Get Out of Your Head: Stopping the Spiral of Toxic Thoughts (Signed Book)

Get Out of Your Head: Stopping the Spiral of Toxic Thoughts (Signed Book)

by Jennie Allen

Hardcover(Signed Edition)

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Overview

The visionary behind the million-strong IF:Gathering challenges Christian women to transform their outlook and their lives by interrupting their spiraling thoughts and realizing their God-given power to think differently.

Speaker and Bible teacher Jennie Allen hears all the time from women who feel stuck in patterns of frustration and defeat. In her search for a solution, she's learned that the greatest spiritual battle of our generation is taking place between our ears. How we think shapes how we live. So it's crucial that we learn how to stop our spinning thoughts and refuse to fall prey to toxic thinking patterns like victimhood, anxiety, and distraction. In this book Jennie draws on biblical truth and recent discoveries in neuroscience to show exactly how we can fight the enemies of the mind with the truth of who God is and who He calls us to be.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780593193211
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/28/2020
Edition description: Signed Edition
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 276
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Jennie Allen is a Bible teacher marked by personal authenticity and vulnerability. She has published several popular Bible studies and trade books, and speaks frequently at conferences such as Catalyst, Q Conference, SEND (North American Mission Board), and the IF:Gathering, as well as in some of the largest churches in America. She earned a master's in biblical studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. Jennie and her husband, Zac, have four children.

Read an Excerpt

Part One

All the Thoughts

1

Thinking About Thinking

“Take every thought captive.” They say authors write books for two reasons: either the author is an expert on the subject, or the subject makes the author desperate enough to spend years finding the answers. The latter most definitely describes me.

This morning I woke up intending to write to you. But first, I thought, I need to spend time with God. So what did I do? I picked up my phone. I noticed an email about something I was working on, in which the sender was “constructively” critical of my work. Just as I decided to set my phone down, something else stole my attention…and the next thing I knew, I was on Instagram, noticing others’ wins and glories contrasted with my work in process that seemed to not be measuring up. In minutes with my phone, I decided that I was an inadequate writer, I was spending my life chasing things that mean nothing because I am nothing, I have nothing to say. I was spiraling fast into discouragement.

Then my husband, Zac, came in happy, having just met with God, and I snapped at him. My spiral began to spin faster and more chaotically. In less than an hour, I had diminished myself, criticized all my work, decided to quit ministry, ignored God, and pushed away my greatest advocate and friend.

Wow. Brilliant, Jennie. And that was only this morning? And now you want to try to help me with my chaotic thoughts?

Well, I hear you. And I imagine all my life I will be in process with this. But because of the discoveries I get to share with you here, instead of my spiral stealing a day, a week, a few years…just an hour into it, there was a shift in my thinking.

I did not stay paralyzed. I am free and joyful and writing to you.

I want you to know that you do not have to stay stuck either. God built a way for us to escape the downward spiral. But we rarely take it. We have bought the lie that we are victims of our thoughts rather than warriors equipped to fight on the front lines of the greatest battle of our generation: the battle for our minds.

The apostle Paul understood the war that takes place in our thoughts, how our circumstances and imaginations can become weapons that undermine our faith and hope. The Bible records his bold declaration that we are to “take every thought captive to obey Christ.”

Take every thought captive? Is that possible? Have you ever tried?

Once a bird flew into our tiny house and wouldn’t fly out. It took more than an hour for our whole family working together to catch that silly little sparrow. Shooting the bird with a BB gun? Easy. But capturing the wild sparrow flailing through our house was an altogether-different task, a nearly impossible one.

How much more impossible to capture a wild thought on the fly? Yet the book I build my life on is telling me to captureall my thoughts, every one of them?

Is God serious?

Is this even possible? Because honestly my thoughts run wilder than that hyperactive sparrow.

And yours do too. I see the same wild chaos in your eyes and those of nearly every woman I meet. Like the young woman in so much pain who sat across from me this week, drowning in anxiety she has been fighting for two years. She looked at me, pleading, “Help. Tell me what to do!”

“I don’t want to live anxious,” she said. “I’m in counseling. I’m in Bible study. I’m willing to take medicine. I want to trust God. Why can’t I change? Why do I feel so stuck in this?”

Goodness, I relate and have fought the same thing.

It’s incredible, if you think about it: How can something we can’t see control so much of who we are, determine what we feel and what we do and what we say or don’t, dictate how we move or sleep, and inform what we want, what we hate, and what we love?

How can the thing that houses all those thoughts—just a bunch of folded tissue—contain so much of what makes us who we are?

Learning to capture our thoughts matters. Because how we think shapes how we live.

The Patterns That Keep Us Stuck

The subject of neuroscience has captivated me for years now, ever since one of my brilliant daughters began educating me on the science of the brain. When Kate, now a junior in high school, was in the seventh grade, she came home from school one afternoon and announced to the rest of us—her two brothers, her sister, my husband, Zac, and me—that she was going to cure Alzheimer’s disease someday.

We smiled, but years later she still is reading books and articles on the subject, listening to every TED Talk on the brain, sharing research with me. Things like…

Did you know that more has been discovered about our minds in the last twenty years than in all the time before that?

Did you know that an estimated 60 to 80 percent of visits to primary-care physicians have a stress-related component?

Did you know that research shows that “75 to 98 percent of mental, physical, and behavioral illness comes from one’s thought life”?

Did you know that, with what we know about the brain today, when Scripture is talking about the heart, it really could be talking about the mind and the emotions we experience in our brains?

Well, no, Kate, I did not. But that’s very interesting.

The truth is, it is very interesting to me.

Somewhere along the way, Kate’s fascination became mine too. Because she taught me that what she is learning in science is also scattered throughout my Bible and many of the truths in the Bible concerning our thought lives have been backed up by science. This all became increasingly important to me as I became gripped by the idea that taking control of our minds could be the key to finding peace in the other parts of our lives.

For several years I’d been in deep running IF:Gathering, the organization I believe God prompted me to start to disciple women and equip them to go disciple others. I loved our community, our gatherings, and the impact we seemed to be having, but over time I noticed a troubling trend among the women I loved and served every day.

Women would feel conviction at an event or as they worked through our discipleship resources, and they were surrendering their lives more fully to Jesus. They would soar on the wings of that resolve for a week, a month, sometimes a year or even two. But inevitably at some point they’d slip back into old habits, old patterns of doing life. Maybe you know exactly what I mean.

Maybe right now you’re thinking of that toxic relationship you finally got out of but then, in a weak moment, resumed.

Or you finally found peace about a less-than-desirable season of your life—but now your emotions have spiraled downward again, and all you do is complain.

Or you were convicted about your porn habit and stopped, only to slip back into the habit weeks later.

Or you recognized a pattern of being critical of your spouse, surrendered it, and truly started to change…just before you circled back to where you began.

Why, I wondered, don’t the changes so many women desperately want to make stick over the long haul?

And why did I still struggle with some of the same fears, negative patterns, and other sins that I had been fighting for years?

Even as I observed this boomerang effect at a broad level, I was also in relationship with dear friends, women I knew well, who seemed to battle the same issues year after year. Each time we’d get together, I’d hear the same song, five hundredth verse.

What prevented them from thriving? Why couldn’t they get unstuck? Kate’s discoveries as she continued to study the brain suggested one strong possibility:

It’s all in our heads.

Breaking the Spiral

There is much we don’t know about the brain. What’s also true: we’ve learned more about the brain in the past twenty years than we knew for the previous two thousand. We once thought of the mind as an immutable thing. The brain you were born with and the way it worked—or didn’t—were just “how it was”; no sense fretting over what can’t be changed. We now know thatthe brain is constantly changing, whether or not we intend for it to.

In hopes of discovering how women can break free from our problematic patterns, I started picking up heady books about the mind and about neuroscience and about how real change occurs. I watched TED Talks that Kate pointed me toward about our brain’s plasticity.

I listened to brainy podcasts.

I watched brainy documentaries.

I talked to brainy people.

I began to see a pattern at work in many of us. Our emotions were leading us to thoughts, and those thoughts were dictating our decisions, and our decisions were determining behaviors, and then the behaviors were shaping our relationships, all of which would take us back to either healthy or unhealthy thoughts.

Round and round and round we go, spinning down, seemingly out of control, our lives becoming defined by this endless cycle:

Emotion • Thought • Behavior • Relationships • Consequence

Depressing.

Unless. Unless there is a way to interrupt it.

Customer Reviews

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Get Out of Your Head: Stopping the Spiral of Toxic Thoughts (Signed Book) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 93 reviews.
Tama_Fortner 15 days ago
This . . . THIS . . . is the very book I needed but did not know I needed. Until I read it. And now I cannot get this book out of my head. And that’s a good thing. Because the evil one is out to enslave our thoughts. With real-life examples, Jennie Allen illustrates how calling upon the power of Christ can bring a halt to the havoc caused by downward spiraling thoughts and transform our lives. Get Out of Your Head offers practical, backed-by-science, and I-really-can-do-this-today advice that is already making a difference in my thought life. Thank you, Jennie! *I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Devin Michael 18 days ago
An easy read. Jennie does a great job addressing negative thought patterns from a spiritual perspective while still being sensitive to those with mental health struggles. The book is filled with great visuals and helpful activities.
Rosalinda_Avilez- 20 days ago
I thank God for gifting Jennie Allen with her writing skills. I started reading this book and could not put it down. I was done reading it in less than 24hrs. Through reading this book my hope has been renewed, sometimes is hard to continue pressing on and have hope that one day those bad thoughts that I struggle with will be gone. God's word says "Be transformed be the renewal of your mind" Romans 12:2 and that we can bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ in 2 Corinthians 10:5. I know that I already knew that I have a choice, but life gets busy, hard and I can forget that thanks be to God I have a choice. Thank you for that reminder dear Jennie. Loved the way Jennie points out the patterns that can keep is stuck and the science behind how our thoughts can change our lives. It is so important to remember that we need each other, that the enemy would love to have us isolated alone with our bad thoughts so we spiral out of control and forget about God's goodness and faithfulness. Like Jennie says God Himself is a community, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit three in One working together. We need to be plugged in with women that love the Lord and His word that can point us back to the truth when we start to spiral out control. It also very important that we ourselves know God's word, memorize it, write in our hearts so we are ready to fight and guard our hearts and minds in Christ. I strongly recommend this book to anyone battling with their thoughts and I believe it would great to read it with your friends and family. Praying for everyone who will read this book may God free you from toxic thoughts and fears.
ABook_ADay 21 days ago
Paul instructs us to “Take every thought captive.” It is not a mere suggestion but a requirement for us because if we do not, we fill our minds with toxic thoughts. Once we begin filing our minds with toxic thoughts, we are no longer to live in the freedom God has created for us. We no longer look or act as if we are the light. Jennie Allen uses her own experience to help the reader demolish strongholds and retrain our minds. We have a choice to continue to believe the lie or walk in the truth. Using scientific research and the Bible, Jennie reveals some choices we can make in our thinking. I was grateful for the easy read with scripture and authenticity. I felt like I was sitting down with Jennie Allen as she was sharing her story and welcoming me to tear down the strongholds in my life without judgement or comparison. I am anxious to share the book with others including my daughter and husband.
Rach05 22 days ago
Get Out Of your head by Jennie Allen It’s a book that I think every woman in today’s world can benefit from. This book offers real talk, real solutions, real help! This book is very readable and enjoyable. I love how Jennie goes through lies that we all tend to tell our selves and breaks them down showing us how to deal with them. I love her use of scripture throughout the book. I recommend this book to any one who struggles with stopping the negative thinking.
Ashleymd13 23 days ago
Wow, just wow. This book is honestly life changing. Jennie Allen said it best, get out of your head, don’t let negative thoughts, emotions, and feelings fill your head and have control over you. Jennie lays out how to use scripture and the truth to set yourself free. A must read for all ages and people.
MelanieH 23 days ago
This book is a game changer!! We are not prisoners to our thought life. We have God given power to stop the downward spiral of negative thoughts and lies that keep us in an anxious and depressed state...which is where the enemy wants us. I love that Jennie is authentic and vulnerable with sharing her own personal experiences in this book. And I love her passion for wanting us all to be free too. My eyes are opened and I am so much more aware of my own toxic thoughts and how to change them. Thank you Jennie for being an obedient disciple of Christ!
Charlotte Whiteford 23 days ago
This book will absolutely change your battle plan as Jennie shares how to stop the spiral of your thoughts. Our minds are the greatest battlefield. If you are ready to move out of defeat and towards victory through Christ, then grab your copy and one for a friend! I loved it so much I bought the hard back, digital, and audio version!
Anonymous 5 days ago
this book is AWESOME. I am barely into it and have already been convicted about allowing the Spirit to transform my life more and more through what I am thinking about. Jennie is filled with God and it is beautiful to read.
KellyDawn 8 days ago
As someone who has read all of Jennie Allen's books, I can truly say this one is my favorite, I also struggle with wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night anxiety, so not only did I feel like she "got' it, I felt like I learned things I could use in my own life in this book to help combat that. If you are someone who is touched by anxiety, whether in your own life, or in the life of someone you love, this book is for you.
Erin-fromND 14 days ago
Thank you for sharing your heart and wisdom!
kbarton1 15 days ago
Get Out of Your Head is an invitation to boldly approach the thoughts that hold us captive. A valuable companion for championing anxious and toxic thoughts, in light of the gospel. Something we should all ready, whether we really "want" to or not. It's worth it!
Kristen_white 23 days ago
This message was right on time for me. I've been processing so much of this exact thing with my counselor over the last year. Toxic thoughts and negative self talk have been a struggle for me most of my life. This book, with the power of the Holy Spirit, has led me to more freedom and abundance. Highly recommend!!
Kate_reviews 23 days ago
I’ve been struggling with anxious thoughts regarding chronic illness and different symptoms. I have two medical conditions - one is Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) the other is Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). Both leave me basically bed bound, and in a constant cycle of allergic-type responses to a variety of things. I was going to try a program called DNRS for my symptoms, but this book came out at the perfect time, and the Lord led me to find her book, knowing it is exactly what I needed at this time. I love that Jennie takes a biblical approach to stopping the spiral of toxic thoughts. I am feeling very encouraged after reading her book, and can’t wait to dig in to her podcasts & plan on the dwell bible app. Here’s to healing in 2020!
Anonymous 23 days ago
Take your thoughts captive- it’s actually possible! The freedom of surrender and allowing God’s word to fill us with truth and change our perspective will change us from the inside out. This book is a true life changer for anyone seeking to clear their mind and find true joy and peace. Jennie’s writing style is welcoming, comforting, encouraging and inspiring. The personal stories will make you feel not alone and remind you of chatting with a good friend. This book will help to transform and renew your mind. This message is so good I have already sent it to 3 people and shared links with many others!
DMS7 23 days ago
I read this book with an expectant heart & was not disappointed. Jennie weaves a beautiful and powerfully practical guide to banishing our negative & toxic thoughts. Jesus has already won the battle & fights for us always. He never leaves our side. Thank you Jennie for giving us a battle manual to help us navigate our minds.
CoconutGirl1961 23 days ago
ALL of Jennie's books inspire us in our walk with Jesus and this one is no exception. I feel refreshed and inspired when I pick up one of her books. Her books challenge, they teach, they show us what God wants from us. Jennie is truly an inspiration to all women. Cannot wait till the next book~!
ChristyC 24 days ago
This book! As someone who battled anxiety and panic attacks for over a decade of my life, I often get asked how I gained freedom from the intensity of panic attacks. Anxiety no longer controls my life... but what did I do? The answer is multi faceted... there are physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects to address if you hope to gain freedom from anxiety. But the simple answer that cannot be overlooked is that I HAD to "take EVERY thought captive" (2 Corinthians 10:5) and still have to do this multiple times each day... I'm so grateful that now, I can recommend this book and Jennie Allen will walk you through the battle in your mind and point you towards FREEDOM. Good work, Jennie Allen... thank you for putting such important words in our hands to share with the world about how to gain freedom from all the toxic thoughts in our heads! Get your copy so you can get out of your head and on to living the abundant life that Christ offers us!
Anonymous 24 days ago
This is a must read for everyone. We all battle toxic thoughts, sometimes without even realizing we’re thinking them. Jennie offers some really great, practical, and most importantly, biblical advice for battling and defeating those thoughts. I cannot recommend this book enough... Looking forward to also doing the study!
AliTX 24 days ago
This is a MUST read, I have never been so impacted or changed by reading a book. This is so much more than just "self-help". I can't find the words to express my emotions - BUT I can say my thought life has forever changed, I am sleeping without waking up in nightly anxious panics and my relationship with the Lord is deeper than it has ever been. This book is an incredible resource that has already provided me such great wisdom to share with friends and the young women I disciple. GET THIS BOOK & GET OUTTA YOUR HEAD!!!!
Anonymous 24 days ago
Jennie Allen's Best book yet! Get out of your Head is a wonderful mix of Biblical truth and health information that will guide you to understanding how to take control of the thoughts that cause you anxiety, fear and worry. Anxiety attacks, depression and fear are at epidemic levels in our country and people are desperate for answers. What I love about this book is that instead of being just another self-help book of hopeful helpful hints, it is instead a call to know the Creator of your brain where those thoughts come from and how you can be connected to Him for the power to control those thoughts. As Jennie says, we are what we think, so we need to understand what we really should be thinking about so we are thinking correctly. This book is so timely, we as a society are looking to find peace in so many different things but what we are missing is a relationship with the Author of peace. This book is about the only Truth that will free you, the Truth that beckons you to a relationship that will change everything in your life. Come meet the Creator of your brain, learn what He thinks of you and see how you can think different as a result. I had the privileged of being on Jennie’s launch team for this book and was provided a copy in return for my honest review.
TheresaAnnTX 24 days ago
This book. Y'ALL. I got this because I have loved the author for several years but I was not sure at all what to expect when I picked this up. The best I can say is WOW! I have never seen a resource that handles so well the difficult topic of our thought life. This is something I would (and am) recommending to anyone who will listen. Your life and mind can be transformed if your are willing to sit down and let it happen, engage, and consider the wisdom contained in this book. Seriously, one of the best books I have read in awhile.
Anonymous 24 days ago
I cannot say enough good about this book! I happen to be lucky enough to grab an early copy and I am so glad I did I wish I would’ve had it years ago but maybe God prompted Jennie to write this book for such a time as this a time when worry anxiety and fear is at an all-time high after reading this book I see how much the negative thoughts in our minds contribute to some of these issues. I have discovered through reading this book how negative thoughts seemingly have shaped my fear for years. This book is thought provoking, spirit filled, and written from someone that feels like a friend. I pray God uses this book to set people free! I plan to take a group of girls through it! Get this book, and be blessed!
mauimum 24 days ago
My book hasn't arrived yet due to my location, however, I have been following the podcasts and I am so excited about this study. Jenny has thought this through and been strategic in creating a study where her readers will get the most benefit by creating a NEW podcast; series 3. She has free downloadable conversation cards (IF) and a leader kit available. I CANNOT WAIT to "Get Out Of My Head!!" aka GOOMH
Anonymous 24 days ago
What I loved about this book is Jennie wrote from experience. She shared her real mom moments which I totally appreciate. She shared the thoughts that ran through her own mind...which I could relate to. It's faith meets science meets a gal who struggled with her own battle and shares so others can be set free from wrong thinking patterns.