A Healthy Life Begins in Your MindApr 25, 2018
Have you ever thought about what you think about? Funny question, but think about it. Do you know what occupies the time and energy of your mind? Chances are your life reflects it, whether you’re aware of it or not.
A healthy life begins in your mind.
Our emotional, spiritual, and physical health flourishes or flounders behind the curtains of our inner world. Specifically, our thought life. What happens far out of reach and out of sight of everyone else determines the choices we make in our outer world.
Our mindset matters.
When we feed our mind a steady diet of truth, we are much more likely to make decisions that reflect this state. If your life is on an upward path, it’s likely your thought life is grounded in life-giving truths.
Your mind speaks. Your body listens.
You are what you think.
My own inner ramblings lately are a good example. I'm hitting the season of life that all women inevitable face and struggling with the challenges caused by hormonal shifts. And I know it's just begun. As a result, my body's changing and along with it, my mind.
It's a swirling dervish of guilt, frustration, and resignation.
Guilt from having boldly proclaimed a few years back that I'd "changed my metabolism."
Frustration from weight gain, midsection expansion, and an inability to fix it.
And resignation that I'm still making the same healthy choices, yet my body is responding differently than it once did.
I know I shouldn't care. But I do.
The inner world impacts my behavior. I stay off the scale. I avoid the camera more often these days. I post fewer photos on Facebook because I wonder whether others notice the change, too. From time to time I scroll through older photos to see if I really look different or if it's all in my head.
My mind rifles though all the things I've done in the past to lose weight, while simultaneously asking me if it's worth it. I'm intuitively drawn to the quick fixes, while intellectually knowing they will just perpetuate the problem.
I have new empathy for all those I've worked with in the past and present who are struggling through this same season.
I'm working on changing my mind to change my life.
Here are 3 ways to build a healthy life that begins in your mind.
- Stop the comparison. Most of the battles we fight every day stem from the battles we wage with comparison. Comparison to an older version of ourself, a version of ourself we think we should be, or comparison to others. In doing so, we lose the current version of us, just as we are today. I recently read a great book called "Compared to Who" by Heather Creekmore, that addresses this topic in greater detail and provides some strategies for working through this challenge.
- Be grateful. It's so easy to get sucked down the negativity pathway. We focus quickly on what's wrong than what's right. Starting your day with a prayer of thankfulness can get you started in the right direction. Having a mindset of gratitude for how your body can move or the food that's abundant can change the things you see and feel in your day. If you catch yourself drifting, return to a posture of thanksgiving for the one and only life you are living because this is the day the Lord has made.
- Change the script. We have a record that plays around and around in our mind. Sometimes it's so ingrained and familiar, we stop paying attention to it. But it's doing us daily harm because it's most often filled with lies. Things that are untrue about who we are or what really matters. The only way to change the script is to overwrite it with a new message. Having a Biblical truth or two to turn to and repeat when we hear the harmful whisper will begin to record a new message.
It's not always fun or easy work to notice our thought life.
It's a balancing act. We have to notice it long enough to change it while not dwelling long enough for paralysis to set in and overwhelm us.
Our secret weapon is found in 2 Corinthians 3-5:
"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight withare not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
We're in this together. I'm fighting right alongside you to live a healthier life, body, mind, and spirit.
Will you join me?
Question: What do you do to build a healthy life in your mind?