In today’s society, our mind is bombarded with information and images from every angle. On top of that, the workload that people need to endure today is so much more than it has been in the past. This actually contributes to having poor mental health. The thing that contributes the most to poor mental health is our unresolved past experiences.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services defines Mental health as “our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.” By looking at this definition, we can conclude that our mental health plays a very important role in our daily lives and relationships but even more so in our ability to reach our purpose and goals.
Design with Ease
If you would like to have a look at any behavioural signs to determine if you might have poor mental health, you can go through the list on the following website.: - https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/what-is-mental-health
The truth is that we all need to learn how to gain skills to improve our mental health as we are all bombarded with information, carry big workloads and have had negative past experiences.
What are the skills which we can learn and apply to have good mental health?
1. Look after your Physical body
The following factors have been shown to have a negative effect on our mental health if we do not take good care of these areas...
· Not enough sleep/ too much sleep
· Eating unhealthy/ not eating enough
· Not doing exercise
· Not investing in ourselves
Thinking positive thoughts, take more energy than thinking negative thoughts, and when you are tired and hungry, you will not have the energy to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts. I can not emphasise enough the importance of exercise on your mental health, as it increases blood and oxygen flow to the brain; it allows you to think clearer and more positively.
2. Slow down
“As mentioned previously, our lifestyle today is one of a fast pace and an overload of information. ”
Our minds need to work extra hard to keep up with all that is going on around us. We need to, therefore, make time in the evenings and over the weekend to slow down our thought process. Here are some tasks below that help us to do so. If we just continue non stop to bombard our thoughts, it can cause anxiety, burnout or even depression.
· Have your quiet time with the Lord
· Being in nature
· Doing a hobby
3. Fix your heart
The enemy loves to bombard our thoughts with negative experiences from our past. These thoughts cause pain and heartache to rise and leaves us feeling numb and overwhelmed. This then leads us to act and think in ways that are not healthy and cause harm to our relationships. Therefore, we all need to take time and deal with past experiences where someone has hurt us, so we can forgive them and deal with the lies that experience has placed in your heart. The following points help us to fix our hearts:
· Having our quiet time to sit in the presence of God (where His presence is, there is healing for our souls)
· Read the Word (to replace the lies and renew your mind)
· Writing a journal
· Painting or drawing
· Talking to someone (pastor, friend, leader or counsellor)
4. Control your thoughts
This is the most important aspect or skill of having good mental health. Someone who can control their thoughts has a happier and fuller life because it does not only help you to have good mental health, but it is actually exactly how faith also operates. Let’s have a look at 2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV to learn how to control our thoughts.
“We destroy (tear down) arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,”
Everything we need to control our thoughts is brought together in this scripture, and I hope I can reveal the techniques displayed here to you today. It is of utmost importance that you understand the beauty and power of truth. The world out there will only feed us lies, and there is only one place we can find absolute truth, the Bible. Lies can destroy our lives when we believe them to be the truth. The only thing that can save your life from that lie is the absolute truth and thank you, Jesus, that we have Your Bible to do just that and save our lives.
· Identify (take captive every argument and opinion that is not true)
You need to start thinking about what you are thinking. Evaluate every thought that comes into your mind and ask the questions, ‘Is this thought from God ?’ ‘Is it a lie or is it the truth?’ A Godly thought is one that measures up to Phill. 4:8, it is truth. Lies come from the devil. If that thought is causing fear, anger, anxiety or hurt that thought is not from God. Once you have identified that what you are currently thinking about is not from God and not something you should be meditating on the next step is to cast down the thought.
· Cast down (tear down)
Cast down or tear down a thought literally means to stop it in its tracks immediately. Don’t even ponder on it a bit because we do not want to fill our thoughts with lies. You literally need to say to yourself STOP thinking about this!
· The Promise (the knowledge of God the Christ)
This is the truth that you need to go find from the Bible regarding the lie that is bombarding your thoughts. If the enemy is telling you that you are a failure in your thoughts every day you need to find a scripture that tells you how you have a purpose and everything you put your hand to will prosper.
· Replace (bring to obedience)
Once you have found your truth, you now have the ability to replace the lie. Casting it down is not enough to defeat it, it is only when we replace it that we get the victory. This might take repeating a few times a day; it all depends on how long you have been meditating on the lie. Your mind will start to learn how to identify the lie and replace it much quicker until it is completely gone and replaced with truth, victory! Speaking your truth and not just thinking it helps to replace it even faster. Next time the devil wants to tell you how you are a failure you will say ‘STOP thinking about this lie, the TRUTH is, God has an amazing purpose for me and everything my hands touch will prosper!’. The beauty of it is the more you say it, the more your heart will start to believe what is in actual fact the very truth. Praise the Lord He created us so amazing.
If you wish to learn more about your thoughts and to deal with matters in your heart, join a Freedom group by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
My prayer is that you will not just read this article but start to apply it daily, the doers are the ones who will have their victory.