Have you been depressed, sad, and destitute before? Have you looked for answers, but can never find the solution?
We all know that feeling of depression – that gut-sinking feeling of loneliness and despair no matter what you do and what you think. Depression is where joy and happiness do not exist.
Are you constantly catastrophizing? Do you tend to be pessimistic and self-depreciating? Often feel, inferior, worthless, and hopeless? Do you think that others are judging you, that you’re a failure, or that life has no purpose?
" I can't do it."
" I have no future."
Do these thoughts sound familiar?
"I look terrible."
"Everybody's staring at me."
"Nobody loves me."
The list goes on and on...
These are all unhealthy thoughts associated with anxiety and depression.
Life is full of tribulations.
We can’t escape it no matter how hard we try. Look around you. There’s not a single person who doesn’t deal with stress. But some of us cope with stress better than others. Why do some people exhibit resilience and become stronger with life’s adversities, while others come crashing into anxiety and depression with minor stress?
At least 1/5 people in North America suffer from anxiety or depression.
Anxiety and depression are complex mental health disorders. The biochemical makeup of people affected by mental health disorders shows an imbalance of neurotransmitters. The brain chemistry of those affected by depression or anxiety are deficient in certain neurotransmitters, leading them more prone to negative thought patterns. If they have poor coping strategies and do not correct their thinking, even minor stressors can tip them over the edge, leading to a mental health breakdown. For people prone to maladaptive thinking patterns, it is even more important to recognize negative thoughts and correct them before things spiral out of control.
It is a disease of the mind and thought patterns. If we don’t fix these thoughts, depression and anxiety can be recurrent and devastating.
When you visit a doctor for anxiety or depression, you may be offered medications, right? These meds aim to correct the imbalance of neurotransmitters; namely serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, which are associated with depression and anxiety states. But taking long term meds isn’t appealing to most people. Correcting unhealthy thoughts is crucial to healing depression and anxiety. Counselling and cognitive therapy are used by doctors in this way. But there is another powerful way to correct your thoughts.
Your thoughts contribute more to how you feel than any other factor.
Each person generates anywhere from 25,000 to 50,000 thoughts a day.
If your mindset is predominantly negative, you are forming thousands and thousands of negative thoughts per day.
People generate negative thoughts so automatically they’re unaware that it’s even happening. It becomes a negative thought pattern. Because it happens so subconsciously, we forget that we have control of our own thoughts.
Align your thoughts with Him.
First, you must recognize unhealthy thoughts that influence your behaviour and correct them. But this isn’t easy if these thoughts have already become habits and engrained in you. When you pray, you converse with God and your thoughts begin to align with His. Prayer is so powerful in helping us recognize our flaws in thinking. Understanding his Words correctly also allow us to think and view things from a different perspective. If we are united with the Lord, we can be in tune with God’s thoughts and resolve issues with His ways. God’s methods and perspectives are much higher than our own, so by living with God we can overcome even the most difficult situations.
By learning how to control our thoughts through Him, we can cope with difficult situations differently.
Click here to learn more about your thoughts!
How Does Living with God Help?
- Deriving strength from God, knowing that God is with us in our everyday lives. Knowing that we are not alone.
- Understanding God’s ultimate purpose of creation and life, as to not feel lost, unworthy, or live life aimlessly.
- Not being attached to the physical world and material things. This allows us to not focus on trivial things that don’t actually matter, or compare ourselves to others needlessly. Our values and perspectives change.
- Having complete faith in God that He will provide the basic necessities of life (Although you should not sit idle, still work hard, and do your human responsibility. Pray!)
- Knowing the comfort of praying and seeking help from God through times of tribulations.
- Having support from your spiritual family and their prayers
- Through the Word, uniting with God and correcting unhealthy thoughts and behaviours.
- With the knowledge of the Word, guarding against Satan’s influences.
- With God’s inspiration, knowing when to seek medical attention to help treat mental health disorders.
- Feeling God’s love and protection, and reciprocating this love by making positive changes in ourselves.
Allow God to guide you in correcting your thoughts and take inspiration through his Word.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that in this article, we are not trying to oversimplify mental health diseases. We are not referring to certain mental health disorders including schizophrenia or frank psychosis where the person may be dissociated from reality or his/her ability to think is severely compromised, where it would be difficult to correct thoughts in that state, and medications would be the mainstay of treatment. In many cases, recovery will require medication, therapy, excellent relationships, healthy lifestyle and regular spiritual disciplines (ALL God’s graces). For true clinical depression, while spiritual disciplines such as praying, applying Scripture, aligning with God’s thoughts, and confessing/renouncing all known sin should be practiced by all Christians, it is presumptive to think that those with clinical depression will heal with these spiritual disciplines alone. God has given us medication and therapies that are proven effective in treating clinical depression. When the situation demands it, please seek the attention of your health care professional and mental health counsellor to assist you, in addition to living with God.