"‘My anxious thoughts multiply within me…"- Psalm 94:19 NAS
Your thought-life can be the incubator for anxiety and depression, so understand this: 1) Your thoughts are yours! ‘My anxious thoughts multiply within me.’ You conceive, interpret, assign meaning to, accept or reject them. So be decisive about which thoughts are, or aren’t, helpful. 2) You become what your thought-life makes you (Proverbs 23:7 NAS). It’s not your circumstances, it’s your thoughts about your circumstances that produce your emotions. Your thoughts trigger biochemistry that determines your feelings, their duration and their intensity. When you begin to think differently you’ll feel differently. 3) Your thoughts are prolific. The Psalmist said they ‘multiply’ within you. Random thoughts may be temporarily upsetting, but they don’t produce lasting anxiety or depression. That is the work of persistent thought patterns - negative thoughts that multiply, repeating themselves within you. You must ‘take them captive’ and ‘bring [them] into obedience’ to Christ-like thinking in order to control your feelings (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). 4) You must ‘Let the Spirit renew your (individual) thoughts and attitudes (habitual mind-set)’ (Ephesians 4:23 NLT). Submit your thoughts to God’s Spirit, allowing Him to approve or renew (replace) them with His thoughts. Anxiety and depression cannot continue to control you when you give God control of your mind. 5) People can contribute to your anxiety and depression. They can make you want to live - or die! (Proverbs 18:21). They can reduce or increase your anxiety and depression. Avoid those who speak discouraging words, and spend time with those who speak ‘…a good word [that] makes [your heart] glad’ (Proverbs 12:25 NAS).