Healthy Mind Healthy You
Did you know that you can eat healthy food daily, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and have faith in Christ and still hinder, or even destroy your health? How so? Your thoughts! It’s true! The way we think can literally make or break our overall health. It all begins in our mind. That is where the battle is raging every day. We think thousands and thousands of thoughts each day. Sadly, studies show that the majority of those thoughts are negative! How we feel about ourselves, how we choose to react to circumstances, and just our overall mindset doesn’t just play a role in our health, it is the driving force behind it! In this article I want to share three main ways that we can get to the root of the issue, and hopefully change the way we think, so we can thrive in our daily lives, which includes optimum health. Proverbs 23:7 says, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Our thoughts dictate our actions. Our actions become patterns. Patterns become a lifestyle. So we have to think about what we are thinking. Let’s get started.
Know who you are. If you are a believer, and a follower of Christ,it is vital to grasp who you are in Him! Too many Christians walk around with a defeated, downcast outlook and this is so sad to me! Believer, you are a child of the God of the universe! You have His spirit living in you! You have the mind of Christ in you! You are more than a conqueror in Him! We are adopted into the family of God; heirs with Christ! Romans 8:16-17 says, “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ”. We are joint heirs with Christ! What He has, we have! This is so important to know. Knowing who you are in Christ should lead you to see yourself the way our heavenly Father sees you. My friend, you are loved with a love we cannot even fathom. You are valued, wanted, worthy and treasured! His spirit is living in you, making your body the very temple of the Holy Spirit. You are called by God himself to good works. You have a purpose. He is working in you to your completion in Him. Do you believe that? Have you gotten so focused on who are through the lens of this world that you have lost sight of your identity as a Christian? Have you fallen into the snare of comparison to others and have stop valuing the beauty of the unique way you were created? Friend, we have to renew our minds daily through the Word and through prayer and not be conformed to the thinking of the world. Be very careful what you pump into your mind everyday because it truly affects how you see yourself. This is why spending time daily with the Lord and saturating our minds in the goodness of his words is so important. We don’t have to be stuck in an old mindset; our minds can be renewed; the Word says so! When we see ourselves the way God sees us, we start to realize the grace that he lavishes on us. We can know our worth and know that He is working in us with the power of His spirit helping us and guiding us. We are not doing this alone! Jesus came to give you life to the fullest and that includes living a healthy lifestyle; being as healthy and strong as you can be for all He has for your life! Remember in Christ, you are declared forgiven, righteous, acceptable, free, a new creation, blameless, blessed, and you have an eternity of glory waiting for you ! Wow! Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” You are called and you have a purpose . This is huge and it should change the way we think.
Have a positive mindset. As I said earlier, most of our thoughts tend to be negative. This is hard to overcome, but it can be done. If you are mindful of your thinking as you go about your day, you will probably find that you are thinking negative thoughts far more often than you realized. We tend to assume the worst. Our minds want to jump to the worst case scenario immediately. We think we know what others are thinking about us, and it is usually bad. We allow guilt to take over. We convince ourselves that we cannot do the things we know we need to. We are too old, too young, too tired. We aren’t attractive enough, we aren’t smart enough, we have nothing to offer. We limit ourselves based on past failures. We have believed lies that other people or the enemy have told us about ourselves. We think we can’t and then we are right…..we can’t! Am I making my point? If God has called you to live out this life to the fullest in Him, for the good works He planned ahead of time for you, don’t you think He will equip you with all you need? Of course He has and He will! Say to yourself, “I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength.” You are equipped in Him and you are not alone! Being positive and having a “I can!” attitude is huge! It can make all the difference in the choices you make every day. Will we still fail? You bet we will, but if our outlook is a positive one of knowing that failure is part of our growth and our learning, knowing that it is God himself working in you to make you more and more like Christ, it changes everything! I have found that if when I give it to Him, He gives me the grace I need for everything He has called me to. Proverbs 17:22 says, “ A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” See the mind-body connection? Our thinking, good or bad, affects our health. The Word tells us to focus on positive and good things. Philippians 4:8, “…whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things.” God created us and He knows that our mind is where it all begins. He knows the importance of thinking in a positive way. We can get into a negative thinking pattern and it takes effort to try and see the positive in situations, to assume the best, to give ourselves and others grace, and to believe we CAN do the things we know we should. What our brains think, our body will follow!
Have an attitude of gratitude. As a fitness instructor I see how a grateful attitude can change how people feel about coming to workout at my classes. If a person tells themselves as they wake up to the alarm going off at the crack of dawn (or before the crack of dawn), “Oh me, I have to get up and get out the door and make it class. I have to workout to stay healthy and fit. Ugh, here we go.”, it will be drudgery. But if that person looks at it as a privilege that they GET to go workout, it will immediately change their thinking. “I am so thankful that my body is strong and able to do exercise. I know many people cannot do what I get to do this morning.” That changes everything. We have so much to be grateful for. We are so blessed. When we are grateful it transforms our thinking. If we will start our day being thankful to God for all the good He has placed in our life, and grateful for others around us, it will get us off on the right foot before we step out into the world. If you will see everything as a chance to tell God how grateful you are, it replaces those self-centered, negative thoughts with ones of thankfulness and hope. The Bible says to take every thought captive unto the obedience of Christ. This takes intention and focus. Trust me, being grateful will flip a switch in your thinking like nothing else can! Be grateful for a new day and a new opportunity to be all you can be!
Our thoughts dictate our actions, our motives and ultimately, our life. We have to get a new mindset through that daily renewal. We must see ourselves as someone worthy of taking care of, someone who can get healthy and make good choices, and someone who does not need to be limited by past failures or negative thinking. We can’t expect new results from doing things the same old way, which goes back to thinking the same old thoughts! We need to strive to think on positive things about our circumstances, about others and about ourselves. We all know we should try to eat healthier and get exercise, but we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the root of why we tend to keep falling back into old habits. It is the old ways of thinking that have to change. It can be done! One day at a time. One thought at a time. As you think, is how you will live!