Mental HealthSue Afutu
You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3 NKJV
It was recently reported in the news that Naomi Osaka would not be playing this year in the Australian Open Tennis Tournament because of mental health reasons. Other celebrities have openly admitted their challenges with mental health, one of them being Prince Harry of England. Bad mental health affects people everywhere from all walks of life. Mental health is a big deal. We need to have our minds in the right place. God is interested in our wellness and well-being. Let’s find out more.
The World Health Organisation has defined mental health as a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and can contribute to his or her well-being or her community.
The ability to learn.
The ability to feel, express and manage a range of positive and negative emotions.
The ability to form and maintain good relationships with others.
The ability to cope with and manage change and uncertainty.
Indicators of bad mental health
You may be suffering from bad mental health if you suffer from: sadness or depression, confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate, excessive fears or worries or extreme feelings of guilt, withdrawal from friends and activities, significant tiredness, low energy or problems sleeping, detachment from reality (delusions), inability to cope with daily problems or stress or problems with alcohol or drug use.
Cultivating good mental health
The following have been identified as means of cultivating good mental health: building good relationships with others, exercising and staying healthy, developing gratitude, identifying and using our strengths, creating flow, giving to others and spirituality. Below are Bible verses that affirm some of these points.
Build good relationships – Proverbs 17:17 “Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble”. (MSG)
Exercise and stay healthy – 1 Timothy 4:8 says that “for physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. (NIV)
Develop gratitude: Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (NKJV)
Identify and use your gifts: Being under-skilled or under-resourced for the work we do can be a source of stress. It’s good to acquire the needed skills and resources for our work. We must also learn to delegate and work effectively in teams. Ecclesiastes 10:10 “If the axe is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success. (NIV)
Create flow- this refers to participating in an activity that you find engaging.
Give to others – Acts 20:35 “I have shown you in every way, by labouring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’. (NKJV)
Spirituality – 1 Timothy 4:8 as seen above has taught us that godliness has benefits not just for the life to come but for this life as well.
In addition to the above, it’s important to feed our minds with positive information. Philippians 4:8 says “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things”. (NIV)
If you feel you need help with your mental health talk to your pastor, a counsellor or doctor.
You can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries on this.
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