I’ve never been one to place too much of a focus on my health. I’ve been lucky enough that I haven’t paid much of a negative price for this, as my health has been generally good during my life. However, as I get older I’ve been reminded by doctors and my body itself, that I do need to pay a bit more attention to the habits and foods that promote good health.
I understand the need for greater health habits, and have no problem doing them. Well, some anyway. I am a very picky eater and not very fond of most healthy foods, especially vegetables. I do like some, and enjoy some fruits and healthy meats as well. I’ve been able to find enough to be able to enjoy the ones I do like and incorporate those into my diet. I’ve never been much for routine exercise. Don’t get me wrong. I love being outside and playing competitive sports and games. I just never enjoyed aerobic workouts, weight lifting, jogging, and any routine exercises that don’t involve some type of game. That makes it difficult and could take a toll on my body when I can’t get outside for the long Buffalo winters.
Recently, I did some reading. As often happens, I received the same information in several of the books and articles I read. I’ve said it a million times before, and I’ll say it again. That’s when I know God is speaking to me! The articles were discussing how our physical health is often a manifestation of our mental health. The quality of the thoughts we choose very often determines the quality of our health! I’ve seen this in my own life. When I allow thoughts of stress and negativity, the negative effects show up in my body as more sickness, and weight gain from being lethargic. When I think negatively, it also affects my energy level. I am much more tired and unmotivated during these times.
Fortunately, I have learned to control my thoughts much better, and I often don’t allow these thoughts to negatively affect my body. On the other hand, when I maintain positive, wholesome thoughts, my body reacts to those too. I have much more energy, and just feel much healthier, and simply more alive. And the healthy habits and actions I need to take seem to happen much more easily and naturally.
In these readings and other online information there were several bits of information that were very helpful to me. These were common themes I noticed that can help you and I rid ourselves of the mental causes of sickness and ailments that we can potentially encounter. Perhaps not all will apply to you, but hopefully at least one or two can help.
- Watch your thoughts. I recently discussed this in another article. Watch what you are thinking. Only allow thoughts that are positive, edifying, and encouraging. Allow thoughts that align with God’s truth. What you think on the inside manifests on the outside, and that includes our health. Stressful thoughts bring us down. Joyful and positive thoughts lift our spirits, which have incredible positive benefits on our energy and overall health.
- Remove guilt. It is amazing how feelings of guilt can weigh a person down. We’ve all failed and we’ve all done things that we regret. However, we cannot change the past. What’s done is done. Instead of harping on what happened in the past, I recommend doing one of two things. Let it go completely, or do what you can do now to make up for the mistake. That’s it. The more you release the negative feeling of guilt, the more you allow the necessary positive feelings and thoughts to take over your mind.
- Forgive. Just as you are forgiving yourself for past failures and mistakes, it is also necessary to do the same for others. I know it is often easier said than done. I’m a very patient and forgiving person (to a fault sometimes), but I’d be lying if I said there was no one in my life past or present with whom I still hold some resentment towards. However, just like removing our own feelings of guilt, the more we release negative thoughts towards others, the more liberating it is to us. When we forgive, the mental strain is released, and this has positive impacts on our physical bodies.
- Follow your bliss. Do you ever notice the joy and positivity you feel when you are doing something you really enjoy? And do you sometimes notice the empty feelings when you are not doing those things? The key here is to be deliberate about it. As mentioned before, I love being outside, especially if it involves a golf course or a beach. I feel amazing, and it’s no coincidence that my level of health is always highest during the warm weather months. The problem, is those options are not available here in Buffalo during the winter. So I have two options, and I’ve done both. The first is to feel the blues of the dark, cold, snowy winter and count the days until summer. The second is to take advantage of the many other things I enjoy doing while I can’t be outside. Hopefully you can see that I love to write. Being inside provides many more writing opportunities. I also enjoy watching sports with their seasons in the winter like hockey and basketball. I also enjoy family time, as we’re forced to spend our time inside in the cozy house. The key is to stay motivated and engaged with things that I love to do. When our minds have something positive to focus on and enjoy, it doesn’t have time for negative thoughts that ultimately can make us sick.
- Know that you don’t have to do everything. I’m one that like to do things for myself. However, I’ve realized over time that it is OK to ask for help. Sometimes we need help and support from others. The more we allow that help, the more we can release ourselves of the stress and unnecessary pressure that causes us to wear ourselves out.
- Don’t be afraid. So many of us are ruled by fear. As confident as I am these days, I still let fear rule in my life sometimes. Someone recently asked me what is easier. Suffering from the burden of doing things myself and worrying about what can go wrong, or letting God who has all the power in the universe help me get things done and work things out. The answer is obvious. However, we make it difficult because we have such a hard time putting things in God’s hands and letting Him work out the details and results. I know we are responsible to take some actions, but we are often so bogged down with fear because we don’t trust the all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-present God that only has our best interests in mind. If we were ever to let go of even some of our fears, our minds would be so liberated that it would automatically have such a healing and energizing effects on our bodies.
These are just a few suggestions. I am certainly not a health expert, but these have been helpful to me, and I can attest to the positive effects taking these steps have had on my own health. I also know how my body feels when I allow the negatives to take over my mind. I believe most of us know that mind and body go together. When the mind is good, so is the body. And when the mind is bogged down with negativity and stress, that is when we invite sickness and other negative situations to enter our bodies. I realize that sometimes we can’t control some negative things that happen to our health and bodies. Accidents happen. Some truly good people are taken from us early for reasons only God knows. However, why not focus on the things we can control? Focus on keeping our minds clear of the negative, stressful, and fearful thoughts. Replace them with thoughts that the Bible suggests we fill our minds with, thoughts that are noble, just, pure, lovely, admirable, and praise-worthy. I can tell you that if you keep these healthy thoughts in your mind, your body will be healthy as well. Enjoy the blessings 🙂