For those that know me, it may be hard to believe, but I’ve had battles with depression in my life. I’m very upbeat, positive and optimistic so it is difficult to think that I’ve struggled with depression. And by struggled, I mean really struggled, but my joy now is truly genuine and I’m happy with the simplest of things.
There were times in my life, that my thoughts completely weighed me down. As a result, much of my experience was tainted by this negative viewpoint. When I was in college, I went on a trip with a school organization. While on this trip I experienced what could be termed as a “break up” with this guy I had fallen deeply in-love with. The whole trip was ruined as a result. Quite honestly much of my college experience was tainted by it. Once we made it back, someone asked me how I liked it. “I didn’t like it at all.” I replied. When my professor heard me, he said “don’t say that”. But I felt it with every ounce of my being. I hated it and I wished I hadn’t gone at all.
In hindsight I realize that I couldn’t see past what I was going through momentarily. While getting over this experience took me much longer than I’d hoped, I know I could’ve greatly benefited from a more positive focus.
It took me a long time to understand I was depressed. I had negative feelings associated with certain buildings, people and experiences. Whether most of this was in my head or not doesn’t really matter because what we believe, our perceptions shape our life and experiences, regardless of their actuality.
With that notion being understood, I know that I can feel emotions without allowing them to overcome me. I have the ability to choose what I think and what I believe. One technique that I benefited from greatly was the use of scripture based affirmations. We have to realize that a vast majority of our thoughts aren’t really ours at all. They are from an outside force. We can adopt them or we can dismiss them.
Once, it got to the point I was constantly attacked by negative thoughts and I felt powerless. I couldn’t stop them and I couldn’t control them. It lasted so long I thought I’d have to struggle with them forever. I googled scriptural affirmations and came across a large variety of options, ultimately, I choose to go with some I found on Joyce Meyer’s website.
At first it seemed like I was just saying empty words. I’d stand before the mirror in the morning and at night, or even in my car and say these 4 sentences three times each. After about a week of this, it began to sink in. I started to believe the words I was saying. Then the words began to take whole new meanings to me. One word can mean multiple things, depending on how you say it or even what you think of when you say it. The results were amazing. I began to see my overall mood improve. I was happier and the occurrence of negative thoughts diminished tremendously. And when they did come, I had an immediate response for them. I felt so powerful. I was able to choose exactly what I wanted to think and how I wanted to feel.
What once seemed to be an existence I’d need to become accustomed to, is now a distant memory. I AM more than a conqueror through Christ (Romans 8:31-39). And so are you.
Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord AND Savior?
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