Spiritual Health: The word “spirit” (spiritus from spiro) means to breathe, to blow. When our breathing becomes quick and strenuous, our mind and body is experiencing stress. We might be walking up a flight of stairs; we might be thinking stressful thoughts such as, “I can’t take one more second of this; I’m just done!” However, stress, which is simply a demand put on us, which can include our alarm clock in the morning, is not all bad. For example, exercise is a good thing that causes demands on the body. But when our spirits are disturbed within us (Psalm 43:5), negative thoughts may manifest which can maintain and exacerbate that stress to unhealthy proportions. Our spirits - our breath - play a key role in our ability to maintain balance. Large deep breaths, inhaling in through our nostrils, filling our diaphragm to the point of extending the belly like a balloon, and then slowly exhaling through the mouth creates a sense of calm. As you breathe in, choose to focus on whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things (Philippians 4:8). In order to increase my sense of well-being, I am currently studying and teaching the book of Ruth in the Bible for renewed encouragement regarding the ways in which God prepares and positions us to intersect with His will. As I breathe, I also consider how God was always with Ruth and Naomi, making a way where there seemed to be no way. Likewise, I encourage you to dig-into spiritual content that makes your spirit soar to new heights of hope. While you are partaking in diaphragmatic breathing, oxygen levels will increase in the brain, and you will be able to think more clearly, more peacefully, and more rationally, as you manage whatever uniquely perceived stress is before you, whether the stress is a few flights of stairs on your lunch break (You go, girl!), or a situation which you perceive as a figurative lion trying to get you to blink first. Be on the look- out for this new Bible study I am writing: God & Coffee with Ruth, which will be available through Deeds Publishing. J http://deedspublishing.com/
Physical Health: Eating right is perhaps the most difficult balancing act of all. It’s also the most important one because it affects how we feel as well as how equipped we are to bring balance to other aspects of our life. Balance is defined as: an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady; a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions. Twenty-four years ago, I was navigating my way through the obstacle course at Air Force boot camp. About mid way, I was balancing on a log 10 feet high, I almost fell, but then I prayed and looked to the sky, “Lord, please help me; don’t let me fall. Help me balance upon this log, help me scale the wall.” And, ever so swiftly I felt two very large invisible hands (the size of the Jolly Green Giant!) upon my ribs – and firmly I stood. Had I not been praying to God, had I not known it was Him holding me, I would have been so startled, I would have fallen. Over the years, I have learned that the food that I put into my body directly affects how balanced I feel, specifically, it affects my energy levels throughout the day. Has anyone experienced a carbohydrate or sugar crash lately? These foods provide a temporary jolt but quickly turn to stored fat and feelings of lethargy. Let us then consider how many fruits and vegetables we are getting. We need 9-13! Are you getting that many a day? And for the sake of fun, let’s focus on the powerful energy found in dark leafy greens. Have you had your basil, green beans, or broccoli today? They are essential phytonutrients that have a large supply of chromium. Chromium is needed to help metabolize fats and carbohydrates. It also helps brain function and other bodily functions through fatty acid stimulation and cholesterol synthesis. Chromium is critical regarding insulin metabolism. Do you want to know more about how you can implement balanced nutrition in the midst of your everyday life? Do you have children? They can receive fruits and vegetables free! I’d love to talk with you more! Seymour.Juiceplus.com
Emotional Health A little anxiety is needed. It motivates us to act in ways that will help us accomplish a goal. If my children have a math test coming up, they need to have a little anxiety about it; it helps them study and prepare so that they will do well. If they had no anxiety, they would not be motivated to do what they need to do. Emote (a root of emotion) means “to move.” Isn’t that fascinating?! God gave us emotions so that we would move – take action – regarding our daily and life tasks and goals. In the Bible, Paul talked about having less anxiety when his friends cared for him in Prison as well as having less anxiety when he knew other believers were living and operating through faith, fueled by the grace of God. In the book of Ruth, Ruth had anxiety when she left her family of origin and headed to Bethlehem with her mother-in-law, Naomi. Ruth also had anxiety when she approached the field of Boaz, requesting permission to glean behind the harvesters with the other people who were poor and widowed. And, I know Daniel had anxiety when he was thrown into the lions’ den! Anxiety is a part of life. The anxiety I experienced as a child in an unhealthy environment motivated me to join the military and write a novel of hope and healing: Where the Red Cardinals Fly: a novel of darkness to light, despair to hope. We don’t want to get rid of it; we simply want to manage it in healthy ways in order that the ways in which we live illuminate a message of hope, healing, and balance. Do you need assistance managing anxiety or other emotions that seem to have become larger than your ability to handle them? I am in psychological practice at Behavioral Management Group in Snellville, GA. I also work with a team of dedicated therapists who are here to walk along side you, offering you tools to survive and thrive in the midst of your everyday life.
Cognitive Health Have you been racing around looking for your keys, only to find they were in your hand the entire time? Me too! My goodness, it can be challenging to keep our minds clear and organized along with our daily lives. A SPEC of Hope exists to provide encouragement and practical tools to live your optimal life while moving towards optimal health, step by step, day by day, moment by moment. Thoughts are powerful. When we are overwhelmed, we might experience 150 racing thoughts that have a theme of negativity within them. Can you think of a common unhelpful/negative thought that has haunted your mind for years, maybe even decades? Years ago, when I would work on my math homework, I would say, “I’m so stupid; I’m going to fail.” This thought pattern made it that much more difficult to concentrate on what I was trying to learn. (It also caused my breathing to become quick and stressful… leading to less oxygen in my brain and more oxygen in my main muscle groups, preparing me to fight, flee, or freeze in doubt, fear and panic). Over time, I learned to say something more helpful, “While this is difficult, I can do it one step at a time; In fact, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).” I was still speaking to myself in this helpful way while I took my final math test that would go towards my doctorate degree in clinical psychology. I would say this 150,000 times as I breathed and did one step at a time. Our thought life impacts our ability to plan, to organize, and to complete the task before us. Begin to speak to yourself as you would speak to your child or a friend going through a hard time. Offer yourself encouragement and hope; it only takes a SPEC of Hope to transform your life!
Please join us for A SPEC of Hope – Dinner and Fun on Thursday, March 19th at 7:00 p.m. at The Three Blind Mice Restaurant, 1066 Killian Hill Road, Suite 100, Lilburn, GA 30078; 770-696-4139
Please RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my cell and let me know you are coming 678-793-4906.
It only takes a SPEC of Hope to transform a life!