DEALING WITH STRESS AND DEPRESSION – AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE

When dealing with stress and depression, life, at times, can be so difficult that we can’t see any answers. We have a difficult time finding a way out of the dark space that we have fallen into.

What I have come to understand, after years of depression, is that we must step away from the problem or issues and look from a different vantage point. Once we recognize the negative, we can identify the positive and express our gratitude!

Let me explain.

INSIDE THE CORRAL

Have you ever wondered why it is so easy to see answers or solutions for the problems that other people are facing? But… your problems seem to have no answers in sight.

Take a moment and imagine a corral. You know, the fencing you put around a group of horses to contain them. Now picture yourself standing in the middle of that corral. Imagine that each worry, each stressful situation, and each fear is a horse.

These horses are so big you can’t even see the fence and they seem to be pushing your around trying to knock you over. With each stressful moment, the horses seem to get bigger and your space smaller. You are going crazy trying to get out of their way so they won’t trample you.

Earl Nightingale, said that for every problem, no matter how big, there is a solution. I believe this to be a true statement. There is always a solution… ALWAYS. You just can’t see it because you are stuck in that corral.

STANDING OUTSIDE THE CORRAL

Here is a very exciting thought! Take yourself out of the corral and look at those problems like they belonged to someone else. A good place to begin is to look for something positive. With each problem, looking for a solution comes with acknowledging that there has to be something good mixed up in there.

If you can remember in previous posts, I mentioned that there is a Universal Law of Opposites. What I mean is this: for every negative, there is a positive. For every front, there is a back. For every up, there is a down. Begin to look for the opposite of what is going on and find that positive.

Knowing that painful situations can bring about positive results is a direct reflection of the Law of Opposites. Once you reflect on what you have learned from that situation, you will be looking at your problems in a different way. While standing outside of the corral, ask yourself what you have learned from this problem. We can always learn and that is how we grow. Unfortunately, learning from our struggles is often painful.

Hopefully, the main thing you will see now is that the problems (horses) are not trying to trample you, they are trying to get out of your way. You just won’t let that happen. You are the one bumping and thrashing inside that corral. You, inside the corral, can only see the problems.

You, outside the corral, can now find the solutions. That is why you can always see the answer to others issues. You are standing outside the corral and your body, mind, spirit are not clouded by the issues.

DEPRESSION

Unfortunately, we can’t always step out of the corral. When things begin to look completely hopeless, we often lose faith and that is when depression sets in. What do we know about depression?

First of all, I want to state that I am not a medical Doctor who is prescribing anything. I am a Spiritual Counselor who knows that sometimes we get sad and have a difficult time feeling happy.

Everyone at some point in their lives seems to go through a sadness, usually based on various circumstances such as loss of a relationship, job, pet, and other types of personal violations such as war, rape, or even theft. All these stressful situations will easily drag you into a depression, a sadness, that is difficult to overcome.

Most people do feel sad or depressed at times. It’s a normal reaction to loss or life’s struggles. However, when these intense feelings of sadness keep you from living your life, it may be what is called clinical depression and should be treated by a medical Doctor.

For now, we are looking at every day life and how we can move from a problem (sadness/depression) to a more positive outlook. Understanding the idea of the corral is one possible solution to get out of the mix. Taking a positive look at your life and the problems is another solution. Gratitude is my favorite solution for dealing with stress and depression!

GRATITUDE IS THE ANSWER

We have all heard the words, “Count Your Blessings.” Just because it doesn’t look like a blessing, doesn’t mean that it isn’t.

I’d like to share a story:

Sheila and her two small children, after several years of physical and mental abuse, escaped from her tyrant husband. Now Sheila is on her own, but life is not easy and although there is no abuse, she struggles everyday to provide shelter, clothing, and food for her children. This struggle certainly does not appear to be a blessing.

Sheila has little confidence, feels sad and depressed. she begins to think maybe going back to the husband and that life she knew would be easier. 

When Sheila came to Rev. Val, she began working on her ATTITUDE of  GRATITUDE. Today, Sheila is stronger, happier, and grateful for her release from her abusive husband. She knows that her new life is a gift and that her children are her blessings. Even her struggles are blessings as she is growing. With a job, home, and family each day gets better.

Every day look for those positive moments, even in the most negative times.

To be grateful is to be thankful. Is it too difficult to be grateful when you are in pain? Start here:

1. Keep a Gratitude Journal. Begin writing a note every day about the things you are thankful for in your life. Even in struggle, we can find some good. It might be as simple as “I made some really good pancakes this morning.” Or it might be something like, “The fresh air this morning smelled so nice and it calmed me.”

2. Body Language. Even through the pain and sadness, go to the mirror and give yourself a big happy smile. Maybe you don’t feel like it, but practice smiling. Give your smiles to others and they in return will share a smile with you. Smiles are uplifting.

3. Praise Yourself. Be grateful for your gifts and abilities. Acknowledge with grace that you are blessed with a uniqueness that is only you. You were created by God, Source, The Force…. and “God Don’t Make No Junk”

Take these simple steps toward positive thinking and fill your spirit with GRATITUDE! Gratitude is a great solution for stress and depression.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Never give up. There is always a solution. Be happy in your moment.

Bruce Lee once said, “Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.” It is from those difficult moments that we can see when the beautiful moments arrive and we can then be grateful.

You often don’t notice the good without having experienced the bad.

Be thankful, practice gratitude, and lift yourself when dealing with stress and depression.

Rev. Val

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12 thoughts on “DEALING WITH STRESS AND DEPRESSION – AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE”

  1. I practice gratitude on a daily basis. When I go to bed I start whispering each one. I do fall asleep while doing this because it really calms me and also improves my mood. If I’ve had a good day, it’s not hard to think of a lot of gratitude. If I’ve had a difficult one, they don’t come really that easy. On those days I start with basics (thank you for a comfortable bed, enough to eat today, etc.) and it gets easier as I go along. If negative thoughts sets in, I firmly crowd them out and continue with my list. This practice is something I look forward to each day. I recommend it to everyone.

    Nice write-up.

    Regards!

    • Jordan, what a great way to end your day, whispering your gratitude. You have come to deal with the negative and forced it from your mind. 

      Often people don’t know how to start giving thanks. Those basics you talk about (comfortable bed, food) simple and yet so present. You are good to recognize your blessings.

      It has been my pleasure reading your comment. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      Blessings to you.

  2. Key take away, “pray for the strength to deal with a hard life”. I must say that gratitude is truly important. I agree that must times we tend to find solutions to people’s problems but not ours. It interesting that you can discuss this. We need to find those things that are the positives in our lives. We need to be thankful and grateful. Stress and depression are two things that are hard to go away in our world now but like you have said, we can turn those negatives and give ourselves good reason to be happy. Nice post!

    • John, it is wonderful to read your words. Fill My Spirit is a blog that was designed to help. I am happy that it reached out to you and that you definitely found the key elements of the article flowing with your thoughts. 

      Yes, when dealing with stress and depression “we can turn those negatives and give ourselves good reason to be happy.”

      It has been my pleasure. Thank you for being here.

  3. I think standing on the outside and looking at your problems like they are someone else’s may just be the thing to help one see things in perspective. Maybe if you treat them like they are someone else’s problems, you will find it easier to find positive things to look at within those problems.

    I enjoyed reading about how Sheila overcame her problems by adopting an attitude of gratitude. In fact, I have seen this work for quite a few people. No matter how little you have, there is always something to be thankful for.

    Could you recommend a good book on learning about gratitude and how to incorporate it into your life?

    • Michel, It might take some time to get there, but standing outside the corral is a powerful way to deal with problems. Keeping positive is a major factor.

      I am very proud of Sheila as she has come a long way in her healing. I am happy that her story inspired you. Yes, there are many who have walked in her shoes.

      As far as a good book on gratitude, I want to recommend anything that was written by Dr. Wayne Dryer. He was one of the most positive and inspiring men on this planet. I know you will enjoy his books.

      I send you blessings and thank you for visiting today. 

      Reverend Val

  4. Hi Val,

    Beautiful article, I really enjoyed the reading!

    When I was younger, I used to suffer from depression, and it was harrowing. One day, my father gave me a book about gratitude and how to be grateful for everything that happens in life. It was from Bob Proctor:) I am you have heard about him:) Who hasn’t:)

    Anyway, I sometimes still find myself being anxious, but when it happens, I stop everything and write for the things I am grateful for and really help. Nothing to with the article, but I’ve read that when sending love to someone, they receive it back. Do you think it’s possible?

    Thank you for this excellent post!

    • Daniella, what a great mentor you have in Bob Proctor! I do think when you send love to someone they do receive it. We are all energy and vibrate on levels that match each other. By staying positive and full of gratitude, you can avoid those lower energies like stress and depression. 

      There is always a solution and all things are possible. 

      Thank you for your kind words. 

  5. What an inspirational thought to start my day! I wish everyone has this kind of thinking – finding out the solution to a problem because there is always an answer if we just keep on looking. Of course, this also entails positivity because its what keeps us away from being sad and depressed caused by problems, heart aches, hardships and all negativities you could think of. May I also add based on my experience that we should also be brave even if we think that our problem is so big that it’s eating us. 

    I just came to realize that it won’t he as effective as we thought if yes, we do not have the attitude of gratitude. We must commend ourselves no matter how big or small we accomplished in facing our own dillemas. Most of the time, it’s been effective for me to just let my problems come and go – it always does. That’s why i don’t dwell on it too much, instead I’m loving myself more and treating myself better for being brave to face the day. This post will always make me remember that being thankful to myself is a great way to deflect negativities and life. Let’s make ourselves feel good for what we are doing righteously. Thanks for sharing!

    • MissusB, you are so right when you say we should be brave. It takes courage to face our struggles. I am so happy that you have come to visit and read my blog. Stay out of the corral and look for the positive. Blessings.

  6. Thank you for your site. It is definitely a need in the world today. The topics are fantastic and on point. The site itself is beautiful and easy to follow the topics. I completely understand this article. I have depression and a gratitude list is the first thing I do when I get low. Bless you and keep them coming. Bringing light out where there is a lot of darkness.

    All my best

    Melissa

    • Lisa, I am so pleased that you found my blog site. I appreciate your kind words. Depression is such a hard hitting thing and most everyone at some point is faced with it. It is good to know that you have found gratitude lifts you from the darkness. Bless you and keep smiling.

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