Life can have its way of beating you down at times. Have you figured that out? Sometimes it seems as though several problems all seem to pile up on us at once. Let’s face it, life isn’t always fair. Depression is a subtle, cruel emotion that can sneak up on us over time. Often, many people who feel the effects of depression do not realize that it is there at all. While I am not a mental health expert by any stretch of the imagination, I want to provide some helpful tips and habits that you can apply to your life. If you are experiencing deep bouts of depression, then it would be wise for you to seek out an expert.
How to Handle Depression
1. Realize that you are not alone. Being depressed is not a character flaw. Some of the most brilliant minds to ever contribute to society had times of depression. Charles Spurgeon, who was known as the Prince of Preachers and considered to be a spiritual giant in his day, had bouts with depression. This is not meant to discourage you, but to encourage you. You are not alone. Your situation is not unusual.
2. Be aware of the downward spiral. Have you ever noticed that negativity can build quickly. It is almost as if it the whole house of cards can come crashing down at once. One thing that has been helpful to me is to purely recognize when I am in this mental downward spiral. I simply see it for what it is and I choose to take a different path. Going for a walk outside early in the morning, writing down 20 things I am thankful for, or spending time talking with God and rolling off the burdens from my shoulders to His, are all ways you can get out of the downward spiral. I realize that this is often easier said than done, but it can be done. In the book of 1 Peter 5:7 the Scriptures say:
“Casting all your cares upon Him, for he careth for you.”
3. Find something to be hopeful in again. Many times depression is not as deep and painful as we make it to be. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that depression is not real and difficult to overcome at times. I am just acknowledging that it very well could be not as deep as we think. Sometimes, we live depressed simply because we have lost hope. There is a great quote by John Maxwell that says:
“Where there is no hope in the future, there is not power in the present.”
Maybe you need to spend some time dreaming and setting goals. Is there a deep passion that you have neglected that you need to awaken. Is there some goal that you were once excited about, but you let fear and self doubt get in the way. If you could feel hopeful about something in your life, what would it be?
These are just a few of the techniques that I use when I am feeling discouraged in either my personal or work life. Lastly, tell yourself on a regular basis that life is not always going to be like this. Whatever you are going through at the moment will eventually have an end. Some of life’s greatest lessons I have learned in the valley of discouragement and uncertainty.