Updated: Mar 10
Managing your mental health can seem like an intimidating and daunting task. In this brief article, I want to break it down into three simplified categories that will help make doing so seem much more approachable and manageable. If we can learn to monitor these three areas, you and I will live a much (mentally) healthy life.
1. Monitor your actual thought life. Most of us have a passive attitude concerning our thought lives. However, Scripture encourages us to take a much more proactive posture concerning the meditation of our hearts. Romans 12 reminds us that our thoughts require renewing, and it is our responsibility to incline our ears, so to speak, to hear the word of God and rehearse God's word in our minds. Therefore, you and I must be intentional about our thinking by ensuring we meditate on worthy and righteous things. Philippians 4:8 reminds us, "Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—dwell on these things." When we meditate on God's word, not only do we avoid negative mental narratives, but we come to know the heart of God and grow in sanctification as we agree with him.
2. Ensure that you rest. It is no secret that your mental health can depend on many physiological factors. One of the most essential factors is rest. If you and I are not well-rested, we will not function at our highest mental and emotional capacity. We become less stable, and our thoughts are not as clear. Rest helps us with focus, clarity, and discipline in our thinking. Our hearts and minds need rest, so God encourages us in his word to rest.
3. Surround yourself with encouraging people. Surrounding yourself with people who can help with your heart's narrative is vitally important for mental health. There are times when you and I can get stuck in a negative or depressed thought pattern. Encouraging friends can help to change your heart's narrative when you get stuck and help you avoid damaging and sinful thought patterns. Hebrews 3:13 says, "But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin." Consider joining a Capital Growth Group Here and find a good supportive community.
Mental health can be seen as possessing three key facets; your meditation, your condition, and your support. If you monitor your thought-life and choose to meditate on the word of God, you will not be defenseless against your flesh or outside sources attempting to draw you into negative thinking. Maintaining your physical health will ensure that you are thinking the best you can. And surrounding yourself with encouraging people will be critical during seasons of great despair.
If you are in need of counseling support, please visit www.capitalbaptist.org/counselingrequest
Ryan A. Sturgis, M.A.
Pastor of Counseling Services