How are Spiritual, Physical and Mental Health Related?
Sometimes when we think about our health, we think about the things that make us sick or prevent our bodies from functioning.
We may think about heart disease or diabetes. We may know those who are stricken with cancer or other chronic diseases. We recognize mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. But when we think about our spirituality we often put it aside, in its own little compartment with no connection to our physical and mental health.
It may surprise you to know that these three things: spirituality, physical well-being and mental health are all interrelated and that having strength in one area, can help to make the other two stronger.
So, how are spiritual, physical and mental health related? Let’s find out.
Renewed Mental Health
The World Health Organization defines 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 is able to make a contribution to his or her community." Over your lifetime, you may experience mental health disorders that affect the way you think, how you feel and the actions you take.
Mental health disorders can range from unhappiness, anxiety and depression, to more serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Some mental health problems are genetic or biological, such as traits inherited from a parent. Others are environmental such as growing up with trauma or being in an abusive household.
One thing that most professionals agree on is that your mental health can influence your physical health adding to an increase in disease or injury. On the reverse side, however, strong, positive mental health allows you to better manage your stress, be happier and more productive and less prone to chronic diseases.
Definition of Physical Health
Physical health is the overall well-being of your physical body. That means, not only that you are free from disease, but that you are fit and well-nourished. Poor physical health can result from a chronic or acute disease or being overweight or at risk for heart disease.
Physical health can adversely affect your mental health in much the same way. If you are ill or feel out of shape, it may start to make you feel depressed or angry. You may end up with your physical ailments becoming your mental illnesses as well.
How to Improve Your Spiritual Health
Your spirituality, or the belief in something much bigger than yourself, is much more powerful than you have ever thought. It allows you to focus on positive emotions such as peace, gratitude and love.
Your spirituality or your faith encourages you to connect to your inner self at a deeper level, which supports your mental health. This, in turn, supports your physical health.
Knowing and believing in a higher power gives you the strength to fight off depression and gives you a focus other than the pain that you experience from illness.
Being part of that big picture helps you to cultivate a positive state of mind, which can change your perspective on the way you view the other aspects of your health.
Other ways that a healthy spirituality can improve your mental and physical health are:
- You may feel more confidence and self-esteem, improving your mental and emotional well-being.
- The inner peace you feel may improve your recovery time.
- You receive additional support from your spiritual community or church.
- You may feel your inner strength increase from your spiritual connection.
- You are more hopeful of positive results.
Jeremiah 3:15 provides us with clear Old Testament evidence that nourishing your mind leads to good spiritual health: "And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding." God clearly states that a mind fed with the right things can produce wisdom, holiness, and happiness.
And only by dedicating and committing one's life to Christ can one purchase the "food" in Isaiah 55 and the "oil" in Matthew 25. One is fueled by the nourishment of God's Word by offering oneself as a living sacrifice through prayer, study, meditation, and obedience.
Liberty HealthShare Helps Connect all Three
Taking care of your spiritual, mental and physical health is important for your optimal, healthy life. At Liberty HealthShare we provide you with the tools you need to stay balanced spiritually, physically and mentally.
Liberty HealthShare is not insurance. We offer an alternative way for you to pay for your medical expenses and provide other money-saving services.
We’re a group of like-minded Christian people exhibiting the power of sharing and encouraging each other to live a long and healthy life. You can even keep the doctors you already have.
If you’re interested in learning more about medical cost-sharing and the programs Liberty HealthShare offers, contact us today.