DiscoverOverflow with Craig Booker
Overflow with Craig Booker

Overflow with Craig Booker

Author: Craig Booker

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Hello and welcome to Overflow, a podcast dedicated to leading people to a place of hope, healing, and recovery. Each week, we'll explore topics such as brain health, faith, and personal growth. We'll look at practical ways to navigate anxiety and depression and how faith fits into the picture. Whether you experience challenges with brain health or you are looking to support someone, you've come to the right place!
54 Episodes
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Episode DescriptionIn this episode, we discuss the chapter It's Not a One-Player Game. This is part of a study inspired by Reset - Powerful Habits to Own Your Thoughts, Understand Your Feelings, and Change Your Life by Debra Fileta. We take concepts from the book each week and apply them to brain health.Connect✉️ Subscribe to the newsletter https://overflow.community/newsletter/💼 Connect on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/craigbooker/📷 Connect on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/craigbooker/Leave A ReviewIf you enjoyed listening to the podcast, we'd love for you to leave a review on Apple Podcasts to help others discover the show :)https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/overflow-with-craig-booker/id1707602354
Plan It Out

Plan It Out

2024-02-1303:45

Episode DescriptionIn this episode, we discuss the chapter Plan It Out. This is part of a study inspired by Reset - Powerful Habits to Own Your Thoughts, Understand Your Feelings, and Change Your Life by Debra Fileta. We take concepts from the book each week and apply them to brain health.Connect✉️ Subscribe to the newsletter https://overflow.community/newsletter/💼 Connect on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/craigbooker/📷 Connect on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/craigbooker/Leave A ReviewIf you enjoyed listening to the podcast, we'd love for you to leave a review on Apple Podcasts to help others discover the show :)https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/overflow-with-craig-booker/id1707602354
The Deep End

The Deep End

2024-02-0603:13

Episode DescriptionIn this episode, we discuss the chapter The Deep End. This is part of a study inspired by Reset - Powerful Habits to Own Your Thoughts, Understand Your Feelings, and Change Your Life by Debra Fileta. We take concepts from the book each week and apply them to brain health.Connect✉️ Subscribe to the newsletter https://overflow.community/newsletter/💼 Connect on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/craigbooker/📷 Connect on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/craigbooker/Leave A ReviewIf you enjoyed listening to the podcast, we'd love for you to leave a review on Apple Podcasts to help others discover the show :)https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/overflow-with-craig-booker/id1707602354
Why Now?

Why Now?

2024-01-3006:26

EPISODE DESCRIPTIONIn this episode, we discuss the chapter Why Now? This is part of a study inspired by Reset - Powerful Habits to Own Your Thoughts, Understand Your Feelings, and Change Your Life by Debra Fileta. We take concepts from the book each week and apply them to brain health.CONNECT✉️ Subscribe to the newsletter https://overflow.community/newsletter/💼 Connect on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/craigbooker/📷 Connect on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/craigbooker/LEAVE A REVIEWIf you enjoyed listening to the podcast, we'd love for you to leave a review on Apple Podcasts to help others discover the show :)https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/overflow-with-craig-booker/id1707602354
Own Your Junk

Own Your Junk

2024-01-2304:37

EPISODE DESCRIPTIONIn this episode, we discuss the chapter Own Your Junk. This is part of a study inspired by Reset - Powerful Habits to Own Your Thoughts, Understand Your Feelings, and Change Your Life by Debra Fileta. We take concepts from the book each week and apply them to brain health.CONNECT✉️ Subscribe to the newsletter https://overflow.community/newsletter/💼 Connect on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/craigbooker/📷 Connect on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/craigbooker/LEAVE A REVIEWIf you enjoyed listening to the podcast, we'd love for you to leave a review on Apple Podcasts to help others discover the show :)https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/overflow-with-craig-booker/id1707602354
Something New

Something New

2024-01-1609:51

EPISODE DESCRIPTIONIn this episode, we discuss the chapter Stop Before You Start - Pause. This is part of a study inspired by Reset - Powerful Habits to Own Your Thoughts, Understand Your Feelings, and Change Your Life by Debra Fileta. We take concepts from the book each week and apply them to brain health.CONNECT✉️ Subscribe to the newsletter https://overflow.community/newsletter/💼 Connect on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/craigbooker/📷 Connect on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/craigbooker/LEAVE A REVIEWIf you enjoyed listening to the podcast, we'd love for you to leave a review on Apple Podcasts to help others discover the show :)https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/overflow-with-craig-booker/id1707602354
EPISODE DESCRIPTIONIn this episode, we discuss the chapter Stop Before You Start - Pause. This is part of a study inspired by Reset - Powerful Habits to Own Your Thoughts, Understand Your Feelings, and Change Your Life by Debra Fileta. We take concepts from the book each week and apply them to brain health.Source:[1] Fileta, D. (2023). Reset. Harvest House Publishers.CONNECT✉️ Subscribe to the newsletter💼 Connect on LinkedIn📷 Connect on Instagram Featured Resource or PodcastBeen There, Learned That with Dana Byershttp://danabyerscoaching.com/Leave A ReviewIf you enjoyed listening to the podcast, we'd love for you to leave a review on Apple Podcasts to help others discover the show :)https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/overflow-with-craig-booker/id1707602354
It’s a new year, and with it comes a new beginning for many seeking change in some area of their lives. This change could be a desire to get out of debt, lose a few extra pounds, or improve physical fitness. Whatever that may be, take a few minutes to reflect and write those things down. Put it in your journal or maybe a note on your phone.Maybe you want to make changes that will improve your brain health. You want to replace negative thinking with positive. You want to work on relationships or build a community of people around you. Perhaps it is time to let another person in on your struggles. The new year might be a time to work towards the career you have always dreamed of.We all have areas of our lives that we want to improve. The problem, according to Debra Fileta, is that we go about this change all wrong. We may start getting up early each morning, going to the gym, or seeing a counselor. All of these are good places to start, but within a few weeks, we find ourselves slipping back into our old ways.In the first chapter of Reset, Debra Fileta encourages readers to consider the apostle Paul. In Romans 7:15 NKJV, Paul says, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” We are creatures of habit, which often means we return to old, unhealthy ways of living. Debra says that if we look at this verse, we see a key phrase, “I do not understand what I do.” Woh! Paul, the author of a good part of the New Testament, makes a bold confession. He doesn’t understand his own ways. I’m not sure about you, but I relate to Paul’s statement a LOT! Many times, I simply do not understand my own ways.Why does this matter?Debra says, “…when we don't understand why we do what we do, well find ourselves doing the same things again and again. Understanding why we do what we do, learning to dig a little deeper, is paramount to changing our behavior. There's no way around it.” That’s huge! A big lesson here is that it is important for us to understand why we do what we do.Debra goes on to say, “…the people who end up having the most success in their attempts to change and grow are the ones who have an awareness of what’s going on deep down inside, underneath the surface.” Breaking free from old, unhealthy habits starts with understanding our behaviors and the patterns we continue going back to.In chapter one, Debra tells a funny story about a car she owned years ago in college. The car had several problems, and when Debra took it to the mechanic, she found out it wasn’t a lemon as she had assumed. A few months before, a friend of Debra’s had installed her car stereo. The friend had mistakingly crossed some wires in the process of installing a stereo, which led to a host of other issues.Maybe you can relate to this story of Debra’s. You keep trying to change something in your life, but you find yourself going back to those unhealthy patterns. Sometimes, it can feel like there is something seriously wrong with you. Have you ever stopped to consider whether you have some wires crossed underneath the surface? The truth is there are times when we develop unhealthy or untrue beliefs about ourselves, the world, or others.Thought -> Feels -> BehaviorsAbout halfway through the first chapter, Debra drops a huge, life-changing truth. Our thoughts lead to feelings, which lead to behaviors. If you have ever done any gardening, you know that to get rid of a weed, you need to pull out the roots and all. If you fail to do so, the weed will pop right back up again.This same principle applies to human behavior. If we fail to get to the root of what we are trying to change, we will find ourselves returning to the same old, unhealthy patterns. Debra says, “What's happening in your mind is so key to the process of transformation and change, and knowledge of it
There Is Always Hope

There Is Always Hope

2023-12-2603:07

In this episode, we discuss the chapter titled There Is Always Hope. This is part of a study inspired by Seen – Healing Despair and Anxiety in Kids and Teens Through the Power of Connection by Will Hutcherson & Chinwé Williams, P.H.D. We take concepts from the book each week and apply them to brain health.Will opens with a story about Hannah.Will had just finished speaking to 900 students at a middle school assembly. A boy named John approached Will, asking him if he would speak with his friend Hannah. Hannah was feeling down dealing with insecurities. In his conversation with Hannah, Will assured her that she would not always feel this way. He allowed Hannah to emotionally exhale by sharing the hurt feelings she was experiencing. Will encouraged Hannah by telling her that she has a purpose.Using a few connection tools, Will spoke life into Hannah.Will acknowledged that his interaction with Hannah didn’t solve all of her problems, but it did give her the encouragement she needed that day. Each of us can play a small part in helping others along their journey.Each of us can help.Every caring adult, coach, parent, mentor, pastor, teacher, or counselor can offer hope to others in need.Please understand that you matter.We must fight to help kids, teens, and adults. Because we each matter!The need for kids and adults to show up for one another has never been greater. Kids, teens, and adults are struggling with despair like never before.Hope is our greatest weapon in the battle against despair.The important thing to remember is that we don’t need to be perfect. We need to show up, see them, just listen, speak life, and help them develop grit.It is important that we have the right tools, but we also need to know that there is grace. When we mess up or say the wrong thing, the good news is there is grace.Reading or listening to this may have you feeling a bit overwhelmed or unsure where to start.Will encourages readers to start with one.Start with one kid, one tool, or one moment. Just start with one.🔗 CONNECT✉️ Subscribe to the newsletter💼 Connect on LinkedIn📷 Connect on Instagram⭐️ Leave A ReviewIf you enjoyed listening to the podcast, we'd love for you to leave a review on Apple Podcasts to help others discover the show :)https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/overflow-with-craig-booker/id1707602354 [1] Hutcherson, W., & Williams, C. (2021). Seen: Healing Despair and Anxiety in Kids and Teens Through the Power of Connection.
Build Grit

Build Grit

2023-12-1911:06

Chinwé Williams opens this chapter with a story about her first counseling position as a high school counselor. During her time there, Chinwé, two students she refers to, Imani and Dayna. Both of these girls had played varsity basketball the year before but failed to make the team this particular year. The team had recruited new student-athletes to join the team which increased the competition.Following a few weeks of counseling with Chinwé, she noticed a few things. Chinwé describes Imani as feeling empowered and determined to put in extra hard work to try out next season. Dayna, a lifelong athlete, decided she wasn’t fit for basketball. Dayna fought self-esteem issues that year, while Imani made the team the next time around.The drastically different outcomes caused Chinwé to ask serious questions.What caused one student to give up while the other one put in the hard work and succeeded in making the team?The short answer is resilience.Resilience can also be referred to as GRIT.Angela Duckwork, a leading expert on grit, defines it this way."Grit is passion and sustained persistence applied toward long-term achievement!” Preparing for TroublePossessing resilience or GRIT does not mean that stress or trouble won’t come your way. Those who have developed GRIT have seen their fair share of trials. They know what it means to struggle or experience distress. As kids and teens grow into adults, it is important for them to see that stress, change, and disappointment are all part of being human.It is also important for them to see that they can develop strategies and coping skills to face these challenges head-on.There are studies that show that optimism and flexibility are linked to resilience.ReframingThe practice or act of reframing negative events is linked to resilience.What is reframing?It is a strategy often utilized by counselors or therapists that helps people look at situations or circumstances differently.Reframing can be used to help people focus on the things they have as opposed to what they might have lost. It can be a helpful tool to help focus on what items are within our control versus what is outside our control.How can we play this out?Situation or event:A get-together was canceled due to poor weather.Kid or teen reaction:The child experiences feelings of rejection, withdraws to their room, and feels disappointed, even to the point of feeling angry.Parental Response:“I can see that you are really disappointed that you don’t get to spend time with your friends. I know how much you were looking forward to it. I can understand why you would feel that way. Sometimes, when similar things happen to me, it helps to try and look at things differently.”“What is something we could do, that we might not have done if the weather was nice?”“We could possibly go to that new movie you were looking forward to seeing. Or maybe we could go check out books at the library? What are your thoughts? Do you have any other ideas?”Learning to reframe a situation can be an invaluable tool in adapting and coping with life challenges.As caring adults, mentors, or friends, we can play a crucial role in helping others develop these critical life skills. This is not only helpful for others, it is also helpful for us too.Be a Safe PersonHelping a kid, teen, or adult feel safe is a tremendous ability. We all experience stress, despair, and times of uncertainty. As a parent of a young child, you will serve as an emotional barometer as they go through situations. A caring...
Speak Life

Speak Life

2023-12-1210:20

Speak LifeChinwé opens this chapter by telling a story about a girl named Halle. Halle was a 16-year-old high school junior. At first, Chinwé was blown away by the confidence, poise, and self-control. By the end of their first session, she realized Halle was struggling. According to Chinwé, Halle was plagued by negative self-talk.What Chinwé learned was that while Halle had a wonderful, loving home environment, Halle had experienced relationships where her friend groups ridiculed and ostracized her.Halle proved a common myth wrong in that many people falsely believe that if terrible things haven’t happened to them, then they have no reason to experience feelings of despair.Affirm Kids ConstantlyMany kids are exposed to an overwhelming amount of critical and accusatory voices around them. What this means is that is more important now than ever for kids and teens to hear words of affirmation.A Call to FathersIt is crucial for fathers to know the important role they play in the life of their son or daughter. The words you say mold them and have a life-long impact on their lives.“If you are the father of a daughter, I have a special request of you: Affirm your daughters. Not just by words and gestures, but by intentional and consistent actions that send the message you are there for them. The research is clear. Fathers play a pivotal role in their daughter's self-image, self-esteem, and body image.”Spark Purpose and PassionIt can be difficult to know what to say when a kid or teen is in the midst of despair. Kids and teens hold so much potential, yet many times they don’t realize it. As parents, mentors, coaches, or caring adults, we play a pivotal role in the development of that potential. The words we use to encourage and lift up children around us hold great influence on the future of our community.Oftentimes, in teens, adults can see glimpses of greatness where gifts and abilities have yet to be developed. By recognizing and calling out what potential you see you can provide hope while speaking God’s blessings over their lives.It is important that adults pay attention to tone, eye contact, and intentionality.If you find yourself wondering where to begin here are a few tips.Start out by saying things like:- “You are amazing!”- “You are so bright!”- “I am proud of you!”It is also important to remind them to whom they belong by saying:- “God is going to do something great in and through you.”- “You are fearfully and wonderfully made.”- “You are a child of God.”Speaking positive words to yourself can change the way your brain is wired. Following several decades of research, scientists know that the human brain is plastic, meaning it can adapt and change physically and chemically. In Dr. Caroline Leaf’s book Switch on Your Brain, she says that humans can change the structure of the brain through the thoughts we consistently think.In their book titled Words Can Change Your Brain, Dr. Andrew Newberg and Marc Robert Waldman wrote, “…a single word has the power to influence the expression of genes…” So despite what some might lead you to believe, our words matter, A LOT!Get Rid of the AntsDr. Daniel Amen came up with the idea of Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs) after an infestation of ants in his home. Ever since, he has taught his patients how to get rid of the Ants that are interrupting their lives.Quick science lessonDid you know that scientists found that we have an average of 6200 thoughts in a day? With each and every thought, our brains release chemical energy. With all of those thoughts, there are bound to be good ones, neutral ones, and bad...
Just Listen

Just Listen

2023-12-0509:24

I can remember the time in my childhood when, as elementary students, we would have regular time on the playground with our friends. Inevitably, someone in our friend group or another group would say something quite hurtful. Oftentimes, this was the result of being hurt by the action or inaction of another peer in the group. The response from most kids in that generation would go something like this, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”The sticks and stones phrase so proudly held by many kids could not be further from the truth. As kids, teens, and, eventually, adults, we learn just how much words have the power to uplift as well as tear down. When people are hurt, whether by friends, foes, or someone we love, it can easily result in us lashing out at another unsuspecting individual. This occurrence is often portrayed by the popular phrase, “Hurting people hurt people.”In the book Seen, by Will Hutcherson and Chinwé Williams say that “when we are in distress, our responses, words, and actions may hurt others around us. This makes sense when you look at how the brain is wired.” The specific wiring mentioned here is our internal alert system known as the amygdala.The AmygdalaThe amygdala is the part of our brain that tells us when we might be in danger. When our brain detects danger, it floods the body with a stress hormone called cortisol. This process helps our bodies kick into high gear to steer us out of a dangerous situation.The authors of Seen say that when a teen is in despair, their amygdala is activated. Likewise, as adults, our amygdala might be activated when experiencing despair. Anytime our alert system is activated, it can be challenging to think clearly.Will and Chinwé say that this activation of the amygdala creates two challenges.For the person in despair.For the person trying to support them.CautionThe person in despair will often unintentionally say things that are unkind. This can create a challenge for them and others around them. For anyone around them trying to be supportive, it is important to approach them with empathy. Remember that their words may come from despair, and be mindful not to be triggered by what they say.Be a Good ListenerWhen trying to help support someone, it can be challenging to sit and actively listen with empathy.If you have ever been placed in a room in close proximity to others facing them it can be hard not to try and fill the awkward silence.In the book, Will describes an exercise where he had a mom and daughter face each other, hold hands, and lock eyes for two minutes. Will describes the first minute as “weird.” The daughter’s shoulders were tense and he describes them as “in a shrugged position.” After one minute, the daughter’s shoulders began to relax. As the daughter began to feel safe, she started to open up.If this exercise sounds odd, I get it. It illustrates what it can often take to break the cycle of bad listening.Direct all of your focus on the other person.Get the other person talkingAvoid trying to fix the situation.Will recommends:-Talking less-Watching your tone-Make eye contactWill talks about incorporating eye contact into your daily routine as parents.Here are Will’s examples:When your kid walks into the room, stop what you're doing, look at them, and let them know you are happy to see them.Before they walk out the door in the morning, pause, look at them for 30 seconds, and say, "I love you. I believe in you. And no matter what, I am for you!"At the dinner table, look into their eyes as they talk about their...
See Them

See Them

2023-11-2811:35

Will opens with a story about his son, Liam.He had asked his son to clean his room while he was working in his home office. After a few failed attempts to motivate his son, he tried to incentivize his ask by paying him $3 if he cleaned his room. If he failed to clean his room, his son would owe Will $3. The idea backfired when his son, in tears, brought in his whole piggy bank, begging him to take his money. His son, Liam, felt disconnected from his dad and needed time to reconnect.Liam didn’t know how to express what he needed and Will acknowledged that he was slow in recognizing the need.“To lead kids and teenagers, first you have to see them. When they feel seen, you win their heart. Seeing them requires us to look beyond how they behave on the outside to try and understand what they may be feeling on the inside.”I would take this quote a step further to include adults. We all need to feel seen by those around us. We need others to try and understand what we are feeling on the inside.Seeing Beyond the BehaviorAnytime a kid or adult faces despair, their behavior may not be what you expect. For someone facing despair, you might see irritability, moodiness, pulling away, or shutting down.Will encourages readers to ask themselves, "Do I know where they are coming from?"Will provides these examples:• What may have happened earlier that day?• What trust has been eroded from past disappointments?• What kind of trauma have they experienced from the pain of poverty or a high-crime neighborhood?• What social pressures might they be facing that we have no idea about?• What kind of pain are they carrying from the daily reminders of political and social injustice?• What shame might they be carrying from poor decisions or an abusive situation?Depending on your relationship with the other person, you may know a lot, but realize that you don't know everything they face.If you are a coach, small group leader, pastor, or caring adult, you often won't know what they are dealing with until you ask.The questions above help us see beyond the behavior and empathize with the other person.See What They Feel"If you want to get in tune with your kids, you have to see past their behavior and understand what they are really feeling."According to the book The Power of Showing Up, the best place to begin is to avoid shaming, labeling, or dismissing.Let's talk through an example. In the book, Will Hutcherson provides a similar scenario.Your daughter comes home from school and is upset. You learn that she has failed her math test. She throws her backpack down as she walks into the room and begins to cry.As a parent, there are several ways you could respond to the situation. Your first inclination might be to shame, label, or dismiss.Let's take a look:Shaming: "You failed your test?! How could you do that? That was stupid!”Labeling: "You know you failed your test because you are lazy. If you just worked harder and spent less time playing on your phone or that silly video game, you would have done better."Dismissing: "No worries. There's no reason to be upset. It's just one test; you'll get it next time."These responses might seem like the logical thing to say, but can hurt the person on the receiving end.We often fail to realize that by going straight for the logical, we can unintentionally invalidate their emotions.When a teen or adult is experiencing despair, jumping straight to logic can "worsen feelings of loneliness or beliefs that no one 'gets them.'"Instead of...
Show Up

Show Up

2023-11-2116:56

A Brief RecapIn our last episode, you might recall that when we become hopeless and disconnected from our emotional state, the two halves of the brain begin to separate. This dis-pairing process is called emotional detachment.When the two sides of our brain are detached, it makes dealing with the constant flow of emotions difficult.When kids or adults feel seen, it helps the two parts of the brain come back together.There are tools that can be used to aid the pairing process.​First Pairing Tool - Show UpIf you don’t get anything else, pay attention to this chapter. Showing up is the foundation for all of the other pairing tools.Why? “…presence influences healing more than anything.”“In moments of despair, the people we love need our “outside the door” kind of presence. That kind of presence creates safety like nothing else can. It may seem small, but when we show up, the brain responds in predictable ways.”“Remember the parent-child attachment we discussed earlier? Showing up isn’t the goal of parenting; secure attachment is the goal. But showing up is the beginning step to accomplish that goal.”5 Ways to Show Up1. Show Up Before They Ask You To As kids grow into teenagers, it can often give parents the idea that their child doesn’t need them anymore. This starts when a child is suddenly embarrassed to have their parent around, and it can feel as though they are pushing you away. It is easy for parents to get offended or hurt and assume their child doesn’t need them.While it can certainly feel this way, kids often need parents more as they grow into their teen years. It is critical that parents initiate regular, quality time with their teens.2. Show Up for What Matters to Them If you do not know what matters to your child, it is time to put on your detective hat. What matters to a teen may not be the most enjoyable activity for their parent. Regardless, it is important to make this process about them.Go with them to their sporting activities, dance, ballet, plays, etc.Take them to see their favorite musician or band in concert.If they’re into superheroes, go to the opening of their favorite character.Play video games with them.This is a time when you show up with no agenda of your own. Simply enjoy time with them.3. Show Up When It’s Inconvenient In many moments, it is easy to feel like you are not needed or wanted as a parent. In their time of crisis, real or imaginary, show up. As parents, we have been showing up their whole lives until this point. This season may look a little different, but it is just as important as when they were little.As kids mature, this might look like staying up late with them or picking them up from a party where they felt uncomfortable or unsafe. It’s important as parents that we show up, especially when it’s inconvenient.4. Show Up Often Find ways to be predictably available.Here are a few ideas: • Create a “conversation place” in your home. A place that is just for conversations. No phones, no screens, just people. • Be intentional about creating moments. Be available during drive times, evenings, and bedtimes. • If there is a time when you start to realize your kids are most likely to talk or open up, clear that time in your schedule. •Text them occasionally to let them know you are thinking about them or praying for them. (Not to the extent you’re stalking, of course.)The act of showing up often in predictable ways that are not...
When in Despair

When in Despair

2023-11-1420:05

The Brain Is made up of two hemispheres and two essential functions.Left Brain Right Brain ​Right Brain Responsible for emotional processing.This is where the amygdala processes fear and other emotions that activate 'fight, flight, or freeze' during stressful or dangerous situations. It's also the part of the brain affected by parent-child attachment (more on that later).Left Brain Responsible for logical processing.The left side of the brain is responsible for logical processing. This is the part of the brain where one's ability to plan and organize takes place.​When our brains are calm, the left brain is able to be its logical self.When we’re upset, the emotional right brain takes over, and we react based on our emotions.This is true for anyone who has experienced trauma or has an insecure parent-child attachment.With a healthy brain, the processing goes back and forth between the emotional right brain and the logical left brain.We were designed by God with a lot of emotions. We’re created with the ability to pass them over to cognitive processing.​“our emotions are real, but we have the ability to consider them logically and determine whether or not what we feel is actually true.”Exampleif I hear a loud bang followed by the sound of shattering glass, l'm instinctively going to be startled. My heart rate will rise because my fight, flight, or freeze response has been triggered on the right side of my brain. But let's say I stop and look around. I am investigating (logical) and discover that a picture has fallen off the wall. Immediately, I take a deep breath, and my stress begins to subside.Healthy functioning means we're able to deal with our emotions properly. The problem is when we can't logically process our emotions, something else takes place.That something is despair.What Is Despair?The Bible, a text full of descriptions of authentic and raw emotions, references the word "despair" frequently. (We counted 28 instances.)Their insults have broken my heart, and I am in despair. If only one person would show some pity; if only one would turn and comfort me (Psalms 69:20 NLT).Despair is what someone feels when they become hopeless and disconnected from their emotional state. Psychologist Mark Goulston describes despair as a 'dis-pairing, where two halves of the brain begin to separate.' This process is also called emotional detachment.Experiencing stress causes cortisol —a stress hormone-to flood the brain. A constant drip of cortisol causes this detachment or dis-pairing. Understanding this matters because we need our logical processing to be able to navigate our emotions. When the two sides are detached, we can't navigate the constant flow of emotional signals.​This detachment explains why those in despair often feel numb. Some describe it like they're experiencing their life outside of themself because it's so difficult for them to identify how they really feel. They can become dissociated from their emotions. The risk of this detachment happening increases when something traumatic happens.​Trauma, as well as stresses of life, can cause the amygdala (the part of the brain where fight, flight, or freeze response is located) to become overactivated. This results in all of the emotions building up on the right side of the brain. All the blood flow starts to head that way. The brain essentially goes back to survival mode, and logical processing tends to break...
Old Tools

Old Tools

2023-11-0713:11

Will opens with a story about one of his top students, Tyler.​Tyler was a seventeen-year-old student who he described as funny, respectful, and smart. It appeared as if Tyler had it all together. On the inside, Tyler was struggling with despair.“He shared with me the struggle he had to get out of bed some mornings. Despite loving the program and the other students, Tyler had moments of self-doubt. In his worst moments, he even had thoughts of ending his life.”​“How does a kid who seemingly has it all together get so down? mean, he has so much going for him, right? He comes from a good family. Check. He wasn't bullied as a kid. Check. He didn't have any significant trauma from abuse. Check. So, what was happening?”​Will was seeing similar things in many of his students. Students seemed to be increasingly disengaged or detached in recent years. Parents and students approached Will with concerns they had for others."They just don't seem like themselves anymore.""They're always down!""She is saying some things that are really concerning me."​“...more and more students were feeling paralyzed and anxious when facing resistance or obstacles in life. Students were losing their resilience and their motivation.” Many of Will’s students were self-diagnosing as being depressed, while others were describing panic attacks or anxiety. ​Even worse, others were describing their past attempts at suicide while others detailed their future plans.As Will did more investigation, he found that this was happening nationwide.​StatisticsSince 2007 ...• Suicide rates have increased by 76 percent for ages 15 to 19.• Suicide rates have nearly doubled in teen girls.• The highest rate of increase in suicide among all age groups is in kids between 10 and 14 years old.• Depressive symptoms are up 21 percent in boys, and up 50 percent in girls.• Suicide attempts among black teens increased by 73 percent between 1991 and 2017, and there is an elevated risk of suicide among African-American boys ages 5 to 11.• In early 2020, an estimated 1 out of 4 young adults contemplated suicide.• In March 2020, the Disaster Distress Helpline saw an increase of 891 percent in call volume.A Time When I Blew ItWill returns to the story about Tyler. He says that he believed in Tyler so much he thought maybe he just needed a push. So, Will worked with another program leader to come up with a plan. Together, they executed the plan, believing they would have a new student in 90 days.During a church retreat, Tyler experienced a setback. The combination of being away from family and in a spiritually charged environment caused his anxiety to increase.When Tyler tried to share his feelings with a leader, they were dismissed. Instead of acknowledging his feelings, he was meant with statements like just trust God and keep praying.On the second night, feeling uncomfortable and alone, Tyler called his parents. They drove two hours to pick him up without telling any of the staff.Shocked, the leaders said, "Well, we are going to have a hard talk about this!”The "hard talks" they insisted on backfired. Tyler became resistant, disrespectful, and seemed angry.A few months into their plan, Tyler blindsided them by telling them he wouldn’t be attending the upcoming retreat.Will was furious with Tyler. He called him...
Kept In Perfect Peace

Kept In Perfect Peace

2023-10-3105:00

"You now have the proper tools to step into the fight and to stand your ground. There will be days when you'll get it right. When you'll trust in your identity as a loved son or daughter of God and when you practice gratitude--taking captive the lies of worry and replacing those thoughts with ones that are pure and lovely. And there will be days you'll feel like you're outnumbered or like you've made no progress in your mission.""Given the length of this fight and the likelihood of the highs and lows, I want to encourage you to focus both on the micro and the macro picture."Micro This is your today. Right now, in this moment, maybe this hour."How can you win the next fight in front of you?""How can I take captive this thought? How can I replace this worry?"Don't look ahead. Don't look side to side. Look up.Fix your eyes on Jesus. Win this fight. Take this step. Claim this ground. Focus on the small picture.Macro"The war is already over. Jesus has already conquered sin, death, hell, and the grave."Remember Fear Operating System?It begins with fear, but remember that Jesus has already defeated fear once and for all."It might still prowl around and act like a big, tough lion, but it's hollow. Its fangs aren't lethal and its sting is gone."“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father.'” Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭15‬ ‭NIV‬‬"For those who have put their faith in Jesus, we no longer need to fall back into fear. We are no longer bound by the ways of this world or the workings of the Enemy. We are freed. And more than that, we're placed into a new family-one where we can, with intimacy, call upon our Father and He will answer.""No matter what today holds, we can stand assured that on that final day, we will win the war on worry once and for all.""The macro picture of assurance fuels our micro picture of launching our assault on worry.""...freedom, hope, joy, peace, and refuge are not only available, but they are also our inheritance."A Step Towards Freedom"Jesus has given you all you need for life and godliness(2 Peter 1:3). He has already won the war on worry, defeating death, hell, and the grave once and for all.""As you go from here and venture into your day-to-day, keep these things in mind: Worry is a lie from the Enemy. We can't necessarily stop him from talking, but we can choose who we listen to: the Enemy or our heavenly Father."Remember "Fear can lead to our desire to control, which fuels worry. But God's perfect love drives out fear. When we embrace His love, we move toward surrender and a life characterized by trust.""As we finish, remember that the peace of God-the one that Paul said surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and your mind (Philippians 4:7). God is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you to Flimself blameless and pure (Ephesians 5:27). You are a loved son or a loved daughter of the King of the universe."🔗 CONNECT✉️ Subscribe to the newsletter💼 Connect on LinkedIn📷 a...
Who Needs to be Awake All Night?​Louie opens with a story."You may know this scene well: Suddenly, in the middle of the night, you are jarred awake. Something within startled you, and now you are fully conscious, your mind spinning with a situation that's been causing you a great deal of worry and consternation. You tried to sleep, but your mind couldn't downshift into rest mode. Now your heart and mind are racing. You glance over at the clock on the nightstand or reach for your smartphone, It's 27 A.M. Again!"​"A night of sound sleep may seem like a small thing, but it's a good picture for us as we head toward the finish line of winning the war on worry. When you think about a life characterized by peace, your mind likely jumps to someone who is restful. And few things are more restful than a good night of uninterrupted sleep."​God knows there are few things more restful than a good night's sleep.​God points to it in scripture.1. “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,” Psalms 23:2 NIV2. “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalms 4:8 NIV​"One of the great rewards of winning the war on worry is that you no longer have to be subject to sleepless nights. That's not God's way. He Himself is up throughout the night so you don't have to be, and He's keeping you safe and at peace."Fix Your Gaze Heavenward“Our God is a God of peace, and He leads us toward rest if we will let Him.”So, how do we do that? "First, we fix our gaze on our heavenly Father.” “'I have set the Lord continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will dwell securely (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭16‬:‭8‬-‭9‬ NASB1995‬)."‬“David, the one who penned Psalm 23 and talked of having no fear in the middle of death valley. David knew all kinds of trouble, despair and hardship. He knew what it was like to fail and to Bles, to fight mighty armies and to be betrayed by those doses to him.”“…this isn’t something I do once in a while. It’s the constant activity of recentering my thoughts and shifting my focus to get God in view.”​When we do this 3 things happen: 1. My heart is glad. ​I have a shift in my emotions. I replace fear with knowledge that God is with me. 2. Second, I rejoice. Worship displaces worry as praise fills my mouth. 3. Third, my body rests securely. ​I rest knowing that God is in control.​Chances are you have tried this before. You have tried to remember a verse in the middle of your struggle with little or no success? If you are like me, in the middle of the struggle, my memory typically fails me.​So what do we do?“The most important step in finding rest is focusing on the God you are continually setting before you. The Almighty One, the Maker of heaven and earth. Make every effort to make sure He is always at the forefront of your thoughts.”​God is Awake, Alert, and Able“The God who is ever before you is always awake. He's never been tired or weary. The Almighty has never once closed His eyes in sleep. 'He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches
Far too often, the reason worry sticks around is we become complacent. We accept worry as just another part of our lives.“In the previous chapter we looked at how the perfect love of God drives out fear and leads us to surrender our idea of control, which then leads us to worship rather than worry. The more we discover about the love of God, the more we’re wanting and willing to surrender, and the more worship we give to Him.” 1God Delights in You!“…the more we delight in God, the more we discover that He delights in us.”1“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”Zephaniah 3:17“God takes great delight in you. He quiets all forms of worry and anxiety with His perfect love. And just in case you are ever tempted to listen to the sound of the world and be pulled back into fear, God says that He rejoices over you with singing.”1How do we win the war on worry?“We take back the battleground of our minds. We tear down the house that worry built, and we set out to build a new and peace-filled home on the most stable rock and foundation—the person and work of Jesus.”1It’s Time for a Home Renovation“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5“…you have the power through Christ to identify and bind the power of every lie that comes into your mind. You can take captive every thought! When you commit to this and put it into practice, you begin tearing down the house that worry built, brick by brick and thought by thought.”1Stand ReadyDon’t expect the demolition process to be easy. Understand that the Enemy isn’t going to just sit there and take it as you pick apart the house he’s built in your heart.“Whenever you set out to make a change, to start tearing down bricks and demolishing strongholds, the Enemy seems to rise up and attack with even more vengeance.”1​“…no weapon forged against you will prevail…” Isaiah 54:17 NIV“You have all you need, offensively and defensively, to start this process of demolishing the house that worry built.”1The goal here is to change the way we think.“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and
“…when we invite God into our worry, we begin to realize that more than any solution, He wants to give us a Savior. He wants to invite us into an intimate and personal relationship with His Son.”1“The counteragent for worry isn’t control. It’s faith rooted in love.”IntroductionLouie opens by telling a story about when he was in college. He was in a long-distance relationship with Shelley, his wife. She was going to school at Baylor University. He would often get in the car and drive for hours just to see Shelley for a few minutes.He did these things because he was hopelessly in love with Shelley.God’s Great Love For You“Do you realize God has left a stunningly powerful message of love for you? He hung the greatest ‘I love you’ of all time on a tree at Calvary through the death of His Son. You can see His message from wherever you are today if you just turn and look toward the cross.”“He has never loved you more because of your good deeds, nor has He ever loved you less because of the sinful acts you have committed. He is love. His love is unchanging. It is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.”“In His love we have the only weapon we’ll ever need to extinguish and eradicate worry from our lives.”What’s Your Operating System?“We have a hardware (our bodies) and a software (our minds and spirits). When it comes to winning the war on worry by recognizing the power of perfect love, we need to take a step back and ask ourselves, what operating system are we using?”“This is the breakdown of where most of our worry comes from: Fear → Control → Worry”“We entertain feelings of fear, often stemming from questions starting with, “What if?” Think back to chapter 1: What if I get sick? What if I don’t measure up? What if I lose a loved one or my job or my house? What if she walks away from the marriage? What if people found out just how broken I am?”“Our fear leads us to try to control. To try to stand up and straighten up. To take the necessary actions to avoid negative outcomes. But our shoulders were never meant to carry the weight of being in full control.”“So, as we realize that control is actually quicksand pulling us even farther under, we begin to worry.”“Fear spawns the need for control, which gives birth to worry. And from worry comes a whole host of unhealthy practices and compromises.”“If that’s the formula for how the world operates, what about how we as children of God should operate? It goes like this:  Love→Surrender → Trust”“When we invite God into our worry and dwell in an abiding relationship with Jesus, our operating system shifts. Instead of fear being the motivator for our lives, we start with love.”“That’s what Scripture means when it says in 1 John 4:18-19: ‘There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.’”“When we experience and internalize the perfect love of God, there is no room for fear.”“Perfect love drives out fear. And once fear is gone, we no longer have the pressing need for control.”“Instead, we can be free to fully surrender and...
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