Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Last Thought on Fighting Despondency

A few more suggestions:
1. Music -- I don't think anyone would argue that music can affect mood. This was certainly true of King Saul (1 Sa 16:23), where David's music is said to have "refreshed the king". And it's why we enjoy various styles of music and associate them with various functions. There are dirges for the sad and rock when we want to jam and classical when we want to relax and the happy birthday song when we want to celebrate, etc. Christmas music, in particular, improves my disposition.

2. Food -- This also affects mood and emotion. So while distressed, I would argue that we should eat particularly healthy (a low carbohydrate diet to avoid the physical lows brought on my fluctuating blood sugar levels). But we may also enjoy some favorite high starch/sugar selections in moderation.
3. Exercise -- This one continues to be a life saver for me. The Apostle Paul did write to Timothy that "physical exercise is of some value" (1 Ti 4:8). I realize that verse in its entirety is used most often to promote godliness, and that is a main point. But nevertheless, it also affirms the smaller but no less real value of "bodily training". I can't quote him at this moment, but C.H. Spurgeon once wrote something like this: that next to the good done to our demeanor by God the Holy Spirit is the good done to it by a brisk breeze in the face. His point was the value done by an invigorating walk through a stiff wind. Both the walk and the wind are God's gifts. 

I began running more than 20 years ago. I have stuck with it mainly because of the good it does my mind, not my body, though the two are not unrelated. Also, lifting weights has proven quite beneficial. There are many options, such as swimming (a great one), hiking, biking, various classes (aerobics, body pump, spin, etc), in-home workouts (P90X, Bowflex, etc). Ideally we can all find a routine we like, or at least are willing to do, for the mental benefits that come out of the physical ones.

No comments:

Post a Comment