There may be experiences in your life that cause confusion and pain, however, discouragement is one of the emotions that can send the most optimistic person down a path of despair and depression.
Who Are The Discouraged
Find someone who lacks self-confidence has no enthusiasm, passion or low in spirits, and you have stumbled upon a person who is discouraged.
If not checked quickly discouragement can take hold of the best of us. We have all experienced discouragement or despondency at some point in our lives.
Possibly you didn’t score well on an exam, didn’t get the promotion you worked extremely hard for, or maybe you were outbid by another home buyer on the home of your dreams.
Life happens and with it comes up and downs. Do you find yourself discouraged with your life circumstances? Do you find situations difficult to cope with more and more?
3 Stages of Discouragement
Mild Discouragement – This is when a mild event happens that causes you some unease, but it’s a minor event and typically goes without notice and doesn’t last for long.
Strong Discouragement – This occurs when major life events or problems occur. This degree of discouragement creates a change in your physical and mental state that is apparent to those around you.
Disabling Discouragement – At this level, major issues and problems of life are overwhelming, as a result, you slip into a state of persistent sadness and loss of interest or the ability to press onward; also classified as depression.
Source: Institute In Basic Life Principles: What Is Depression
Factors That Cause Discouragement
1. Fatigue – If you’re not getting enough sleep you may experience mood swings and discouragement. The National Sleep Foundation recommends the following sleep duration for each age group:
- Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours
- Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range 12-15 hours
- Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range 11-14 hours
- Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range 10-13 hours
- Children (6-13): Sleep range 9-11 hours
- Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours
- Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours
- Adults (26-64): Sleep range 7-9 hours
- Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours
2. Disappointment – When the expected turns into the unexpected it can cause sadness. Failure of something hoped for does not feel good!
I come from a broken home; my parents separated when I was only four-years-old; at which time I was sent away to live with my grandmother. My parents moved forward with a divorce, and as a result, I recall this being the start of my life’s disappointments.
3. Failure – To not succeed in something that you have set out to accomplish can be discouraging. What if you failed once, twice, more than a dozen times? Failure if not looked upon as a learning experience can be very disheartening.
4. Fear – This is complex due to fear can stem from so many areas such as trauma, uncertainties of life, loss of control, fear of criticism or going onto uncharted territory. Some may not tell anyone of their fears internalizing that it may be looked upon as them being weak. All of these factors can cause discouragement.
How To Cope With Being Discouraged: Feeling Depressed
Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” – Dale Carnegie
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I’ve recently stumbled across a book called The Power Of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. This book is amazing, I personally think everyone should read this book. It has completely changed my outlook on unfortunate circumstances that happen in my life.
In the book, it mentions that in our society “too many people are defeated by the everyday problems of life.”
Dr. Norman Peale goes on to state that “by learning to cast them from our mind, by refusing to become mentally subservient to them, by channeling spiritual power through your thoughts, you can rise above obstacles which ordinarily might defeat you.”
This has been my experience lately, I have chosen to look at my fears, disappointments and failures head-on and think positively. It has been life-changing for me. No longer do I find myself discouraged and down-hearted due to the uncertainties of life.
Finding the purpose in what I am going through: and how I can turn it into an opportunity to grow and share my experience with someone who may be feeling discouraged.
My brother was brutally shot and killed a few short years ago. It has been the most excruciatingly painful event in my life. Healing from that loss took time, and yes I had questions for God.
I miss my brother and I am thankful for the time I had with him. I have chosen to move forward, feeling fortunate to be able to use my experience to relate, support and encourage others dealing with an unexpected loss in a way that I would not have before.
Have you ever thought that maybe your disappointments in life happen so that you can be a support in helping someone else who is going through a similar life event?
A Source Of Strength
It has become apparent to me that in our world many have discounted God and His authority over our lives and the truth that is written in the Bible. But for me, I have not, it’s like the air I breathe; trusting in God and His promises is life itself to me.
There are so many promises anyone can claim to help when it comes to feelings of discouraged.
Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks. And God’s peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Brothers and sisters, think about the things that are good and worthy of praise. Think about the things that are true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected.” – Philippians 4: 6-8
Jesus said, Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust in me.” – John 14:1
We have troubles all around us, but we are not defeated. We do not know what to do, but we do not give up hope of living. We are persecuted, but God does not leave us. We are hurt sometimes, but we are not destroyed. – 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
All you who put your hope in the Lord be strong and brave.” – Psalm 31:24
Have you felt discouraged lately? Please comment on ways that you have found helpful in dealing with discouragement.