There are two types of people that exist: Individuals who can compartmentalize their emotions and people who can’t. I am part of the latter group.

Sometimes it’s easier or feels more natural to wallow in self-pity rather than stand up and move forward.

The past year of my life has been one where I have spent way too many hours letting my emotions control me. I’ve always been a feeler. And while yes, there is a place for feelings, there is also a need to shut them down and to use the authority of the Holy Spirit to be the voice of truth when you allow your emotions to lead you more than you allow truth to guide you.

If I’m honest, most of the time when my emotions overwhelm me they lead me into a tunnel vision and distort my reality. But the funny thing is, hours later, they fade and I see clearly again. Most of the time, a nap can be really wise to discern what emotions are in the heat of a moment and what is actually rooted in something deeper.

But regardless, there are certain habits to set into place that can alleviate the control that distorted thoughts and consuming feelings play into our health. Over the course of struggling through ups and downs, I’ve picked up on some things that have been helpful to me. So today, I want to encourage anyone who has been wrestling with anxiety, depression, or any other mental stronghold to do the following thing. One of my favorite people shared this with me, and it gave me strength before I even let my feet hit the floor or thoughts run wild.

You’re about to take your thoughts captive. Get ready. This may be cheesy, but it’s also powerful.

Before you start this day:

1) Think about what is worrying you the most about this day.

2) Write it down in 1-2 sentences.

3) Read Psalm 37:5.

4) Read it out loud.

5) Read it to someone else who you trust or who you feel called to share it with.

We learn things better when we teach them.

6) Pray a prayer of thanks knowing that “He will act,” knowing ALL that needs to be acted on EXACTLY as He has planned it to.

7) Begin your day.

Maybe you will feel no change, maybe God himself will show up and wash your mind free of all the chaos. Regardless, I believe fully that the more and more that we speak truth over our own minds, the more we will be set free. Keep doing this day in and day out until you see the hope for your future turn into the reality of your present. Keep fighting. The Lord will not let you down.

*If it’s the middle of the day, do this on your break. If you’re in a cubicle reading this and feeling overwhelmed, take 10 minutes to sit in your cubicle and recenter yourself.