My last post about being hopeful in a depressing world seemed to speak to many people. The problem is that for many of us it can be difficult to switch from one mindset to another.
Transitions require letting go of one thing and moving into a new thing, which can feel dangerous or even like a loss of something we need.
Living in a particular mindset or mode or mood defines who you are to a certain extent. “That’s just how I am.” But is it? Do you like feeling depressed and hopeless? Would you rather enjoy life more?
But, trust me, I understand that it’s hard to change. Your mindset is not like a jacket you can take off and on easily. It’s more like your fitness level or body weight . It’s part of you.
Losing weight (or gaining) or getting stronger takes time and effort and consistency. But the reward is worth the work. Losing fear and gaining joy also takes effort.
Weaning off of constantly reading and thinking about things that upset us will require a willingness to change. We do those things for a reason, but it can become counter-productive. It can be hard to admit to ourselves that our habits are no longer serving us.
Yes, much of what you have been thinking and reading is true and awful. But is it really any different than the true and awful things that have been going on for thousands of years? No. Actually, the world is a lot better in many ways than it was thousands of years ago. Spend some time thinking of ways the world has improved.
You may not have even realized that you are being controlled by fear. Maybe you thought you were just being smart or responsible and that everyone else needs to know these things. Don’t take on that burden. It’s more important to share the Gospel of Jesus than to share videos about Fauci. I’ve done both, but I think I need to focus on Jesus more. In fact, God has really opened my eyes lately to the fact that much of the world doesn’t really understand their need for Jesus at all.
You can’t fix the world by worrying. Accepting that is the first step.
What about Covid? The pandemic has affected everyone, but those of us who already know that the government is not working in our best interest have had a hard time just going along with what we see as a massive power grab.
Even if you don’t see it exactly like that, you probably have concerns about getting sick, changes in the economy, losing your routine, and making decisions about traveling or family gatherings.
Some are on the side of being fearful of the unvaccinated and wanting more protection from the virus via more mandates. This is a response to the media’s narrative that the unvaccinated are causing you harm, which many believe, despite the fact that this argument does not make sense.
Whichever side you’re on, if you’re living in fear of the virus or the mandates, your mental health is at risk. On the other hand, if you are perfectly at peace with simply obeying “the experts” or following “the science” , this article is not for you.
As Christians, we especially should be concerned about how our mindset and conversation can affect others because we are ambassadors for Christ. It’s time to turn the tide from fear to faith! Jesus will return when He’s ready.
This may be a good time to examine your faith and see what exactly you believe about God and if that lines up with what the Bible actually says. There is so much bad teaching out there! Do your homework.
So how does one wean off this mindset of fear? Here are a few ideas.
- Journal your current thoughts/worries when you wake up. Make a list of what you can and can’t control. Choose one thing to work on.
- Make a choice to control your life through positive actions instead of by withdrawing from the world.
- Look around and see that many people are starting new businesses, going to school, learning skills for the jobs of the future, and making plans for life. Join those people.
- If you’re into research, research topics that empower you in your actual life. Learn about investing, gardening, entrepreneurship, a foreign language, technology or fitness.
- Switch your mood quickly by simply listening to music that makes you dance!
- Get down on the floor and stretch. Use a foam roller to release the knots in your back. Ahhhh!
- Change up your podcast list. Choose carefully. Here is a suggestion.
- Pray regularly and give the things you can’t control to God. Ask Him to help you be patient as He carries out His plans.
- Remind yourself that God’s plans are different than ours. Pray for His will and His glory .
- Delete or unfollow negative sources of information such as political blogs, certain Facebook groups or pages or people who post mostly negative information, most of Twitter, Rumble, etc.
- Follow and subscribe to more Christian, positive and motivational sources . Be selective.
- Add one positive habit to your day. For example, drink more water, eat an apple, take a daily walk, or do an exercise routine . Use your phone reminders or an app or write a written note to help you remember.
- Go back to church if you’ve gotten out of the habit. Being with other believers is so helpful!
- Talk to positive people instead of the ones who reinforce your negative thoughts.
- Tell yourself that it’s okay to relax and enjoy your life. Being worried or angry is not fixing the world.
- Join a support group in your community or , better yet, a Bible study group. Or both! Real life Relationships can help you get out of your rut.
- Wear a bracelet or write a word on your hand to help you remember not to dwell on fearful thoughts.
- Talk to people who aren’t into politics and listen to what they’re interested in and involved in and consider trying new things.
- Take time to look at the fortress you’ve built to protect yourself from the world. Are you shutting out good things as well ?
- Examine your thoughts/beliefs and see if you find any that are based on assumptions or possibly wrong information. We are being fed so much information and it’s not all true.
- Learn to accept that although many bad things are true, but not worth being upset over because you can’t change it anyway. Let it go. Open your hands and release it like a butterfly.
- Remind yourself that oftentimes, ignoring things or giving it time to self-resolve is actually a good practice. Not every situation requires a response.
- Be kind to yourself as you work at letting go of “being in control” and being okay with being less “informed”. Tell yourself ‘Good job!” when you choose to ignore a ‘fear bait’ link.
- Remember that those YouTubers and website owners are making money off your views.
- Selling Fear is a business, and it’s booming! You can choose a different path.
- Get dressed and go somewhere. Put on your makeup or shave and get a hair cut . Buy a new outfit or a new pair of shoes.
- Go for a walk at the park . Smile at the other walkers and say hi. 😊
- Write your own blog post about how to beat the culture of fear.
How do you change your mood or mindset when you realize you’re in a rut? Add your own suggestions in the comments!