In the winter, I was going through a rough season of my life. My dreams were not coming to fruition the way I thought they would. When I’m not writing, I am a social worker who dreams of helping every woman reach their full potential. I was facing rough seasons where clients were facing things like the death of a baby or considering taking their own life. Many people around me were oblivious to what I was facing because I tend to keep my personal feelings hidden.
During this time I started a social media campaign aimed at improving my mindset and the mind of those around me. Every day I would post something I was thankful for or an amazing event that happened that day. I started receiving private messages from people saying that they were finding themselves more grateful for the people and events in their lives. People were committed to making their Facebook a more positive place as well. They say that it takes 21 days to form a habit and I am not sure whether or not that is true. I continued this campaign for over 30 days and found that I, personally, was incredibly thankful for the blessings God had given me.
I am not saying that 21 days of thankfulness which will change your life or get rid of depression. What I am saying is that changing habits and thoughts can help change your mindset.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of GOD, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to CHRIST.”
When we follow Paul’s command to take captive our thoughts, we can see a change in attitude. Here are a couple of suggestions on what to do when you find your thoughts taking you to a dark place.
- Pray. The best thing you can do to take your thoughts captive is pray. Ask JESUS to take those thoughts and change them. Tell Him you are frustrated, scared, or confused. JESUS is your best friend and wants to always be there for you. He wants to be there for you in times of joy and sorrow.
- Take a walk. This is a personal preference for me but sometimes just getting outside can make you feel closer to GOD. You can walk and pray. You can listen to inspirational music while you pray. If you have a dog, you can take it with you. It has been proven that people are sadder in the winter because there is less sun (DSM-IV TR). I would imagine that if you receive more sun you will be happier. Soak in those rays and talk to GOD!
- Read your Bible. Sometimes you open your Bible and it falls on that perfect SCRIPTURE. The great thing is that no matter how many times you read the Bible, you will always discover something new. When you are discouraged opening it’s pages can uplift you. It is important to ALWAYS stay in the Word. By doing this you will find yourself connected to GOD in a powerful way that will uplift you during those hard times.
- Talk to a friend. Negative thoughts can overtake us sometimes to the point where we start to believe them. Tell a friend what those negative thoughts are. A Godly friend will challenge those thoughts and speak TRUTH into your life. Sometimes you just need to tell someone what is going on and they can explain to you that those are thoughts put into your head by the devil to prevent you from your DESTINY.
- Do a hobby. I don’t know about you but I feel better when I am doing some of my favorite things. In case you didn’t notice, writing is one of my favorite things. Another favorite thing of mine is reading. I LOVE words. I find that they inspire me and tell me the story of those around me. This uplifts me and connects me to others. Find something you LOVE to do and do it often. When your doing something you love, you will find that you are uplifted.
- Make a list of God’s blessings. God does amazing things in your life. Sometimes one bad thing can affect your whole mood. When that happens, think of TWO good things in your life. For each bad thought, make a list of two thoughts. Counteract the NEGATIVITY with the BLESSINGS. As I said earlier, changing your daily thoughts to an ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE can greatly conquer opportunity for negative thoughts.