Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen has become a daily mantra for me. I was almost nostalgic to see it end. I read this book over the month of August and I will keep what I learned with me always.
The reason I chose this particular book is simple: I suffer from worry and a negative mindset. The greatest battle we can fight is the battle of our minds. The book focuses on the concept that we can hold our thoughts captive. We have a choice on what we think about, which will in turn dictate essentially the way we live. How we think shapes how we will live. Taking control of our thought process is the key to finding real peace.
This is a life changing idea, but it will only work for me if I am consistent in practicing it. Allen invites the reader to create a map of negative thoughts. I comprised my map honestly with the negative thoughts I have on a daily basis. I noticed that indeed many of my thoughts are toxic. The danger of toxic thinking is that it creates an alternate reality, where distorted reasoning makes sense. This is absolutely true for me. To combat this, Allen references Paul’s famous words
from the bible: “I could take my thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.” I have a choice where I choose to focus my energy. Instead of giving attention to spiraling thoughts, I can instead fixate on God. The benefits of training my thoughts this way can physically alter my brain, make healthier neural connections, and change everything for me.
Throughout the book, Allen goes on to list many ways one can think like Christ. I will reference five ideas I choose to practice. When my mind starts to spiral, I will choose to be still and fixate on God. When I feel isolated I will reach out to my community. When I am thinking negative thoughts I will sit down and write a gratitude or blessing list. When I have anxiety I will learn to trust God. Last, when I am feeling like I am a victim, I will take the focus off of myself and serve others.
This book is going to be beneficial for my success after prison. I am going to have many responsibilities and my mental health is vital. If I could get a grasp on my thoughts now, I will be better equipped to train my thoughts out there.