Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

7 Spiritual Steps to Overcome Mild Depression

posted by Linda Mintle

Have you struggled with feeling down for a few years, maybe even since childhood? Something just isn’t quite right. You feel irritable, hopeless, lethargic and low in self-esteem. This was true of Robin. He didn’t realize he was depressed and just thought his down feelings were part of his personality. But daily, he struggled to get out of bed and fully engage in life.

Robin suffers from a mild depression called dysthymia. It runs in families and can worsen if not treated. It can linger for years because it is a chronic, low-grade depression. With it may come appetite changes, low energy, sleep difficulties, low self-esteem and feelings of helplessness.

This type of depression is treatable. Antidepressants work for about one third of people with dysthymia. You may have to experiment with medications until you find one that is effective. Talk therapy looks at the roots of depression. Children who have been abused or experienced trauma are at risk. Major life stress can also trigger dysthymia in adults–a recent loss, difficult circumstance, relationship problems, etc. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps train you to redirect your negative thoughts. Exercise and family support are also helpful.

Spiritually, depression often leads to feeling hopeless. With God, nothing is beyond repair and healing.

Here are 7 spiritual steps to help you overcome:

1) Acknowledge the depression (Proverbs 12:25)

2) Trust God to help you (Psalm 46:1)

3) Praise God despite your circumstances (Psalm 34:1)

4) Speak hope into the situation (Psalm 39:7)

5) Renew your negative thoughts through the positive Word of God. Meditate on the goodness of God (Phil 4:8)

6) Take steps to correct your behavior. Take care of your body and engage with others. Don’t wait to feel like doing something, make yourself do things. Get up and active.

7) Address the cause of depression. Get at the root–guilt and shame, loss of a job, family conflicts, unforgiveness, etc.) and work in therapy.

The next time you begin to feel depressed, pray….

“I am redeemed by the blood of Jesus. I am not under the curse. He came to redeem me.  I am the head, not the tail. I am above, not below, no weapon formed against me will prosper. Let the redeemed of the Lord, say so!”

You Can’t Change Him, But You Can Change You!

posted by Linda Mintle

 

One of the biggest problems in our relationships is that so many of us believe we can change another person. Truth is, we can’t. But we can change our reaction to that person and then the relationship changes.This lie, “I can change another person” is one of ten relationship myths I cover in my book, I Married You, Not Your Family.

So how can you effect change in a relationship? Watch this short video:

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Two Things That Will Keep You From Overeating

posted by Linda Mintle

You sit down to eat a meal. Your tablecloth is black and your dish is white. Does this make a difference in how much you eat?

Or your dinnerware is cream color and you are eating white pasta with cream sauce. Does the lack of a color contrast on your plate make a difference in how much you eat?

The answer to both questions is YES, according to a study in the Journal of Consumer Research involving 200 people age 18-39.

The researchers found that when the color contrast between the dinnerware and the food was low, participants served themselves more food. But when the color contrast was high–add a green sauce to the pasta–the serving sized reduced.So if you want to eat less, make the colors of the food on your plate a bright contrast to your dinnerware!

Second, when food was served on a plate that contrasted greatly with the underlying tablecloth, the opposite was found. The great contrast led participants to serve more food.  Remove the contrast and you will eat less!

Hey, if we want to eat less, these are easy fixes!

 

 

For more help to eat with intention, get a copy of Dr. Mintle’s book, Press Pause Before You Eat.

Do I Need a Christian Therapist?

posted by Linda Mintle

Question: I’ve got marital problems. I feel down all the time. Nothing seems to be working in my life. Maybe I need to get some professional help. But how do I pick a therapist? Do I need to see a Christian or will any good therapist do?

Dr. Linda: You need a well-trained Christian therapist who has good relationship and clinical skills. Here’s why? The world-view of a therapist makes a difference. You need someone who understands your faith and can guide you from a biblical perspective. Someone who is not familiar with your faith is at a disadvantage in directing you to health.

Therapy is not value free.  While therapists are trained to respect the values of their clients and work from the client’s worldview, it is impossible to be totally neutral when it comes to values. A therapist’s belief system matters. And in couple work, we have data that shows that when a therapist is neutral or negative about marriage, there is a higher rate of divorce.

A Christian therapist integrates faith with psychological principles, something a non-Christian therapist cannot do. Your faith is a source of power, a lens from which you view the world and relationships. Faith is integral in healing.

You are the consumer of therapy services.  It is perfectly appropriate to ask a practice or insurance company to give referrals for Christian therapists. You can also check with local churches and professional organizations like The American Association of Christian Counselors for possible referrals.  Don’t be afraid to ask. It’s vital to work with someone who understands how to integrate faith with everyday living.

Be specific when you ask about faith. Many therapists say they are “spiritual” but that covers a wide variety of religions.  Here’s an example.

A Christian woman called and wanted to see me in therapy. I didn’t have an opening and she was desperate for help. When I checked with my regular referrals, no one had room to take a new client. One of my colleagues told me she was available.  She called herself Christian but also believed in using astrology and other eastern religions.  I knew she had previously sent patients to psychics so I politely declined her offer. The young women referred specifically requested a born again Christian therapist and did not believe in psychics or astrology. Even though the therapist had good credentials and training, she would have not been a good match.

The point is you need to find someone whose values are compatible with yours. Be assertive. You want the right guidance. So much of what you do in therapy involves the way you think and believe. Someone with different views and values can create more problems than good. Look for the right therapist. The best way to find a good Christian therapist is through word of mouth. Personal referral is usually a great start to finding a good therapist.  Ask around and get started!

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