Book Therapy

When I was a young girl and life overwhelmed I just buried my nose in a book.

Happy endings always seemed to make life more bearable. You know–the ones where the knight slays the dragon, the princess is rescued, and they all live happily ever after.

Trouble was, see, the sorrows of life continued to roil along beside as I immersed myself in story. I was able to suspend them for a time as I was carried away into a fictional land, but eventually the book ended and I had to come up for air.

While this coping mechanism left much to be desired, it did instill in me a healthy dose of optimism. Every good psychologist knows that a variable-ratio partial reinforcement schedule produces the most lasting behaviors.

I conditioned myself to expect beauty following times of despair.

I’m a grown up now (so they tell me), and I still find this book therapy a handy strategy.

What can I say? I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately.

A big cyber-hug and thank you to my sweet friends who have gently checked in on me. Your loving encouragement means more than I can say. Bless you.

We have been busy.

This pre-holiday season carries enough stress of its own, but our family has had some recent changes that are stretching our faith. Fortunately, the book I’m sticking my nose in these days offers more than a temporary escape. I’m putting my hope on The Promise that never disappoints.

In the meantime, here are some practical things I have done to help me through this blue time. Maybe you have some ideas of your own. Please share, I would love to hear. But these are my mood-boosters.

1. Get. Out. Side. This is my number one way of shaking the blues. Take a walk. Look deep into the creek bed. Study a leaf. The world is a fascinating place.
2. Exercise. I know you are sick of hearing it, but it really works.
3. Get some new music. Listen to it. And sing. No one can be sad when they are singing.
4. Hold a baby. ‘Nuff said.
5. Change around your bedroom. Or living room. Or both.
6. Call that one friend that always makes you laugh…you know the one.
7. Write a story with a child. Make it silly. Make it impossible. Give it a happy ending.
8. Experience beauty. Go to a museum exhibit. Go to the theater. Go to a concert. You will feel in ways you may have forgotten.
9. Catch up on your journaling. Write a poem.
10. Help someone else. Give out of your gifts. Be it time, food, words, music, love…make someone smile today.
11. Remember how wide and long and high and deep is His love for you. Nothing can separate you from It. Use a concordance and find scriptures that speak to your specific concerns. Write them in your journal, putting your name in where appropriate. Keep them on cards in your purse or stashed around the house; wherever they will be readily accessible in times of need.

Above all, seek Him first, Beloveds. Busy-ness is one of Satan’s greatest weapons. Carve out time for the Lord and guard it jealously.

May your week be blessed.

Comments

  1. says

    There are a couple in here that I have never considered doing. These are excellent tips and I am glad I stumbled across your blog to find them.

    You have an excellent blog!

    Tom Bailey

  2. says

    Laura,

    I’m going to take you up on the “writing a story” with a little gal that has had a ton of hurt for such a wee little on. Thank you for sharing, and I’m praying for you and your family. YOU ARE LOVED!!!!!!!!!

    Lovingly,
    Yolanda

  3. says

    Hi Laura, I am reading from the blogs in my sidebar for a change. I don’t remember when I read your blog last. I get busy, and don’t keep up well with anything I do. I can’t imagine ever being bored.

    I used to read a lot when I was a girl, but now, I have trouble staying awake to read, and just get too busy with other things. It’s good that you make the time for it.

    That was a good list to keep in mind. I keep having things like injuries and illnesses keep me from getting the exercise I need. You’re right, though, it really does help.

    I just said a prayer for you at this blue time, and will again at bed time.

  4. says

    Great suggestions, Laura. I can’t say enough how much exercise outside helps me – even in the rain and cold.

    Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    Love,
    Beth

  5. says

    Been wonderin’! Book therapy; know all about it! The other suggustions = AMEN! Tried some of them when I was feeling blue…a few of them stuck. 🙂 and the joy came back. Praying and lovin’ on you from TX!

  6. says

    I’ve been missing you dear one. It seems there are a few of us who are feeling similar things.

    Though the circumstances are different,the cure is the same and you have given such excellent advice. I say “yeah and amen” to all of them. Just last wednesday, I was feeling so weary I didn’t think I could get up off the couch let alone go to choir practice. I managed to get there, and the minute we began singing it was as though I had been given a miracle drug. All the weariness vanished in the joy of praise music.

    Praying all will be well with your family and wishing the richest of Thanksgiving blessings to you.

  7. says

    I’m finding that busy-ness can definitely steal your joy.

    B-bondage
    U-under
    S-satan’s
    Y-yoke

    I needed this reminder.

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving,
    Tammy

  8. says

    Laura, I know just what you mean. Books for me offer the best kind of therapy. There I am reading along, and suddenly a solution presents itself in my mind.
    I really like your mood boosters. I must try some of those.

  9. says

    Laura,

    Well, if ever you end up on the bathroom floor, still in your pj’s at 5pm, sitting in desperate silence and seemingly daunting despair, cry out to God with an upturned face, closed eyes, and a bleeding-pleading heart.

    That is where I was and that is what I did.

    Praise God for gracing me with His strength & love & joy as soon as the words fell from my mouth! And I thank God for the 2 dogs who tried to sit on my lap, the son who came in and stroked my hair, and the husband whose keys turned in the door at just the right time.

    Blessings, friend. I gotta go get on my mood-busting gear and get busy. 😉

  10. says

    What excellent suggestions to snap out of a blue time! I just love the rainbow here, and how it permeates beneath all the words. It leaves me feeling refreshed and happy!

  11. says

    So sorry for this season of starkness and pain. We never can predict their comings and going, can we? Praying for the rejuvenation on Spring. Know that it will come.

    Wonderful list of blues busters. I especially agree with exercise, getting outside and helping others. I’ll have to give some of the others a try.

    I caught up on your last posts and wanted to let you know how much your writing blesses me. You have a true talent.

    Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  12. says

    I’ll have to read up on that variable-ratio partial thingy. Thanks for educating me. 🙂
    And thanks for checking up on me, too. Thanksgiving week was truly awesome. The Lord got me over a low but wide emotional trough (not like the big “emotional migraine” nosedives I can sometimes have but more of a low-level headache).
    You lift my spirits, dear friend.
    Love,
    Monica

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