“I catch myself staring at the ceiling sometimes ruminating about several situations in my life where I feel sad, where I feel misunderstood and one where I feel I have no control to stop a loved one’s pain. Ruminating eats away at your confidence, faith, self-esteem, peace of mind, gratitude and ability to solve or cope with life situations. I have read studies that when men ruminate (overthink) a situation, they are more likely to turn to alcohol or drugs.
Author Dr. Susan Nolen-Hoeksema states that women are significantly more likely than men to fall into overthinking and depression. As women, we are more likely to analyze and think too much more about relationships…generally much more than men.
Food, alcohol and depression create a “Toxic Triangle” that can destroy your faith, self-esteem, relationships and your health (e.g. physical, emotional and mental). Depression becomes a defensive coping mechanism and familiar friend and space to visit. It is a way of coping… a switch that turns off emotions and situations that seem out of our control. Depression puts us in an emergency state so we can be numb instead feeling the pain of loneliness, grief, betrayal, physical pain or emotional pain. When life is exhausting and
heavy (pressed down by your circumstances and emotions), depression can be the soul’s invitation to a “deep rest”. I know that rest. I was there when my mother died from breast cancer and when my first born son “JJ” lost his battle to cancer in 2013. I felt like the world was spinning around while I was standing still trying to figure out what happened. I knew how to wear a mask of normalcy and smiles. But I was fighting to resist a generational visitor that could very well push me into a state of depression…deep rest. I am thankful for God’s grace, a rewarding passion and career to speak into women’s lives, and family and friends who love me. I believe I am resilient because of these gifts of grace, my relationships and the blessing and therapeutic value to serve in my life purpose. All of these helped me to avoid some serious emotional traps that could have pushed me in the quicksand called depression.
Let me be your cautionary tale. You may find yourself sinking and stuck overthinking about something or someone. There are at least five (5) emotional traps to avoid. They are emotional quicksand that will pull you down into a dark place of guilt, shame, low-self-esteem, self-loathing, sickness, doubt, debt, drama, dysfunction, defeat and depression.
I’m learning every day to recognize my triggers, body language, default thinking and old tapes in my head that I have to fix, rescue, control, love, be accepted/understood or succeed in every situation. Anything in excess is unhealthy.
These are the 5 “Too Much traps” to moderate and pray for wisdom, discernment, courage and discipline.
1) over think
2) over worry
3) over procrastinate
4) over do things (e.g. give too much, stay too busy, signing up for too many projects, feeling you have to fix, rescue or help others – too accommodating, people pleasing)
5) impulsive (overeat, over drink, over spending)
excerpts from the books “Wisdom for Women” and “I AM Resilient” by Jewel Diamond Taylor, http://www.DoNotGiveUp.net, call 323.964.1736 to book the “Encouragement Whisperer”, Jewel Diamond Taylor, to speak for your conference, women’s retreat, etc. e-mail – Jewel@DoNotGiveUp.net