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Monday, July 24, 2017


This is a sponsored guest post. This topic has been on my mind not only lately but for the past year and a half-not so much the depression part but the idea that we have a choice about how we handle and respond to situations. I am very much in the learning process, and some circumstances are easier than others. While we don't all deal with depression, we all have hard times. The suggestions in this article definitely give us all something to think about.

The Ultimate Choice: Define, Destroy or Strengthen

A common saying you’ve probably seen in articles or on Pinterest is, “When something bad happens you have three choices. You can let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.”

When we see these options, it’s easy for us to say that of course we’d choose to let some problem or trial strengthen us. That’s easier said than done, thoughBut like with all trials that come your way, even with a clinical conditionlike depression, you have a choice to make—do you let it define, destroy or strengthen you?

Choosing one of the first two is the easier way out. In a sense, letting depression define or destroy you means choosing to do nothing. Instead of fighting and positively dealing with it, you let it overtake your life.

Strength doesn’t come from letting your life lead you; it comes from choosing to lead your life. You can let this difficulty break you down and make you resentful, or you can choose to let it refine you and make you stronger.

So how do you choose a refining path when you’re living a life with depression?

Fix your choices.

Choose optimism over pessimism. The latter comes with depression. It’s what makes having depression so depressing. Pessimists don’t see choices—optimists do. By definition, trials are going to be trying. They’re going to test you physically, mentally and emotionally. But when you choose optimism, when you choose to see the good and blessings in your life over the bad, it will help you make it through each day.

A speaker at a BYU devotional learned first-hand how important choices are. I’ve learned that the way I respond to trials can have a great effect on whether they become roadblocks in my life or expressways to learning and growth,” he said. When I anguish over difficulties, the experiences only serve to weigh me down. But remembering that these trials are part of the great plan of happiness helps me to see them as opportunities to grow and learn.

Finish something, anything.

Disappointment and failure happen to everyone. So when you have depression and one of those comes your way, turn disappointment over onto its head by finishing something on your to-do list. Even if that just means doing the dishes that have been in the sink for a couple of days or reading one chapter in a book. Completing something you’ve wanted to do will point you down a more positive andmindful road.

Rely on others.

You can only bear so much on your own. Let other people help you through your tough times. Strength comes from relying on and trusting in others. This could mean talking to family members, friends, teachers or even getting treatment from a doctor or counselor. Another person who is always there to help you is God. In Psalm 105:4 it reads, “Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore.” God will never give you a trial you can’t handle, even though in the moment it may seem more than you can bear, and with Him you can have the strength you need to overcome any challenge.

Not everyone is going to be completely healed from depression. But sometimes that healing poweyou need and are given is the understanding and strength to bear your daily burdens.

While the suggestions in this article could potentially apply to many of us, it is not intended to replace personalized individual help from a trained professional.

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