Into every life a little rain must fall, but the prolonged darkness is far worse than the storm.
Living through the darkness is a necessary part of life. It can be described as hopelessness, depression, sadness or other terms that represent similar feelings. Some people struggle with it more than others. In my own experience and after reading the experience’s of others there are a few things to make the process more bearable and shorter in its cycle.
Here are a few tips:
1. Admit it to yourself and someone else at the onset of the sadness. Don’t wait too long. You don’t need to go into great detail when sharing. Find a friend that you are comfortable with to share your feelings. Just the act of sharing it with another person can help reduce the darkness and give you some perspective on your current situation.
2. Be sure that you are getting enough sleep. Eight hours is ideal to help you manage the emotions of the moment. Severe sleep deprivation can make it difficult to function and think rationally.
3. Limit your caffeine intake. Caffeine is a stimulant which causes greater swings in your emotions. If you have a cup of coffee first thing in the morning during times of depression you will feel better initially, but after the stimulant of the coffee has worn off, the dip into sadness will be deeper than if you had never had the caffeine to begin with.
4. Exercise. You do not need to do anything huge like jogging 8 miles before work. Try walking 20 to 30 minutes a day. This alone can help the dark clouds lift from your emotions.
Avoid making big decisions in times of sadness. The rational part of your brain that helps you to process decisions objectively is limited during times of depression.
5. Avoid addictions. You are much more likely to give in to addictions during times of depression. Addictions are unhealthy behaviors that we use for comfort. It does not matter if it is alcohol, drugs, food, pornography, spending, etc. Addictions seduce us with “comfort and security” but actually give us increased guilt and a diminished self-worth.
6. Watch your “self talk”. In moments like these we tend to talk down to ourselves, talk bad about ourselves and spend most of our waking moments focusing on the negative things about ourselves. Guard your tongue. If you would not say it to your kids or a close friend then it is probably best not to say it to yourself. Most of the time you can’t believe what you say about yourself during these times. Find some great scriptures that help you make it through the present moment. Here are a few of my favorites:
Admitting where you are and taking the necessary steps to make things better will cause the darkness to leave quicker and not be as devastating as it could have been. We all find ourselves headed that way from time to time but we don’t have to sit back and do nothing.
The goal is to live THROUGH IT and not IN IT