Pulling Out of the Slump

Go from being depressed.....

Go from being depressed.....

I’ve suffered from depression the majority of my life.

In my case it is inherited and shows up in all personality test I’ve taken. Each day I have to make a concerted effort to pull out of my natural inclinations. It’s not always easy, but I find that I always feel better when this is the case.

Some ways to pull out of a depressive mood are:
1. Music—this is one of my favorites. Singing and playing the piano ALWAYS help me feel better and I’ve also discovered it’s a way to worship God. Even if you’re not musical, turning on the radio or a CD with some of your favorite songs is a great way to lift your mood.
2. Exercise—this is a great way to release endorphins to feel better. Maybe while you’re listening to some music, you can dance around.
3. A cup of coffee with a good friend—friends are always great to have someone to talk and laugh with. I know I can be in a bad mood and my best friend will call, and sure enough we’ll get to laughing about something and I discover my bad mood is gone.
4. Laughter—when you’re laughing you can’t stay in a bad mood. Just like with exercise, laughter releases endorphins to make you feel better. The other day I got so tickled at something my grandmother did, it took me five minutes to stop laughing and relate it to my Mom. I felt better the rest of the day.
5. Volunteer—I discover when I do something for others, I always feel better and I realize how much I have to be thankful for. There is always someone that have things a lot tougher than we do.
6. Socialize—find a group of people to socialize with, whether it is a church group, neighbors or a society group. Spending time with like minded people is a great way to lift your mood.
7. Watch a funny movie or TV show—this goes along with laughter. Watching a funny movie helps take your mind off of yourself for a while. You’ll find that you relax as you laugh and enjoy the movie.
8. Play with a pet—pets are a great way to release energy. They are usually full of energy and would love to play. {okay, I’m a dog person, but I’m sure cats can also make you feel better}. As I type this I’m watching a squirrel climb up the side of the sliding glass door, so if all else fails, watching them will make you laugh.
9. A long, hot bath—this is another way to relax and as the commercial says “wash your troubles away”
10. Time with God—time in prayer and in the word always makes me feel better. Sometimes I find answers to my problem, other times I’m just lifted up and encouraged by the word. I always find that some of my best talks with God is while I take a long walk.

Above I have listed ten common ways to help you lift your mood. If nothing else, be spontaneous and decide to do something out of the ordinary. At least you’ll have an interesting story to tell.

I know depression is very real and can completely encompass and overpower a person. If this persist for you or a loved one, I encourage you to seek professional medical advice.

God wants us to be happy. Psalm 126:3 tells us that “The Lord has done great things for us! We are glad!” God wants us to be glad and thankful.

....to finding happiness

Writing this has reminded me of the movie Pollyanna. Do you remember the movie? Everyone is miserable until Pollyanna arrives and begins cheering up the town. In the end she is hurt and the town turns out to cheer her up and give her encouragement. Isn’t that what we want for ourselves and loved ones? Pollyanna tells Rev. Ford that there are over 800 glad texts and the next Sunday he announces from the pulpit there are 826 “glad texts.”

I figure if God tells us that many times to be glad, he must mean it. The next time I get down, I’ll have to remember this. So let’s pay heed to Proverbs 15:13 which says “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.”

I encourage you to take time to find a “happy text” to memorize! What do you do to improve your mood?