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5 Biblical Principles for Better Mental Health

Posted on: April 9th, 2015 by Dr. Angela Bisignano

 

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Mental health has to do with our psychological, emotional, social and spiritual wellbeing. It impacts and influences how we think, feel, and behave. It can have important implications on how we relate to others, our ability to deal with stress and anxiety, as well as our reasoning and decision-making. In short, good mental health is vital to our wellbeing.

I believe that God provides a blue print for our mental health in the Bible. Not that every issue is addressed or mentioned, but I think He gives us a guide to help us keep our mental health moving in a positive direction.

Here are 5 suggestions for better mental health based on biblical principles:

1. Work on experiencing less anxiety:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6-7

I don’t think God intended that we would never experience anxiety. He created the emotion. What I believe He desires for us is that we are not being consumed by it. Instead, He wants us to depend on Him for our peace. A certain amount of anxiety can actually be a good thing. It can fuel us and give us the energy we need to accomplish certain tasks and goals. Anxiety becomes negative when we are overwhelmed by it and it causes distress, affecting our psychological and physical wellbeing.

2. Take one day at a time and don’t worry:

Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough of its trouble of its own. Matt. 6:34

Try living more in the present moment. Take the opportunity to realize the only thing we know for certain is the moment we are in. No one knows how many days we have on earth, only God does. Try changing your mindset by asking yourself this question in the mornings: If today were my last day on earth how would that change my day? Then try incorporating those thoughts and ideas into your day. Stay focused on what needs to be done today.

3. Be slow to become angry:

A wise man fears the Lord and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and reckless. A quick-tempered man does foolish things, and a crafty man is hated. Prov. 14:16-17

I believe God gave us the ability to get angry. We certainly saw Jesus exercising anger in the market place when he overturned the tables. Yet, we want to be cautious how we exercise our anger. There is a place for it; however, being hotheaded, mean spirited or cruel are not the ways we want to express it. Instead, when you feel angry, try taking a time out. Get some clarity, let your anger cool down and then decide how you will deal with it. Keep in mind that love is patient, love is kind. It is not easily angered. I Cor. 13:4-5

4. Trust God even more:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Prov. 3:5-6

If we place our faith in God, we can be assured that He will lead the way. He will guide us and show us where He wants us and what He wants us to do. We need to be active and plan, but we can seek comfort in knowing that we are not alone. It is God who will make our way known to us. Try asking God each day to show you what He wants you to do.

5. Let compassion play a key role in your life:

Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers? The expert replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:25-37; 36-37

If we exhibit as much compassion and mercy on people as we would like them to demonstrate toward us, I think the world would be a much better place. Try doing one kind and compassionate act each day. I believe we are often much more blessed by giving than receiving. Try doing this for a month and see if your life changes.

I believe if you exercise these 5 principles you will be on your way to experiencing greater mental health and wellbeing.