How to Self-Encourage

Don’t you just hate when you get in a funk; that bleh feeling that you can’t seem to shake? When I get in this mucky mood, I feel unmotivated. I feel like I want to wallow in my own laziness for the sole reason that I don’t feel like doing anything else. The worst part: I don’t even know why I feel this way! The weather doesn’t have to be gloomy for my mind to be fogged over with lethargy, these mental clouds emerge out of nowhere.

Earlier this month, I was in this apathetic atmosphere and I found my comfort slumped on my cushiony chair. But I knew I had to get to class. I knew I needed to find some sort of motivation to get excited about what I was about to learn. What kind of future teacher isn’t on fire for the content of their future profession?! Maybe you need the motivation to get out of bed today, the motivation to fuel your brain by eating a full meal, or even motivation to socialize with someone important to you.

Whatever your case, triggering that spark you need to get into that state of upbeat contentment is a desperation on days like these. Here are ways I self-encourage when my mood is unknowingly dull.

1. I want to start off with one of my favorite quotes: “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right” – Henry Ford.

What does this quote mean to you? To me, this quote is a bit convicting! It’s telling me that my own thoughts control whether I can do something or not. Me, I have the power to change my attitude. This makes complete sense as I simply think about the process of writing the paragraph above. I was in a funk and I enhanced this funk by expressing it in overwhelming detail through writing. Can anyone relate? Maybe for you it’s verbally complaining to friends, even comparing whose day was worse. The power to think positively relies on ourselves, and so does the power to choose our words wisely.

I like this quote, but I also know myself well enough to turn to the Lord and His grace (specifically His spiritual empowerment) when my thoughts go downhill. I also rely on His Word when my words get picked up in this tumbleweed of negative thoughts. So, if you don’t want to get into a better mood or if you’re feeding into the ambivalence, you simply will stay in that mood.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. – James 1:2

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. – Psalm 73:26

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. – 2 Corinthian 12:9

I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. – Philippians 4:13.

2. Talk with an iron-sharpening friend. Sometimes a bit of discouragement just needs a friend to talk to. I specifically said an “iron-sharpening” friend because this friend will not judge you, they will not one-up you with their sucky life, and they will ultimately ask the Holy Spirit for the right words to say… which may surprisingly be no words at all. When you’re the one talking, try to listen to yourself. Are you complaining? Are you looking for pity? Sometimes we just need to let it out and have someone listen but be wise in this and take note to your habits. An iron-sharpening friend might tell you what you don’t want to hear, but what you need to hear, and that is a friend to hold on to.

Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. – Proverbs 13:20. “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” – Proverbs 27:17

3. I tend to listen to up-beat music when I’m already in a fancy-pants mood, and I do the same when I’m in a downcast drear. You know, when you’re feeling down and Lana Del Rey just says it all for you… “I’m pretty when I cryyyyy”. It may sound too simple, but the music (or people) you listen to can have an insane influence on your mood. This relates to my first point, if you are feeding the mood, then don’t expect to feel a different way. It reminds me of the phrase that goes kind of like, “Nothing will change until you do”. Don’t expect your mind to change into a positivity machine if you aren’t actively changing the steps it takes to get there. So, change the song and pay attention to how your mood changes.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. – Romans 12:2

At times, we may not know the reason for our mood or our behaviors, but I can tell you that those who seek will find. I often find myself seeking answers that are only revealed to me by the grace of God and because I aim to seek Him first. And, at times, I am left with silence for the time being. I am unable to determine the cause of my emotional feelings and the Lord tells me to just be still. He cradles me until I find peace in my soul, and He encourages me until I, too, can see the hope that He sees.



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