3 Ways To Get Out Of The "Valley Of Darkness"
The other day I woke up in a dark fog. I felt depressed, hopeless, and had zero motivation to get up and get my day going.
Can you relate to this?
I always think of Psalm 23:4 when this happens to me. It says. "Even though I walk through the darkest valley,[I will fear no evil, for you are with me your rod and your staff, they comfort me." I love this passage because it says we are walking through - not camping out - in the "dark valley."
There are 3 key things I do to get out of the valley when this happens to me because frankly it sucks. I don't like being there.
#1 - Spend time in the word of God and in prayer. With all the lies the world and you tell yourself you need some truth. Truth lies in the Bible. Unfortunately, many people have never read the Bible. It has been a game changer for me. When I think my life is pointless I read Jeremiah 29:11 which tells me God has a future and a hope for my life. 2 Corinthians 10:5 reminds me to take every negative though captive and not let it run free. Spending time with God and praying to Him ALWAYS redirects my thoughts and replenishes my spirit. I do this first thing in the morning so my mind and spirit are armored up before I go out into the world.
#2 - Exercise. If I'm being honest, this is the LAST thing I feel like doing. But I know I need to do it because when I do it "flips a switch" in my mind. Exercise releases key chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. These are endorphins, serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline. When these hit your system it fires you up and you feel motivated, focused and energized. It never fails to recharge me mentally and physically when I fight through my workout despite my unmotivated attitude. After the workout I feel victorious and "back in the fight." I'm ready to take on the day.
#3 - Do something for someone else. Our nature is to be self focused. We are programmed to be selfish and think of ourselves. More wise advice from the Bible is in Philippians 2:3. It says: "Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves." I have found that blessing someone WITHOUT any ulterior motives is super effective. Helping others helps me get over myself and resets my mind. Much like exercise, helping someone out flips a switch. This doesn't have to be a big deal like rescuing an orphan. Simple works well. Try calling someone to encourage them or thank them for their role in your life. Help an elderly neighbor with yard work or snow removal or pull over to assist someone on the side of the road. These things are around us everyday if we take our eyes off ourselves and look around.
Many of my emails relate to fitness. But this one is important because when you are in the dark valley it is virtually impossible to be effective in any area - including fitness.
You have to win the battle in the mind if you are going to win the battle with your body.
These strategies have helped me win and I hope they can bless you too.
Dedicated to your success in 2024,