This episode is very near and dear to my heart because there have been times in my life when I have just experienced so much heaviness, discouragement, and disappointment. So much so that when this happened to me, it was always incredibly difficult to get out of feeling this way. It was like I felt trapped and I wanted to get out, but at the same time, I almost didn’t want out.
It was like the sadness, hopelessness, heaviness, disappointment, and discouragement were familiar to me, and it was like I didn’t want to let them go. It was like I didn’t believe that I could heal or ever stop feeling that way. And there were many triggers for me.
Burnout with business was a big one. Disappointment that my business wasn’t bringing in enough revenue or feeling really overwhelmed in life and business. But on the flip side, other triggers were the loss of a loved one or not having the life I expected to have, and so much more. That being said, over the last couple of years, the Lord has really been working on me in helping me heal from this pattern of overwhelming heaviness and discouragement. And in that, He has been revealing to me ways to biblically work through these feelings.
And I really do want to preface this by saying that there’s nothing wrong with having feelings, or feeling sadness, heaviness or discouragement. We are human and we are meant to feel. We were made this way. But what I’m talking about is when those feelings just suck you in, and you can’t seem to navigate how to get through them.
It’s like you’re functioning so differently. So, that being said, it really is such an honor to be able to share these five steps with you today because it’s really made all the difference for me, and all glory be to God.
Let’s dive in!
1 – Praise!
Step number one is praise and gratitude, and I’m going to walk you through exactly what that looks like. I’m even going to share with you why this works biologically, but also spiritually.
Now, first things first. When I say praise, you can interpret this in so many different ways and there are many different ways to praise. But for me, when I think about praising, I actually am proclaiming Jesus and His name.
I am worshiping Him out loud. So, I am proclaiming, I am praising, and most of the time I am singing. It is an act of worship. And for me, that is what praise looks like. Does that mean it has to look that way for you? No, praise looks different for everyone. But when you go to the Bible, you can see that songs and prayers are written and sung as a form of worship.
The Bible is all about praising. It is all about worshiping and proclaiming His name and scripture out loud. And so for me, praise actually looks like me singing out loud. I will literally sing acapella to my favorite old hymns. I will sing that without any sort of background music. I will sing it in the car. I will sing it right before I start working. Anytime I’m feeling resistant to something, I will start singing.
For example, there was a time when I really just didn’t want to do something for no reason other than I just didn’t want to do it. And I was on the verge of tears. And so I was like, “You know what? I’m just going to praise. I’m going to sing.” When I did, that heaviness and resistance I was feeling disappeared. It literally disappeared.
I want to share with you the reasons why this works. I know it sounds so simple, but there’s something about this that is just so miraculous and it’s supernatural.
And so I’m going to talk with you about the spiritual reasons why this works and when I say spiritual, I mean biblical. And then I’m also going to talk with you about the biological reason for this. So, first things first, we are going to hit the Bible. We are going to go to the book of Isaiah, so if you have your Bible handy, I want you to go to Isaiah 61:3.
“To console those who mourn in Zion to give them beauty for ashes. The oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise, for the spirit of heaviness that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord that he may be glorified.”
Y’all, the oil of joy for mourning.
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.
What does this tell you? It tells you that joy is actually going to take care of that mourning. It is telling you that praise is actually going to take care of that spirit of heaviness. When you are praising, that spirit of heaviness biblically cannot be there.
Now, I want to take it a step further. I want you to go to Isaiah 12:3.
“Therefore, with joy, you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”
Now, we know that Jesus is the living water, right? He is going to quench all of our thirstiness, but how do you actually draw from that?
Well, Isaiah 12:3 tells us, “Therefore, with joy, you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”
When you praise, you will actually be able to cover that spirit of heaviness, and that joy is going to come in and you will be able to draw water from the wells of salvation.
It’s so mind-blowing to me, but I’ve just seen this happen in my life. I actually feel like I’m going to cry writing this because it sounds so simple, but it’s so beautiful.
So now, let’s discuss the biological reason why praise helps you navigate through these feelings.
When you sing, it stimulates the vagus nerve, which then stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system.
I bet you didn’t know that I was going to take you to biology class (LOL), but basically the parasympathetic nervous system controls the body’s ability to relax. It’s sometimes called the rest and digest state. So, that being said, most people in society today are actually staying in their sympathetic state… NOT the parasympathetic, which is responsible for the body’s ability to relax. They’re staying in the sympathetic state, or the sympathetic nervous system, which is actually caused and triggered by stress or anxiety. This state is often called the fight or flight state.
Essentially when you praise (aka sing), that is going to stimulate the vagus nerve, which stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, the rest and digest state, which means that praise is going to help take you out of that fight or flight state.
I mean, how cool! It’s like God knew what He was doing (LOL). Of course God knew. How amazing is this?! We have the supernatural reason, but we also have the biological reason.
2 – Reflect
Whenever you are experiencing heaviness, it’s important to STOP.
STOP = Still Thoughts, Open Palms.
This is an act of surrender, and I want you to just take a moment to do that and then look back and pinpoint exactly when and why you are feeling this.
I think a lot of the time we start feeling a certain way, but we don’t even really know why. We really need to understand why and when this happens.
When you’re in this stage, I really want you to just ask yourself the following questions, because I highly recommend journaling through some of them.
Let it sink in more so it goes to your head and then to your heart.
I’ve just found that if I answer them in my head or out loud without writing them down, I find I still hold on to these negative thoughts and emotions.
So the questions are…
- When did you start feeling this way? When did you start feeling this heaviness, discouragement or disappointment? Then determine why you are feeling that way based on when you started feeling it.
- What thoughts am I experiencing? Because every feeling you have actually has a thought behind it. What kind of thoughts we are having so that we can ultimately shift them and align them with Truth instead of whatever lie that we are believing?
Let’s take a look at the book of the Bible called Lamentations.
Lamentations 3:40 reads…
“Let us test and examine our ways and return to the Lord.”
Taking the time to understand what we are doing and becoming aware of what we are thinking is biblical. We have to examine what we are doing, because if we are not aware of what we are feeling and why we’re feeling it, or what we are thinking and why we are thinking it, we cannot actually change our actions because our thoughts and our feelings create our actions.
It creates our ways.
Lamentations 3:40 says…
“Let us test and examine our ways, and let us return to the Lord.”
We know whatever thoughts and feelings we have actually create our actions. That is how we are BEING. If we don’t know what we’re feeling, why we’re feeling it, what we’re thinking, and why we’re thinking it, we can’t take the next step, which is….
3 – Reframe
Once you have taken the time to reflect on what you are feeling and what you’re thinking, I’ve found that it is also so important to reframe it.
Reframing is all about recognizing God’s purpose with these circumstances, seeing the good in them and being thankful for them.
You can do this by asking yourself and journaling through the following questions I have for you.
- How does this circumstance play into God’s ultimate purpose? If you don’t know, that’s okay. But what if you did know? Humor me.
- Is there something He wants me to discover about myself that is keeping me from going deeper with Him?
- What does God want me to learn from this experience, and how can I be grateful for it?
Because Romans 8:28 says…
“And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Does that mean that things aren’t going to get hard? No, they absolutely will. But all things work for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. So, I really want you to think through these questions. How does this circumstance, or this trigger that you are experiencing, play into His ultimate purpose?
Not just the ultimate purpose for you, but His ultimate purpose? Step two and step three also remind me of Romans 12:2 and that says…
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is his good, pleasing, and perfect will.”
4 – Read Scripture
Consume His Word. Period.
But why does this work?
The truth is that scripture is alive and active, so you have got to get into the Word. If you really want to renew your mind, you have got to get to know Jesus. And to get to know Jesus, you have got to get in His Word.
Hebrews 4:12 says…
“For the word of God is alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirits, joints and marrow. It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
Now, about a year ago, I actually put together a little challenge for myself, and that challenge was to go through the entire Bible in 14 days.
And the reason behind this is that I felt very broken. 2021 was one of the most trying years I’ve had to date, and I knew the Holy Spirit was guiding me to consume more scripture in those days than I had ever before. And so before I started this challenge, my dog, Moxie, had just unexpectedly passed away and I felt absolutely shattered.
Within a day or two of the challenge, I actually noticed a night and day difference just within myself. I began to feel true joy again, and it showed. I was slower to anger, sadness, and anxiety. Honestly, I have never experienced such a quick and extreme shift in my being before.
I’m truly just in awe of it. And even though there were so many times during those days when I was tired and absolutely had no idea what I was reading, it transformed my life. This still just goes to show that consuming the scripture really does change everything because the word really is Jesus, and it is alive, and it is active.
And during those days, I noticed that we truly do crave what we consume. It didn’t take me long to have a stronger desire to get into the scripture. There were days when I had just read and listened to 6+ hours of scripture and my mind was exhausted, but I still wanted more. I wanted more of Jesus, and there is always more of Him.
There are many things we turn to when we are feeling sad, lonely, or anxious. There are many things we turn to when we want to feel whole. Like food, substances, relationships, work, exercise, social media, television, and the list could go on. But the truth is that we keep trying to turn to things in this physical world to satisfy our spiritual hunger.
But as you can probably figure out, that’s not actually going to work. That’s why we continue to feel angry, lonely, anxious, heavy, discouraged and disappointed. Even when we go to those physical things.
It’s like we think we’ve satisfied our craving with a few moments of happiness only to realize we have been left with more disappointment and heaviness than we had before. This is because Jesus is the only way to true satisfaction and true wholeness.
You have got to get into scripture, my friend.
If you are feeling that feeling of heaviness, I just pray that you start praising Him and that you take the time to get into the Word more than you ever have before. Even if you’re not sure what you’re reading, just take the time.
5 – Eliminate Distractions
Maybe He is prompting you to fast from social media, delete the apps off your phone, fast from TV, or other distractions.
Take the time to eliminate distractions and spend time with Him instead, because that’s the key to fasting. You don’t just want to fast from something and then not replace it with Him. When you fast from something, you’re going to replace it with something else. The ‘something else’ you’re replacing the distraction with needs to be Jesus. That is when you’re going to see the true lasting transformation.
1 John 2:15 says…
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
We essentially need to make sure that we are always putting Him first.
Would you be willing to give up TV for him? Would you be willing to sacrifice having Instagram on your phone if that’s your biggest distraction? Would you be willing to sacrifice those things for Him?
Take some time to pray and journal through this.
With that being said, that concludes the five steps to biblically work through feelings of heaviness and discouragement.
If you want more content like this and you want to step up in your business with more clarity and alignment than ever before, then make sure you check out the free three-day devotional experience for Faith-Fueled entrepreneurs called ROOTED.
In this devotional experience, we cover God-sized dreams versus fleshly desires. We cover money and money mindset as a Christian entrepreneur, and we cover surrendering what’s keeping you stuck. So, things like comparisonitis or imposter syndrome. We’re going to talk about these things, so if you want to get access to that, you can get this sent straight to your inbox by going to bit.ly/threedaydevotional.
Once you go through the three-day devotional experience, please just reply to one of the emails and let me know your thoughts. It would truly mean the world to me, and I just always love knowing just how God is just working in you.
So all that to say, I hope to see you in my inbox soon, and also on the waitlist for the membership.
But until then, I will see you next time, friend.