Life can sure feel topsy-turvy at times. Sometimes it’s easy for me to go with the flow and shrug things off and move on. And sometimes, it’s not.
Discouragement can sneak in and steal away my peace and delight and before I know it, I’m a hot mess. You know what? I don’t love being a hot mess. I don’t want to be there any longer than necessary. But since I do OCCASIONALLY hang out there, I’ve gotten to know some killer ways to attack that gloomy state of mind.
Here are my tips on what to do when you feel discouraged.
First things first. I like to brew some fresh coffee or tea and have a moment to myself. Just being still can be therapeutic. Pausing long enough to breathe and pray can be enough to help me catch my breath and reframe my thoughts about a situation.
I don’t know why getting outside and breathing in fresh air helps. It just does. Taking a walk is usually the exact opposite of what I really what to do when I’m feeling down in the dumps.
(Because what I really want to do is lay on the couch and watch some junk tv. #keepingitreal)
But if I force myself to get up and take a quick walking break outside, I come back feeling refreshed. Mind cleared. A little bit more rational. All good things.
I’m not a huge cryer, but when things pile up and I start to lose my mind, I just have to get it out. Crying my guts out can help. A lot.
Don’t get emotional.
Once I cry it out, it’s time for me to stop being emotional. You know what I’ve learned about feelings? They’re kind of traitors. Seriously. Feelings are liars. They don’t tell me the truth about a situation.
The way I feel about a situation is not necessarily the truth about the situation. Satan totally uses my emotions against me. And I’m such a sucker for it.
Just because I feel like I’m failing as a mom doesn’t mean I am.
Just because I feel like everything I write is junk doesn’t mean it is.
SO. The sooner I can slough my way out of my crazy emotional frame of mind, the sooner I can start to move forward out of my slump.
Look at things from God’s point of view.
Confession: lately I feel like there are LOTS of crummy things going on in my life. I’m getting a lot of really awesome practice at learning to DELIGHT (my word of the year!) in God no matter the circumstances.
You know what my mantra is these days? God is not a mistake-making God. I say this to myself a lot because it’s true AND because I need to remember it when I start to freak out that life isn’t going the way I want it to go.
He is in control of ALL THE THINGS. I can trust Him, no matter what, even when the situation looks hopeless from my point of view.
Write the Word.
Philippians 4:6-7 is getting a LOT of study time here lately. A LOT. I think it’s the most used page in my Bible. 😉 I LOVE this version of it in the Passion Translation, and have written it out and posted in my bedroom, bathroom, AND journal. It’s everywhere. It’s both therapeutic to write it out, and therapeutic to see it and remember it’s Truth.
Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ.
Soak up God’s voice of Truth in the Word.
When I’m feeling discouraged, I usually need to focus on something OTHER than the situation that’s bothering me. Reading or studying or learning something – anything – helps me move forward instead of sitting idle and dwelling in a bad frame of mind. I hate dwelling.
The best thing to read or study: the Bible. God’s love letter to us. I soak it up when I’m feeling bummed.
The more I know about Him, about His truth, about who He says I am, the easier it is to REALLY trust Him.
If I read the Bible and it says to worry about NOTHING and pray about EVERYTHING, what else can I do but be obedient? I stop fretting and get busy praying.
Sometimes I need a biblical kick in the pants.
Journal it out.
Yup. Journaling. My answer for every major problem in life. 😉
When I’m discouraged, I write down all the things that feel too hard. Does it change my situation? Nope. But it often sure changes my perspective.
Turn on some happy tunes.
Music is good for my mood. I’ve shared in the past about how worship music helps me when I’m feeling grumpy. Worship music turns it around and gets the focus off myself and puts it where it belongs – on HIM. Looking for some new tunes? I’ll send you my Coffee + Jesus playlist when you join my email list! Woot woot!
So, there you have it. Some of my tested, tried and true ideas of what to do when you feel discouraged.