be with you! Starlet Ware
Romans 6:16, 22
16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?…22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.
A few years ago, I had a dream. I dreamt I was a slave.
In the dream (set in the 1700—1800’s), the master was looking for me. I could sense that he was about to rape me. So, I ran down stairs! I had planned to escape once I got downstairs, but the “master” was right behind me. As I stood at the bottom of the stairs, I could see the front door, which was a screen door. Through the screen door, I saw nothing but pretty water, greenery, and sunshine.
But the door was locked. I couldn’t get free!
Then I turned around and saw the slave master standing behind me and I anticipated he was going to rape me so I screamed “Don’t!”
And I woke up. It terrified me.
Even recalling it now sends chills up my spine.
Looking back, that dream symbolized a lot of things going on with me at the time. Perhaps even now, many of you reading this may be able to relate. Why? You recognize 2 things:
- At some point or another, all of us were slaves to a master of some kind; maybe several.
- Whatever we submitted to, often became the domineering source in our life which made us…slave.
Something and perhaps someone, at some point was your master. You obeyed. You did what you were told. You responded a certain way. You behaved a certain way. You did things when you didn’t want to (but yet something made you feel like you had to), yet you didn’t know how to say no. You didn’t know that you could. Maybe you thought it was something you had to live with for the rest of your life.
For me – my masters were my own foolishness, disobedience, giving in to deception and being enslaved by my passions and pleasures (Titus 3:3-7).
I didn’t say no. I thought I couldn’t live without my masters.
As Titus goes on to describe, I lived in malice and envy – hating people. (Don’t know if I was hated though ☺) However, when the kindness and love of my God and Savior appeared, he saved me. It wasn’t because of righteous things I had done, but because of his mercy.
- My foolishness resulted in purposely putting myself in dangerous situations where I didn’t know if I would be safe and secure.
- My disobedience resulted in me purposely ignoring God to pursue my own agenda.
- Me believing the lies of the enemy about my value resulted in me pursuing all sorts of relationships and activities while also compromising my worth.
I didn’t reap any Godly benefits while a slave to my sin. Nothing I was doing was leading to holiness and eternal life. NOTHING.
My ungodly passions and pleasures kept me in bondage for years, yet I didn’t want to let them go because I liked the way they made me feel. Those passions and pleasures made me temporarily forget that I had deeper issues (that I didn’t want to confront), yet I found myself after those passions and pleasures passed – still very empty and broken.
Years ago, when I had that dream about being a slave – I had just rededicated my life to Christ and was baptized. I felt so free. My thought process was being adjusted and I could sense that I was spiritually maturing in a way that I had never known. I wanted people to begin to experience the feeling that I had just found—that joy.
But right after that dream, I shared it with a trustworthy person at the time. She had news for me.
She said that dream was the enemy’s way of telling me he wanted me and that I would never be free from the issues I had. I was to be his slave. He wanted me and planned to keep me by any means necessary.
That pretty greenery I was seeing through the screen door represented my life once I was no longer under his control. She then told me to war and to tell the devil that I had a new master – and his name was Jesus.
I did just that and haven’t looked back since. Why would I? I found a love and He was too good!
He loved me for who I was…He was the one who made me and forgave me.
Beloved, as you reflect this week and even on this month, remember to be thankful for the Lord setting you free from whatever has you enslaved.
John 8:36 says it best: So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.Forever in HIS freedom, Katrina
I am thankful for my mother who loves me so much. When I walk into Sorenson Golden Living, her eyes light up. She does this little dance that I join in. I hug and kiss her. Yesterday, I sat at the dinner table with her and let her talk while I ate up all the saltine crackers left there by other residents. She told me to go ahead and eat them because they would be tossed if left. I did.
We moved our conversation from the dining area to her room. She asked “is Brandon still living with that lady’s son?” I said no, he is with 3 other guys. She said “Brandon needs to come back home or if he is going to be away from home, he should live by himself.” I love this woman’s mind. She is so right. Needless to say, I called my Brandon and told him what his grandmother said. So thankful she is still here to contribute to my life and his. He agrees with her thoughts of living on his own.
To all those who no longer have your mom or dad here to love on, please know this wasn’t written to make to you sad. I wanted to share how we can be thankful for the things our parents instilled in us, taught us or would have taught us if they were in a better place.
God is the ultimate father and he knows our every need. Let him love you like no one else can.Till we meet again, God bless. Starlet