Do you ever think to yourself, ‘if this situation gets any worse I am totally going to bail’? You know better times are ahead, but you allow a discouraging thought to set the tone for the entire day. Even when we know the circumstances will improve it is difficult to combat discouragement.
We start to focus on an event or outcome that we have no control over and then a familiar feeling starts to set in. Worries about employment, a health condition, finances, or concern for another person begin whirling around in our minds. One negative thought creeps in and pessimism begins to overtake us like a tsunami. It is not possible to constantly look on the bright side, but let’s examine some ways we can combat discouragement.
Ways to Combat Discouragement
1. Spend Time with Encouraging People
It is important to spend time with people who lift you up instead of bring you down. Take a few minutes and think about the people in your life who frequently put a positive spin on a negative situation. Maybe it’s a friend, a family member, a motivational speaker, or even a blog that you follow. When you begin to feel discouraged reach out to those people who can help increase joy.
2. Get Moving
Being sedentary affects not only our bodies, but also our minds. When you feel discouraged try taking a walk or going for a hike. It will help get your blood circulating and if the sun is shinning you can even get a boost from the vitamin D.
3. Learn Something New
Taking the time to learn something new can redirect your focus from the negative to the positive. It can be like a breath of fresh air for your mind and your mood. Try taking an online class, a virtual workshop, or finally start learning a second language.
4. Show Kindness or Encouragement to Someone Else
Next time you are feeling a bit down try to shift your focus onto something other than yourself. Doing something kind for someone else can instantly lift your spirits. Offer to help your neighbor bring in their groceries. If you like to bake, make a treat for someone who isn’t feeling well. It can even be s simple as picking up the phone and checking in on a friend who you haven’t spoken to in a while.
5. Focus on Faith
Prayer and reading the Bible are things many Christians do on a daily basis. These activities help them feel connected to their faith, provides encouragement, and helps them feel less alone. I recently read an article on Doug Britton’s website entitled “Encourage One Another.” It states in the subheading that encouragement changes people. I whole-heartedly agree with this statement and found the entire article very uplifting.
6. Find a Confidant
Combatting discouragement can be as simple as discussing what is on your mind with a trusted friend or family member. Having someone listen to you can lift a weight off your shoulders. If you find yourself in a place where you just cannot move past the discouragement, please reach out to a professional. There is a multitude of licensed counselors and therapists that can help you work through whatever you may be facing.
Comedy for Encouragement
Have you had your daily dose of laughter? Laughing releases endorphins and creates oxytocin, both of which elevate your mood. Watch your favorite comedy movie or read a lighthearted book. Call a friend who always seems to make you laugh. Once you start smiling it will be hard to stop.