5 Steps to Overcome Pain, Stress & Depression, Pt. I

If you want to be sad, no one in the world can make you happy. But if you make up your mind to be happy, no one and nothing on earth can take that happiness from you. – Paramhansa Yogananda

Recently, I’ve had conversations with two hurting people. One is in physical pain … all the time. Yet he refuses to aggressively pursue help. He waits for doctors to call him (frustrating, isn’t it!). It’s almost as if he’s ‘comfortable’ with the pain he knows as opposed to the big “?” of procedures and possible surgery. He’s hurting, angry, frustrated and snapping at everyone around him. He’s also in self-destruct mode by doing everything he knows he shouldn’t do.

The other is in mental and emotional pain. Lost her job; moved back home. People around her seem to think since she’s ‘not working’; she can take care of all the family/friend situations that need an extra pair of hands. She’s depressed, frustrated and spending a great deal of time feeling sorry for herself.

Although they are not my clients (yet), I’d love an opportunity to really sit down and tell them …

 1. It’s not nearly as bad as you think. I know, I know – life and pain (whether physical, mental or emotional) can run your brain in circles. BUT – if you’re on this side of the turf, life is still worth living – and God still has a good plan for you. Finding that plan, and the healing that goes with it, means releasing the stress and being open to change. It means setting aside the ‘poor me’ attitude. Instead, tell yourself “something good is going to happen to me today”. Attitude is everything.

2. Control your thoughts. There’s an old expression: “you can’t stop the birds from flying around your head, but you can stop them from building a nest in your hair!” As soon as you recognize the dizzying spiral of negative thoughts, start talking to yourself – out loud. Tell yourself, “I’m not going to listen to this anymore. I will not think that way. God loves me. I am valuable to Him and to my family and friends. And He has a good plan for me. I refuse to be depressed. I claim His peace and joy for my life.”

Thoughts have to be canceled with spoken words. Nothing else is powerful enough to stop them. That’s why God gave us the power to choose our words.

3. Smile. A smile triggers all sorts of physical and emotional reactions in your body. Try it. Stand in front of a mirror and look at your face. How do you feel? Now smile. Yep, curl the corners of your mouth upward. How does your face change? Can you sense the change in your feelings, also? It’s almost hard to be depressed if you are smiling – so do it whether you want to or not!

If today’s article has blessed you, watch for Part II. And if I can help you over the rough spots in your life, please contact me. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be digging into each of these keys in more detail. Hope it will help you win the victory you seek.

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