- Nina McCray
Depression: Rest, Renew, and Recharge
There is a reality that we live, but it’s one we don’t consciously notice. We live most of our days circling inside the walls of our thoughts. And what studies show is that on average we think about 60,000-80,000 thoughts per day. Out of those thoughts, eighty percent are negative. What does this tell us? That our negative thinking is causing our depression, our worries, anxiety, and lack of sleep. What can we do? We renew our minds through our faith, we develop the practice of shifting our focus, and we become practical about our daily practices. It’s time to make changes and propel ourselves out of depression.
Thought Life Filter
Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will.”
Think about your daily thoughts and engage in conscious journaling where you dump all your thoughts on a page. Practice this daily, and you will come across thought patterns. Patterns that you may have never known existed. Becoming conscious of your thought life can help you identify the darts of the enemy and the thoughts that swallow any notion of hope and solutions.
Today, begin on the path of conscious journaling where you can write a letter to God and yourself. Go back at the end of the week and re-read all that you’ve written and be prepared to receive insight into your thought life. Renew your thoughts by filtering them through the Word of God. The scriptures are your filter, and you must use this filter daily.
Identify Your Focus Point
Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
The thoughts you entertain are your points of focus. And whatever has a hold of your attention can dominate your feelings and thus influence your decisions. So, what can you do? Learn to develop the skill to objectively capture rogue thoughts that run rampantly, destroying your peace and causing you to fall into depression. Shift your thoughts to things that are good and future plans that involve your creativity and purpose. And focus on the purposeful desires that God has placed in your heart.
Refrain from Spiritual Isolation
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
We are living amid a worldwide pandemic and inevitably are positioned in the space of isolation and social distancing. For those who suffer from depression or are facing a season of depression, you must know that loneliness is a threat to our emotional and mental state. If you find yourself experiencing this, it’s time to make phone calls and talk to those people that will uplift you.
Do not allow yourself to remain alone with your thoughts. Share your feelings with someone and develop daily schedules. Invite the invasion of laughter through comedy shows and movies. Go for a walk, a jog, and move your body. When you move your body, it is another way to help your body process those emotions that you can’t explain or shed. Become practical.
These schedules must include a moment in prayer and meditation in the Word of God. Engage in Zoom calls with friends or fellow church members. Listen to sermons and inspirational podcasts. All of these practical decisions will maneuver your thoughts to shift in positive directions. Understand that while your prayer is a spiritual weapon and must be used at all times, your schedules and daily practices are a strategy to dominate your flesh. We have been given a Spirit of love, power, and self-discipline.
Let’s break this down. Why are these three things powerful? Self-discipline is a result of intentional actions that override emotions. So, when you are no longer acting based on emotions, but rather discipline, you activate the power and strength within your spirit. Then, your actions will come from a place of love and not fear. When we fear life and dwell in the realm of uncertainty without faith, we are consumed by our fears, which invade our thought life. But when we abide in the love of God anchored to our faith, it makes it easier to navigate tumultuous currents.
We are here to help you in your walk with God, and if you are facing depression, we encourage you to plug into our resources to help you throughout this season. You are not alone, sister, we are with you!
“Your feelings are valid, you matter, and we want to help.”