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Mental Health For Athletes: Overcoming Depression

Sports and Mental Health, and Coping with Emotional Pain

Meditation for Sports

7 Ways to Thrive When Dealing With Emotional Pain and Tragic Circumstances

Romans 12:12  "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Exercise – exercise is an incredible stress and pain reliever. When you exercise you release neurochemicals like serotonin & dopamine which may help alleviate feelings of depression.

Turn the negative into positive – Learning to take criticism, negative situations and obstacles and appropriately using these as fuel to propel you to your dreams, goals, and desires is a powerful skill. Work on developing this skill. Simple areas to start: if you desire to work out at 6 pm but a co-worker attempts to get you to go to happy hour instead. Honor your agenda, your goal, and your plan. Go work out…overtime you will start listening to your internal voice instead of all the external disturbances.

    Hope – years ago I used to drive to San Francisco to walk the streets with an organization called the DREAM CENTER. This organization would walk the mission district and feed the homeless and hand out roses to the prostitutes.

    This one particular Friday night I met this handsome brother, he was about 6’5’’ beautiful dark skin, he was articulate and extremely surprised and thankful to see me. We spoke for a while and he talked about how he used to be an aerospace engineer and had an incredible life and family.

    I was really affected by him and this conversation because I could see myself in him. When I looked at him I saw greatness in this person. I asked him one question which was, "what happened?" He looked at me and said, "I lost hope."

      Beloved when you lose hope that is a dangerous place. What that says is that you never think things will be different than THIS MOMENT in time and will stay like that indefinitely. Losing hope is the biggest lie you could ever tell yourself. Hebrews 11:1  "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

      Forgive – Whenever we deal with something difficult, be it a loss of a person, relationship, loss of a job, but more specific matters of the heart, it can be difficult to let go and sometimes even more difficult to forgive. We want to hash it out, talk about it, figure it out, and understand every detail.

      But most often this won’t happen and it’s just not reality. Life can sometimes leave us with questions unanswered. But the ability to forgive not only the other person but yourself is key. One of the ways I find it easier to forgive myself, others and the world I see, is when I choose to judge myself as harshly as I may judge everything else. Even when they have wronged me.

      When you can do this you may find that we are all human, imperfect beings. This doesn’t mean that you forget nor does it mean you let things continually happen. But what it does mean is that you let go of the circumstance and come to the conclusion that sometimes we are unable to control and/or determine everything that happens to us because we are imperfect and those imperfections result in imperfect situations.

      It may not be what we want to accept but acknowledging our flesh or the humanity in us allows us to be vulnerable with ourselves while at the same time accepting each circumstance and situation as a moment in time when things were not the best. Forgive yourself and others so you can move on to the REWARDS of life.

      Be thankful – be thankful for right now, that we have this moment to be better than we were yesterday. Be thankful that you can recognize your pain, that you can change it. That you can mourn with someone else. Be thankful that you’re here right now and you have the opportunity to create your future.

        Only communicate with trusted, qualified friends - It is healthy to talk about what your feeling and going through. But only do this with those people that you trust and those that have the wisdom, insight, experience, and compassion to provide a healthy environment for you to do so. 

        Most important is Meditation and Prayer –When we acknowledge that there is something bigger, more powerful, forgiving, compassionate, all-knowing, all accepting and consistent working on our behalf it does something for the soul. Spending time in prayer focusing on what we have, where we have come from and where we can go has been proven to completely eliminate stress and reduce problems. 

        Music - Trying listening to uplifting music. Instrumental music is great or you can try music from your favorite artist. But only if the topic is uplifting and encouraging.  


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