Beat fear and build a bigger life

Fear feels bigger at nigh

Fear is a form of evil that can easily establish a stronghold in the single person's life.

Are you afraid? Do frightened thoughts dominate your mind? Are you constantly scared that bad things are going to happen to you?

Surprisingly, we can banish many of our dreads just by using common sense. Women, especially, need to take precautions to protect themselves from physical harm. If you live in a large city, you should be constantly vigilant to not let yourself get into a dangerous neighborhood or situation.

Many of a single person's fears center around the question: "What if...?" We get into the bad habit of looking at the future and thinking about all the scary things that could happen. But many of the things we worry and obsess about never come true. Mark Twain once said: "I am an old man and have had many troubles, most of which never happened."

Being alone, we believe that we don't have anyone to yank us out of that worry cycle. Our mind starts to wander in the wrong direction, and soon it picks up speed, like a runaway train. But there's a solution to those runaway thoughts. There's a way to slam on the brakes so you don't make yourself sick with worry.

The answer lies in this simple truth:

Jack's truths for thriving

The human mind is only capable of thinking
about one thing at a time.

Oh sure, it's true that we're able to switch back and forth in our thoughts with astonishing speed, but we simply cannot hold two thoughts in our mind at once.

Reading the Bible, praying, and mind-challenging activities like reading, writing, and even watching worthwhile TV shows can block out fear thoughts. Reading is especially effective because of the level of concentration it requires.

Usually fearful thoughts control our thinking when we go to bed and our home is quiet. Just when we should be the most peaceful and relaxed, we become agitated and anxious. What can you do to break fear's grip on your mind?

1. Replace frightened thoughts with thoughts of God.

It's easy to forget that God is in control. It's easy to forget that nothing is impossible to God. But the Bible is the truth, and that's plainly what it says. Memorizing short scripture verses can help, so you have a big supply of ammunition to blast holes in the scary "what if's?". When your mind starts to go down a path that's wrong, blast it with one of your Bible verses and keep blasting, even if you have to repeat it a thousand times! Remember, you cannot think of two things at the same time. So keep your positive thought in your focus. Another way to do this is to take a mental trip, putting yourself into one of your favorite episodes in the Bible. One of my favorites is Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Here are some helps for taking a "mental vacation."

2. Review positive steps you can take in the situation.

Do everything humanly possible toward solving the situation. Make a list of positive steps you can take. Then start doing them as soon as possible, knowing that you're doing your part and trusting God to do his part. For example, if you have a pain that won't go away, go to your doctor about it. Someone once said, "God does the healing but the doctor gets the money." Ask God to give you the courage to do your part. He will!

3. Deflate fear with the 'worst case scenario' strategy.

If you ask yourself, "What's the worst thing that can possibly happen?", then make plans for what you'll do if that takes place, you take all the power out of the fear, just like letting the air out of a balloon. And you know what? The worst case very rarely ever happens.

4. Use the "Jesus chair" strategy.

I learned this 30 years ago when I had cancer. My mind would race when I went to bed, full of one terrifying "what if?" thought after another. I had trouble trusting God with my future. Then I read about this very simple idea. Put an empty chair next to your bed. Say, out loud, "Jesus, would you sit here tonight and watch over me?" This sounds silly, but it works! Our Savior and Protector is on guard 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He never sleeps. This exercise will help you develop the childlike faith that God is seeking.

5. Remember how God has rescued you in the past.

It helps to interrupt your worrying, get up, get a pencil and paper, and start to write those rescues down. God is faithful. God can be trusted. God will only give you the very best for you. When you start going back through your life, the Holy Spirit will help you remember all the times God answered your prayers and came to your aid. God's character is 100% reliable. You will soon see a pattern of protection that cannot be broken. You are secure in God's love and grasp. Nothing can steal you away from him.

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Get the scoop on Outsmarting Loneliness...

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