7 Ways to Deal with Discouragement
Discouragement will come into a person's life. However, it doesn't have to stay. There are ways to give it a very short shelf life. There are ways to move on to greater things without being discouraged.
If you have ever been discouraged, then you know what it means and what it feels like. According to the dictionary, discouragement is the belief that you have lost confidence, courage, and encouragement. You become downcast and dispirited.
It is so important to let it be a passing phase. Therefore, do not give your discouragement squatters' rights. The length of time it lingers depends on you. Try the following ten ways to turn your discouragement into encouragement in a very short time.
1. Examine Yourself
No one has to be stuck. Sometimes people don't even know why they are discouraged. In those cases, look within and examine yourself to determine the cause. Pinpoint what triggered the bad emotion. That will help you determine why you feel that way.
2. Admit That You Are Discouraged
It is easier to deal with something if you admit that it exists. Acknowledge that you are discouraged. Call it by its name in your prayers. Instead of denying you are discouraged, admit it and acknowledge what you are experiencing.
3. Face Discouragement
Once you have mastered steps 1 and 2, you will be ready to face your discouragement head on if you want it to go away.
It is like going through a dark tunnel. If you keep driving, you will eventually get to the other side where you will see the light. Get started, go and don't stop until you see the light at the end of the tunnel of discouragement.
4. Don't Let Discouraging Things Pile Up
Try to handle each bout of discouragement as it happens. Don't let things pile up before dealing with them. Don't wait until you have a laundry list of things to be worried about. If you have a long list of issues, you will be too overwhelmed to deal with any of them.
5. Discouragement or Disappointment?
Do not confuse discouragement with disappointment. The result of both of them is a bad feeling, but the two feelings are different. You can feel one way without feeling the other way.
You might feel disappointed if you don't get what you expect to get. However, that doesn't mean you will automatically become discouraged about it.
You can be discouraged without being disappointed.
6. Pray to God
Since you cannot focus on two things at the same time, focus on God as you pray. Turn your discouragement over to God. After all, He can handle it much better than you can.
Remember, in Step 2 you admitted the reality of your feeling to yourself. Now, admit it to God and let Him help you.
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. (Psalm 42:11)
Meditation can help with anything that bothers you, including discouragement. Meditate on other things and not on how you are feeling at the moment. Focus on the end result you desire.
A Stepping Stone to Greater Things
This might sound strange, but you can grow through what you are going through. God might use your discouragement to move you to another level in your spiritual development. It could be a stepping stone to something greater.
There will be some times of discouragement in everybody's life. However, nobody has to be stuck in that feeling if the above steps are followed.