Do you ever feel like you’re beginning to spiral out of control? No, I don’t mean that your life is chaotic with things like crazy-busy schedules or constant unplanned interruptions. I’m talking about just you – on the inside. You just feel out of sorts and not yourself.
This winter has been a struggle for me. I’ve found myself wrestling with old negative thought patterns that I was confident had totally disappeared. The quantity of food I have eaten has been matched with the anxiety I have felt. And I have just let myself be in an emotional funk more times than I’d like to admit.
Can you relate?
We all have days and even seasons where we feel out of sorts, don’t we? It’s never fun and can be downright discouraging and disabling if it lingers for long.
Sometimes I call this being “off-kilter”. I started thinking – isn’t that an unusual term? I looked up the definition for this word, and here’s what I found:
out of alignment, off-center, out of line, at an angle, off-balance
Hmm…now I start becoming aware of what is really going on inside of me. Something is out of alignment. Some part of my spirit, soul, or body is off-centered and out of balance.
I believe we are composed of spirit, soul, and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23), so when one part of us is off, it’s going to affect every other part. And because I think I’m not the only one who struggles with being off-kilter, I want to share some ideas for all three areas that have helped me. My desire is that you, too, can see how to find balance when you feel out of sorts.
Start With Getting Your Spirit in Right Alignment
This is a biggie for me! When I feel out of sorts, whether it’s a one-time thing or continues over a period of time, checking to see if I have allowed my spirit to get out of alignment is vital.
I believe that our spirit, the inmost part of who we are and that which connects us with God, was made to be in charge of our souls and bodies. When my emotions and thoughts are going hay-wire or my body is screaming at me in some way, I have to stop and ask:
Which part of me have I allowed to be in charge?
Our bodies and our soul (with its wonderful thoughts and emotions and will) each have unique and wonderful and useful parts to play in our well-being as a whole person.
However, if the soul with its thoughts or emotions or will is left to run on its own, we often default to a lesser version of ourselves, taking our eyes off of Jesus and fixating them on ourselves or our circumstances. (You can read more about dealing with the soul here.)
And if the body is left in charge, we could find ourselves giving in to all kinds of desires that – in excess – could bring us pain, brain fog, fatigue, weight gain, or sickness. All of which make it hard to focus on God and on others. (You can read more about how physical health affects us here.)
I would love to give you a formula or a technique for being able to know how to access your spirit so that it is in charge. I don’t even begin to profess that I understand how it works. But I have learned that awareness is the key for me.
When I become aware that I have let my soul or my body be in control, it helps me just to simply talk to myself and say:
- “Soul, settle down and get back into place.”
- “Body, calm down and find what you’re looking for in Jesus.”
- “Spirit, come back to the front and listen for the Holy Spirit’s leading and whispers of love. Let’s allow Him to be in control.”
Talking to yourself may seem silly or even juvenile, but in reality, we do it all the time without thinking. Why not be intentional about it?
Sylvia Gunter and her daughter, Elizabeth, have helped me tremendously in learning about the need for my spirit to be lined up properly over the soul and the body. I’ve posted two of their books that have helped me at the bottom of the post. And I highly encourage you to sign up for their weekly devotional found here to get blessings and encouragement for your spirit.
Here’s a quote from their recent devotional that applies to us when we feel out of sorts in our spirit:
Each day the Lord pours out His unfailing love to you. Receive His steadfast love and His mercies that are new for you today. You have everything you need for life and godliness.
As you start this new day, allow your spirit partnering with the Holy Spirit to take the lead over your soul and body. Choose to align your spirit, soul, and body with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in complete agreement.
Have a Little Check-up With Your Soul
As part of aligning your spirit, you might want to do a little check-up with your thoughts and emotions.
Are you believing lies? Sometimes it really is hard to tell, especially when it comes to thoughts about yourself.
Some of the lies we all tend to believe as women usually have the word “enough” somewhere in the message:
“You’re not good enough.”
“You’re not beautiful enough.
“You don’t have enough.”
When we feel we are lacking in any area, that’s a good sign there’s a lie somewhere in the midst. (You can read more about how to capture those negative thoughts here.)
God promises us that He is our Shepherd, so we can say like Daivd, “I am not in need. I do have enough.” (Psalm 23:1) He gives us grace which is more than enough to make us competent and capable and righteous. And He gives us permission to ask for wisdom when we need it.
We just have to keep reminding ourselves of the truth!!! Read it, listen to it, speak it, pray it.
Along with thoughts, I usually have to check my emotions as well. Often when I’m off-kilter, I find that I have reacted to what someone else has said or done, and I’ve allowed it to fester inside. Maybe I haven’t forgiven them or maybe I made a harsh judgment and didn’t choose to think the best about them and their motives.
Other times, fear or anxiety rears up and wants to take over. I’m learning how to recognize it and deal with it before it consumes me.
Something I’ve learned that was huge for me is that my thoughts and emotions are not me. They are a part of me, but they are not me. I can actually stand outside of them, analyze them, and choose not to partner with them if they are not life-giving.
I won’t lie. This is almost never easy. I’m proof that it’s not always done well, too. But here’s the deal:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I (Jesus) came that they might have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10 ESV
The Greek word for life, zoe, speaks of an absolute fullness of life that is real and genuine, active and vigorous, devoted to God and blessed. (If you want to study this term zoe, Blue Letter Bible can help.)
Even as I write this, it is a wake-up call to me. God is offering us fullness of life, and the enemy wants to steal it all away. Let’s use our will, another part of our soul, to make wise and even hard choices so that we can experience all that God has for us instead of what the enemy is always trying to seduce us into believing.
♥♥♥Psst…At the end of the post, I’ll give you access to a checklist you can print out with ideas in each area to help you restore balance!
See What the Body Might Be Missing
I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist, so I can’t advise you about vitamins and minerals and nutrients you might need in your diet. But I can tell you a few things that make a difference when I feel out of sorts.
Consuming too much refined sugar definitely has an effect on me. A few years ago my husband and I did an elimination diet called Whole 30. The first Christmas after we had eliminated sugar, I noticed that I was not experiencing the Christmas blues and depression that I had felt every December for as long as I could remember.
Last year, I began allowing myself to eat a little more sugar here and there as the holidays began, and by mid-December, I was in a funk. It really amazed me at the difference sugar could make in my emotional well-being.
It’s always good to look at our eating habits and see if they could be improved. I’m learning that as I age, it’s not always what I eat, but the quantity that I eat that makes a difference in how I feel, too. And when I do consume too much and my clothes don’t fit like they once did, well…. I am definitely going to feel out of sorts!
Being the health and wholeness “fan” that I am, I have to admit to myself that sometimes I don’t really need to find the perfect diet or the best natural remedy for what ails me. The most simple, basic things can have the most positive effects for my well-being if I’ll just do them consistently.
Getting enough sleep is a big one. I’ve noticed that when I don’t get enough sleep, not just one night, but over many nights, it affects my mood and my ability to think clearly. Drinking enough water makes a difference as well as regular exercise on a consistent basis, too.
And if we are feeling out of sorts because of something related to our bodies, then we have to address how we view our bodies as well. I did a 3 part series called Let’s Change Our Body Image! found here, here, and here.
As women, how we feel about ourselves is so often tied with how we think we look. Our perception of our appearance can make such a profound difference in:
- our ability to recognize lies and limiting beliefs about ourselves
- our willingness to engage in meaningful connections with others
- our confidence to step out in faith to do things for God
And so much more. I hope you’ll read the series on body image. We all need to address this so that we can see ourselves the way God sees us, living in full confidence that we are loved, accepted, and valued, not for what we look like, but for who we are.
When you feel out of sorts, I hope you’ll look at where you might be out of alignment and see what you can do to bring yourself back into balance.
Maybe you need to align your spirit back with the Holy Spirit so it can be in charge. Or you might just need to address something in your soul, like a negative thought/lie/limiting belief or an emotion gone hay-wire.
You might even need to address something that’s gone off-center with your body, like limiting your sugar intake, getting more sleep or exercise, or dealing with a negative body image.
My encouragement to you and to myself is that we choose to be brave and do what it takes to bring ourselves back into alignment. God has given us all we need to live in joy.
Let’s finish with this wonderful reminder from the Passion Translation Bible:
Everything we could ever need for life and complete devotion to God has already been deposited in us by His divine power. For all this was lavished upon us through the rich experience of knowing Him who has called us by name and invited us to come to Him through a glorious manifestation of His goodness. 2 Peter 1:3
Choosing to find balance with you,
In the comments below, please share one thing you have done that helps you get back on track when you feel out of sorts. We can encourage each other!
These books by Sylvia and Elizabeth Gunter are highly recommended:
And these books from Amazon have been helpful to me:
(Just a note: I am not an affiliate with the Gunters’ business. Like any product I share with you, I share because it’s helped me and I think you might benefit from it, too. I am an affiliate with Amazon.)
“We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”
»»Scripture quotations marked TPT are from The Passion Translation® Copyright ©2017 by BroadStreet Publishing ® Group, LLC. Used by permission. All rights reserved. thePassionTranslation.com
»»Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.