Mental Health

<<wellbeing of the mind>>

Mental and emotional health, although related are different. Mentality is the ability to process and store information, to make logical decisions and conscious choices. When our mental health is impaired (this can be caused by brain chemicals being out of balance) the emotions can run wild and wreak havoc on the personality resulting in irrational decisions and reactions. Emotional health is the positive management of feelings and their expression in an appropriate manner. Mentally and emotionally healthy people have resilience, which together with resources or tools to cope with the various situations of life, can maintain or regain a positive outlook by being focused, flexible and creative. Emotions are powerful indicators of what is going on within, and as such can have input in decisions made, however they should not dictate, overriding logic and common-sense.

A healthy, balanced personality requires a balanced lifestyle incorporating an adequate diet, exercise, rest and meaningful work, harmonious family relationships, a Christian support network and most importantly a vital connection to Christ. An outward focus of involvement and socializing with other people is beneficial as is multitasking on a variety of responsibilities. However, being over-committed

Have a positive, thankful, outward focus

in too many activities is draining and the pressure to conform to the expectations of others is demanding. Modern society, to its detriment ignores God’s command to take one day off in seven (Ex 20:9). If we don’t come apart from the incessant demands of life we may just fall apart! We need to establish and maintain safeguards around our lives and those we care about, to protect from burnout, with its symptoms of total exhaustion, temptation to give up, feelings of not coping and failure. 

Medical science has not fully understood the effects of the emotional toll that comes to bear on many people. When we are tired and emotionally depleted the mind is vulnerable to attack, both from ourselves through negative self-talk and from external temptation. Do not resort to any wrong ‘comforts’ to boost your spirits. Take regular time out to regain your balance and perspective – have a creative outlet. Some form of exercise is a beneficial relief valve.  Determine your vulnerable areas and try to safeguard these so you are not derailed. We do not have to accept the statistical data that says this is our fate that we will experience depression or any other impairment – in Jesus name claim freedom. 

There are many negative and destructive forces that can deplete our spirituality, yet “God’s words have renewed my life” (Ps 119:93). What enters our mind has a powerful effect and influence when it becomes embedded in our hearts. This is why we are to guard it with great diligence because our

Jesus is always for me

thoughts control the whole outcome of our lives (Prov 4:23; Mt 15:18-20). Endeavour always to focus on Jesus who is ‘for you’, not against. Utilize the spiritual armour and meditate on the good, uplifting things of life that God has done for you – the blessings He daily provides – not what Satan does, as he wants to keep you in bondage (Lam 3:22,23; Ps 103:34; 2 Cor 10:5; Eph 6:10-18). A happy heart does the body good, but a crushed, defeated frame of mind is destructive and can lead to depression (Prov 17:22, 18:14). Commit your way to God, trust and rely on Him. While we should plan and work, worry is totally unproductive (Ps 37:4,5; Mt 6:25-34). We need to be more dependent on “Him who sustains all things by the word of His power” (Heb 1:3).

People’s hearts will fail them through apprehension and fear (Lk 21:26). These negative emotions, along with guilt and bitterness, cause major health problems. Instead focus on Jesus and the numerous blessings He provides (Ps 103:2-18; Heb 3:1, 12:2). Before we became Christians we were separated from God by our evil thoughts and actions but now we are free of this handicap so it is our right and duty to walk in newness of life (Rom 6:4; Col 1:21-23). When in great mental agony Jesus prayed (Lk 22:44). There was intensity in the request He made to God. Follow His example and pray about your struggles, using the Bible as your guidebook to the promises of God and the unchanging principles of how we should live.

We are given sound minds, so don’t defile yours, rather empower and treat it with the utmost care (Rom 1:21,28; 2 Tim 1:7). Co-operate with the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit to bring transformation as you fill your mind with good thoughts (Rom 8:5,6, 12:2; Phil 4:8). “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is anchored in you”, then we will

Allow the Word of God to bring transformation

know the reality that “Perfect love casts out fear” (Isa 26:3; 1 Jn 4:18). When we are stretched beyond our comfort zone and feel out of control, remember He said, “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Heb 13:5). Have an awareness and recognition of Him working through and in your life situations, so "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you" (1 Pet 5:7).  

Deal with issues and move on, not continually keeping alive in your mind something that haunts and holds in bondage. Un-forgiveness (including of one’s self) is a major factor in those who experience mental problems. Rather than live with constant nagging regrets, ‘what if only I had…’ or guilt because of compromise endeavour to obey the Lord in all situations, living in tune with the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:16). This will alleviate mental and emotional anguish or hurts in our spirits that torment and can cripple the whole personality, and culminate in causing significant health issues.

See also: armour (spiritual), attitudes, body/soul/spirit, bondage, burnout, conscience, deliverance, depression, emotions, empower, entry points, focus, health, hope, inner healing, inner man, memory, mentality, mind, moods, outward focused, pain, positive mental attitude, psychology, self-talk, stress, thinking/thoughtsworry, wounded.