Get Out of Your Head, by Jennie Allen (Waterbrook, 2020)
Subtitle: “Stopping the Spiral of Toxic Thoughts”
In Get Out of Your Head, Jennie Allen declares that “The greatest spiritual battle of our generation is being fought between our ears.” [Chapter 1] The thrust of this book is that we have a choice to control out thoughts—even when it’s hard, repetitive work.
She’s quick to warn that we can’t “think our way out of mental illness.” But even there, learning to redirect our thoughts can work with the medication.
The principle of this book is that toxic thought spirals can be interrupted and redirected, and that they begin with wrong beliefs about God or with not internalizing what we know to be true about God. In offering strategies, she lays out some common lies, their opposing truth, a Scripture to hold onto, and a stated choice we can make. These choices make up a number of chapters.
The writing style is candid, informal, and personal, as if the author were speaking to an intimate group of listeners. She uses her own experience as the main source of examples, so readers know she’s lived what she’s teaching.
I came to the book after the Get Out of Your Head teaching series through Right Now Media, which I almost didn’t listen to. The opening anecdotes and peppy delivery were not what I relate to. I’m of a different generation, temperament, and have different interests. However, it didn’t take long to recognize helpful teaching. After listening to the full series, I found the book through my local library’s Hoopla app.
If negative emotions and toxic thoughts are familiar battlegrounds for you, or even if you feel like you’ve lost that fight a long time ago, Get Out of Your Head may be just the resource you need to regain mental ground.
I love how it focuses on truth about who God is and how it equips us to recognize the lie at the root of our feelings and then to choose to focus on the truth instead.
Jennie Allen’s website says she’s a “Bible teacher, author, and the founder and visionary of IF:gathering.” For more about the author and her ministry, and for a free “Get Out of Your Head Toolkit,” visit jennieallen.com.
[Review copy from the public library.]