Five Ways to Battle the Blues

By Curtis Rittenour
Posted March 12, 2014

We all have moments of feeling blue. It’s normal to have these “down times,” especially after a significant loss or working through a difficult relationship problem. Life is stressful, and everyone eventually gets hit by challenges that can knock them off their feet. But when your feelings stay low, day after day, getting in the way of normal, everyday life, when you are having a difficult time doing your work and staying connected with others, you might be battling depression.

People who suffer from depression have persistent feelings of sadness and hopeless beyond a few days. When a person keeps feeling unmotivated, week after week, and just can’t seem to shake off these demons of discouragement, it’s time to take a step back and get help. God does not intend for us to live with feelings of emptiness, worthlessness, helplessness, and decreased energy. Depression not only casts a dark shadow over our spiritual life, it can affect our physical health.

There are many excellent resources that can help you overcome depression. We recommend Dr. Neil Nedley’s Depression Recovery, available in our Amazing Facts bookstore (click here for more information). There are many factors that can lead to a deeply depressed state of mind and a short article like this one will not cover all of them. But here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Get a physical. Schedule an appointment with your doctor and have a complete physical examination. Sometimes there are biological sources to depression. Though for many people this is not the case, it is worth taking steps to rule out physical causes.

2. Care for your body. Many people who slip into the slumps also neglect caring for their health. Taking a 30-minute brisk walk can do wonders to clear your mind and change your mood. Fresh air, sunlight, and exercise can rejuvenate a person’s feelings rather quickly. Also, drink plenty of water.

3. Guard what you eat. Overburdening your stomach with food that is hard on your system (loaded with refined fats, sugars, and oils) can affect your mind. Increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes. Try eating less food. A depressed stomach can lead to a depressed mind.

4. Test your thoughts. For many people, depression begins in their thoughts. Lots of discouraged people do not link their thinking with their feelings, but the two are highly connected. When a person unknowingly says, “I’m worthless. I have no future. Nobody loves me. I can’t ever do anything right,” these exaggerated and distorted musings will shape your moods. Stop and replace them with truth: “I have value in the eyes of God. He loves me and promises to give me a hopeful future.”

5. Swing the sword of the Spirit. The Bible says “the sword of the Spirit” … “is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). Memorizing Scripture and quoting it out loud will reinforce truth in your mind and push back demons of darkness. Here are five texts to start with: Jeremiah 29:11; Proverbs 3:5, 6; 2 Corinthians 12:9; John 16:33; Joshua 1:9.

Begin with these five tips. You might need additional help, such as attending a depression recovery seminar or Christian counseling. But don’t neglect these simple steps that will get you on the right pathway to healing.

If you have recurrent thoughts of death or suicide,
we strongly suggest you immediately call 9-1-1.
There are loving people who can help you get help.

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