Sunday, February 19, 2017

Mind Control and Thinking Matters

There is a lot of turmoil in our culture that tries to overtake our minds on a daily basis.  In our private lives, there is often a different kind of turmoil that we work to live amidst and rise above in our work and relationships.  Then there is the turmoil that is sometimes (or always) present in our hearts because of things like fear, grief, anxiety and disappointment.

When we don't have outlets to process all of these things, extreme reactions often occur.  Sometimes it is an outburst of anger or explosive posts on social media.  Other times it creates the beginning of disease and dysfunction - physically, emotionally and most certainly within our relationships.

I'm almost 34 weeks pregnant - getting very close to a really big day of celebration and change, a very certain bend in the road.  For me, the anxiety of the mind can overtake all of the good elsewhere in the body and control things for the worse.   That is exactly what happened with J's birth.  I was afraid and couldn't see anything else once the pain started.  Praise the Lord for second chances because I was able to change that with miss Z's birth.  I learned to get my active mind out of the way and the body took over - doing a much better (and quicker) job than I had let it do before.  In my case, the babies weren't much different in size.  The risks or lack thereof weren't different.  The difference was how I thought (courtesy of Blissborn). As I'm staring down this road again with a much fuller perspective (and a fuller plate), I can see how easily the pendulum can swing solely based on what is flying around in my head.  Knowing what I know now, it's my responsibility to fill it with the good and the encouraging things, rather than the uncertain and negative.

More than ever before we are struggling with disease and mental health issues.  After miss Z's 1st birthday, I found myself riddled with anxiety and drowning in poor health, despite thinking I was fine.  The road back to health changed me a lot.  If your thoughts and emotions are a constant struggle, then you especially need to consider what's going into your mind and how your brain is processing all of that.  And give yourself every opportunity to surround yourself with light and beauty.  If we don't do it on purpose, the ugliness and pain of the world can absolutely take over. Our mind can be our biggest asset if we treat it right.

-Point out great things (and not complain).
-Commit to a prayer & Bible study habit.
-Listen to beautiful things.
-Express yourself through creating - like music, writing, painting, woodworking, etc.
-Take time with nature.
-Gain perspective through gratitude.
-Consider lifestyle changes like exercise, food choices and supplement deficiencies.

Most importantly, talk about it.  Our thoughts and concerns affect us mostly deeply, but often we keep them hidden from most everyone in our life.  Find a person or a group where you can share your struggles.  Just getting them outside of your self is a really big step toward health.

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