Mental health encompasses all of who we are in mind, body, and spirit. Yet, too often we talk about mental health as if our brains are detached from our bodies and our souls. This limited understanding led me to wonder what a mental health informed spirituality would look like. Put another way, what can mental health challenges teach us about spirituality?
Here are seven ways mental illness can have a negative impact on our spirituality:
1. Feeling like we are broken
2. Feeling alone and isolated
3. Feeling unworthy and worthless
4. Feeling abandoned
5. Feeling like promises are broken
6. Feeling hopeless
7. Feeling unloveable
These feelings are exacerbated by symptoms of mental health challenges and are spiritual in nature. Our mental health can benefit from a wholistic approach that integrates spiritual solutions in addition to other forms of care, such as medications and behavioral therapies.
Because our mind, body, and spirit are closely integrated, the best outcomes for wellness include an integrated approach.
Here are seven spiritual solutions found in biblical teachings to the seven spiritual challenges exacerbated by symptoms of mental illness:
1. You are whole and created in God’s image
2. You belong to God’s family
3. You have value and worth as a child of God
4. You are always in God’s presence
5. You have God’s eternal promise to not forsake you
6. You can connect to hope through prayer
7. You are loved no matter what by God’s Big Blessed Love
Spirituality informed by mental health meets us exactly where we are at, removing barriers that often can get in the way of healing and recovery. Imagine if we embraced a more wholistic way of thinking about mental health.
Through a spirituality of mental health, we can unlock power and resiliency to bring deeper healing to the whole person.
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