It’s not unusual for people to have emotionally down moments.
I recently watched an interview with actress and entertainer Jenifer Lewis from the TV show Black-ish. Lewis, diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1990, shared that during the pandemic, she brought her family members to live with her to avoid isolation and help her ward off depression. She noted that she knows many others with mental, emotional, and psychological letdowns.
During the interview, the participants on the panel pointed out that we’re resilient beings with an innate capacity to bounce back from emotional setbacks. Yet sometimes, we may need a little assistance from our friends and family and tools to help us through challenging times.
So here are some positive actions anyone can take to accelerate the process of getting through those down moments that, from time to time, crop up in our lives:
1. Know that how you see a particular situation determines what it is for you. Genesis (1:26) reminds us that we can name things. It tells us we have dominion over the thoughts moving through our awareness and our perceptions about life. These perceptions determine what our mental states will be. We are "meaning makers." As a result, we can make meaning out of any situation and induce a more favorable state of mind. That state of mind ultimately becomes our experience, which is what prayer can do for us. Ralph Waldo Emerson noted, "Prayer is the contemplation of the facts of life from the highest point of view."
2. Activate your body. There is an inherent connection between our body and our mind. Our mind affects our body's actions, how it breathes, posture and movement, and even the environment. One person let me know that changing their posture, breathing deeply, and going out for a long walk helped improve their emotional state.
3. Stop wallowing in complaints. Rather than simply indulging in fault-finding, those who rise above emotional down moments see complaints as seeds for transformation. Our main complaints tell us what we believe. If we boil down the gripes, they help identify a disempowering belief, and we can transform that belief into a positive affirmation. Rather than saying, "change this situation or these people," they say, "God, open my eyes so that I may see the benefit or lesson in this experience." As a result, insights occur, so they see themselves, the situation, and others from a "God's eye view."
4. Find someone to help. No matter how challenging our circumstances, there is always someone else who is worse off. When we can assist such a person in uplifting their life, they benefit, but so does the helper. Studies have shown that helping others makes the supporter happier and healthier by building a connection. The support can be as simple as a phone call and sharing an encouraging word. Such action will do wonders to help anyone rise above their challenges.
We’ll have moments when we’re down in the dumps. However, we can take solace in the statement, "This too shall pass." It is a reminder of the temporary nature of the human condition. In the meantime, we can try one or more of the above strategies to help in their passing.
Peace and Blessings,