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.
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.
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.