A clear mind is a more calm mind. A more productive mind. A more spiritually-alert mind.
It’s spring, and it’s time for Spring Cleaning. Forget about the dust and cobwebs in your house for a moment. I’m talking about cleansing the mind. In our fast-paced, sensationalized world, we’re exposed to so much STUFF that clogs our mental filters. With popularized mantras like “if it feels good, do it”, some pretty harmful messages are being emitted. That’s why we have to take care of our minds. Just like we take care of our bodies with nutrition and exercise. "More than anything you guard, protect your mind, for life flows from it.” - Proverbs 4:23.
But a healthy mind requires healthy input and regular maintenance. Following are a few tips for you to follow.
5 Tips for a Healthy Mind
“Be still and know that I am God.”
The quickest way to clear the mind is to Unplug. Many of us are dependent on (or attached) to our phones, computers, TVs and other mobile devices. Whether we blame this on work, the kids, or boredom; the truth remains that we consume all. day. long. And folks, we’re wrecking our brains with a lot of useless content!
Our minds need a break from the bright electronic lights and endless noise. A healthy mind requires rest and time to connect with the soul. If you don’t know where to start, try a SpirFit class! We focus on Breath, Movement & Prayerful Meditation that will leave you feeling mentally refreshed.
2. Create Room
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow
will be anxious for itself.” Matthew 6:34
Are there awards for the busiest schedule that I don’t know about? Why do we brag about our hectic lives? (I used to, anyway.) It’s like saying, “Look at me! I don’t know how to say no!”
To maintain a healthy mind we need to breathe room into our calendars, leaving space and time for things to unfold organically. We might think we’re being productive trying to control every part of the day. But what we’re really doing is chaining ourselves to crazy schedules while trying to play a super hero. An easy way to make room in your schedule is by focusing ONLY on the top must-do items on your to-do list. The other stuff can wait. When those tasks are done, don’t go back to the to-do list. Reward yourself by doing something spontaneous! (Gasp!!)
3. Connect with Nature
“On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works,
I will meditate” Psalm 145:5
We are part of nature. So, it’s no surprise that connecting with nature is a natural remedy for the mind. Many people find it peaceful. (The sound of a soft rainfall. Swaying to the wind in a hammock. Relaxing by the ocean.) While others find nature inspiring. (Painting landscapes, studying wildlife, exploring the outdoors.)
To connect with nature, try using the senses God gave you to ground yourself in the present moment. Observe what you see, hear, smell, feel and taste. Don’t worry if you’re not the outdoors-type. You can connect with nature simply by walking out your front door and talking to a neighbor (nature’s wildest beast) or playing with your pet. Nature awakens the feel-good emotions that God has given us and reminds of just how awesome and complex the world is.
4. Quit poking holes
“You can never get enough, of what you don’t really need.”
Matthew Kelly, The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity
Our minds often get clouded with all our wants and desires. We get so focused on getting something that we don’t realize what we’ve already got. “Quit poking holes” is a quote that I picked up on a recent Retreat. The speaker, a young priest, shared these wise words, “We’re like a cup. God is constantly trying to fill us up but we’re always poking holes in our cups. We’re always reaching. Telling ourselves, I need this promotion, this accolade, this car, this vacation. But attaining these desires won’t fill us up. There will always be something else we want right behind it. The truth is, God has already provided us everything we need. Every day he is trying to fill our cups. We just need to let him.”
5. Focus on God
"Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you."
I’ve saved the best tip for last. If you want a healthier mind, nurture your spiritual life. I like to read the Bible. I find all of the answers to life’s big questions in there. Plus, it deepens my relationship with God.
Other times, though, I need a quick shot of mental strength. Like when negative thoughts or doubts randomly pop in my head. During these times, I visualize the cross. This reminds me that God has already conquered all my anxieties and worries. I find strength in trusting Him, and in his Will for me. As my dear father once told me, “Mental health has a lot to do with our submission to God’s Will”.