one another and
build each other up."
(I Thessalonians 5:11)
You don't have to look farther than the 5 o' clock news to become depressed. Senseless shootings, political unrest, threats of war, natural disasters. The list goes on and on.
Discouragement can hang over us like an ominous cloud. It touches each of our lives through financial strain, unexpected illness, job stress, or relational conflict.
Writers face times of discouragement when our careers don't take off like we hope, or we face writer's block or other obligations pull us away from our time to write.
So what can we do to counteract this onslaught of discouragements? Here are 5 ways I've found that help pull me out of the doldrums.
Seek Out Positive People - When we're discouraged, it's so tempting to just hibernate in our own little corner of the world and not want to interact. But doing so, breeds discontent. Instead, we need to saturate ourselves with positive people who'll do their utmost to encourage us. If you're looking to expel your negative outlook, find someone with an uplifting attitude to help send your negativity reeling!
Treat Yourself - Sometimes we just need a breather, something that refreshes us and can get us back on track. When you're at your wit's end, take time out to do an activity you enjoy. It can be something as simple as going out for ice cream with your family or friends, taking a trip back in time thumbing through old photo albums, or sprawling in a lawn chair in your back yard with a good book. A bit of relaxation can go a long way!
Give of Yourself to Others - Nothing takes our minds off our own troubles than doing something nice for someone else. Do you have an elderly neighbor who'd be blessed by a visit? Is there someone who could benefit from a RAK (Random Act of Kindness)? There are myriad of ways you can give of yourself to others. (see my blog: Making the World a Better Place One Kindness at a Time). Reach out and touch someone's life, and in the process, you'll find your own cares lifting.
Take a Prayer Walk - What's a prayer walk? It's a walk where you commune not only with nature, but with God. While exercising your body, you exercise your spirit as well. Find a place that inspires you and drink in its beauty. (Sorry, city-dwellers. You'll have to search out a park or lawn.) Begin by thanking God for the richness of His creation. Soon you'll find yourself pouring out your heart to Him. And as the prayers go up, the burdens rise with them.
Just Keep Going! - Some days we just want to call it quits. Nothing goes right, and we feel like a hamster spinning his wheel. That's when we most need to rely on the Lord's strength to carry us through. Faith is believing what we can't see. We don't know what the next day will bring, but we do have the promise, that if we're Christians, the Lord's Spirit is within us and will guide us where we need to be. When we can't see what's ahead, we can trust God to gently nudge us in the right direction.
Do you have an idea you'd like to share that helps pull you from the pit of discouragement? I'd love to hear it.
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