Fighting the Depression of Rheumatoid Arthritis
It is great to have a friend. And sometimes professional counsel is necessary. But today I was thinking of some ways that we can fight the blues and be our own therapist.
Here are some ideas that I tried not to let get away…
1) Take Natural Medicine
No, the really natural kind: endorphins. Do something that releases endorphins. There are some foods, like dark chocolate, which can lift you up.
Laughter will rush them thru your blood So read the comics, or make a funny face, for pete’s sake, just laugh.
Even crying, if it’s needed, can release some relaxing chemicals.
Exercising, if you are able to, will give you an endorphin rush.
If you know more ways, please share!
2) Meditate on a Hopeful Truth
This is not just think happy thoughts. It has to be true; it won’t work if it’s a false hope. But there is always some hopeful truth you can find. Here are just a few examples:
It may be science: They are looking for a cure.
It may be simple: Soon, I look forward to lunch with a friend.
It may be silly: My dog still loves me.
It may be scripture: God’s mercy is great. Heaven will be awesome.
Repeat this truth quietly throughout your day. Ruminate upon it the way you usually do with your problems. Let it counsel you.
3) Refresh the Page
Changing your environment can change the picture and make you see things in a different way – or see something you did not notice before. For me this is going out and looking at the sky – day or night. Or seeing the ocean or some wildlife. It’s more than just a distraction; it is regaining a perspective that is more accurate. Our problems are actually kind of small disruptions in perspective to the whole of the natural order of things.
4) Use Music
Music is like an IV. Somehow God made most of us able to receive truth directly into our souls through music. It is a powerful resource we probably ignore because we think it takes too much time. But if we say we don’t have time to listen to the music that we know will uplift us, maybe we should counsel ourselves about our time / priorities. Besides, there’s time in the car, as we eat, while we dress, do chores…
5) Challenge the Status Quo
Ask yourself whether this is the person you want to be.
Maybe it is a habit that should be picked up or put down.
Maybe we can make a small course correction today. Or a big move.
Maybe we can reconsider something we once set aside: like faith in God; or a certain friendship.
Whatever it is, we can question the status quo and encourage ourselves to move on down the road.