Fresh Hope – 12th June 2019

Current UK statistics on people’s poor mental health are astounding.

1 in 4 people experience mental health issues each year.
At any given time, 1 in 6 working-age adults have symptoms associated with mental ill health.
Mental illness is the largest single source of burden of disease in the UK. Mental illnesses are more common, long-lasting and impactful than other health conditions.
Mental ill health is responsible for 72 million working days lost and costs £34.9 billion each year.

With statistics like these, we can conclude:

1. That either we ourselves are experiencing mental health issues or know someone who is!
2. That you are not alone!

No matter how “normal” mental health issues have become, they are never God’s desire for us, the people he loves. Without being insensitive to people who are in the struggle, I believe we should be intentional about preventing mental health issues, to avoid finding ourselves arriving at a place of anxiety and depression.

Our spirit, soul, and body are all connected. It is impossible for there to be a problem in one aspect of our being, and it not affect another. For example, we may have physical pain that soon wears thin on our emotions.

Kris Vallotton offers some advice from his personal experiences, ‘Problems can originate in one dimension of our being, but before long, we experience resulting symptoms in all three realms of our personhood’.

Having the courage to care for yourself (all three parts of you) is important. Here are some very practical ways that we can practise self-care:

1. Watch what your head eats! Just as we watch what we eat to look after our physical selves, and stay in the best shape and condition, so we also need to watch what we think in order to stay in the best mental condition.

We’ve all heard the saying, ‘You are what you eat’. Well Proverbs tells us that you are in fact what you think! (Proverbs 23:7).

As the Bible strongly urges, be relentless about guarding your thought life, and filling it with truth!

‘If you are dealing with anxiety, torment, fear, low self-esteem, depression or any other negative emotion, it is very likely that you have forgotten that God loves you. Do not entertain the enemy’s questions about how valuable you are’ (K.Vallotton).

To further fill your mind with tools of truth some books that may support you and/or a struggling friend:

‘From Panic to Power’ By Lucinda Bassett

‘Who Switched off My Brain?’, By Caroline Leaf.

‘ReNew: Breaking free from Negative Thinking’, By Julie Winter.

‘When God becomes Real’, by Brian Johnson.

2. Laugh.

Proverbs 17:22 says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Be intentional about finding things that make you laugh! Laughing produces dopamine, a God-given, feel-good chemical, in your body. Have friends that support you and bring positivity into your life. Be open to their influence in your heart.

3. Look after your body!

Get sun, routine sleep, exercise, rest, and look after your body. Remember, the mind and the body are connected!

4. Look after your connection with God. Keep your spirit strong! Stay connected to God – your source of hope, strength and healing!

Matthew 11:28 – ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest’.

 

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.