The State of our minds in the execution of church ministerial duties and other life responsibilities is very crucial to the overall balance of both body, soul and spirit. We cannot take away the effect that lack of attention in this area can cause to the effectiveness of service in any given capacity. This is why this topic is paramount and essential, as we shall be considering in detail the necessities of keeping our mental wellness in good and perfect shape or position to achieve quality and exellence in every area of concern/endeavour we may find ourselves, especially as ministers of the Divine calling. A number of factors – biological, social, psychological, and environmemtal, can positively or negatively affect one’s state of the mind.
What is Mental Wellness?
Mental wellness means a “positive state of mental health”. It is more than the absence of mental illness. Being mentally well means that your mind is in order and functioning in your best interest. You are able to think, feel and act in ways that create a positive impact on your physical and social well-being.
The Importance of Mental Wellness For Music Ministers
Mentally well people are positive, self-assured and happy. They are in control of their thoughts, emotions and behaviour. This enables them to handle challenges, build strong relationships and enjoy life. Achieving good mental health will enable you to:
- Realize your own abilities
- Cope with the stress and challenges of life
- Engage in productive work
- Contribute to your community among others.
It is very important to note that Sustaining mental health requires time and effort. The more you invest in your mental health, the stronger it will become. At this point lets ask the following questions:
- What do you do before and after your ministration?
- How do you react to or handle challenges, past negative experiences, frustration and disappointments in relation to your life and ministerial service?
- What is your general or specific state of mind about life (money, children, work, relationships, people, personality etc), that is strong enough to put you down psychologically?
- Is your stress Negative or Positive?
WHAT IS MENTAL HEALTH AND MENTALITY?
These two phrases, although they sound nearly alike, do have differences that are worthy of note. While Mental wellness deals with “having a positive mental well being”, Mentality refers to “the characteristic way of thinking of a person or group”. These should not be confused to mean the same thing. Even the expression of a mentality or mindset still depends on your mental state of the mind or mood.
THE NECESSITY OF MENTAL WELLNESS FOR MUSIC MINISTERS
The Bible states in 3 John 1:2 “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth”. The word ‘soul’ in this scripture refers to the mind. This is significant in that, the real state of our minds would determine the true state of our Spiritual, Physical, economical and social well being.
How To Work Towards Mental Wellness
The following are ways you can keep an overall healthy mind for better productivity in spiritual service or other life responsibilities:
- Rest, and take all your worries to God in prayer.
- Learn to be at peace with yourself, and others around you.
- Get to know who you are (in Christ), your personality, and what makes you happy.
- Acknowledge what you can and cannot change about yourself or others.
- Identify your abilities and weaknesses, accept them, build on them, and do the best with what you have.
- Pay attention to your own needs and feelings (both mind and body).
- Express your thoughts by writing about it in a journal or talking to someone, recommendably, a Psychologist or close trusted persons.
- Set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-limited) and Work towards your objectives in a calm manner with hope of achievement nomatter the time length or failures experienced.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Take balanced meals, fruits, and drink sufficient water; pay attention to the need for certain brain functioning minerals.
- Exercising regularly.
- Avoid hard and harmful substances.
- Build strong but good relationships with people in church, and other places of service you may be involved with.
- Make time for family and friends, and share life’s joys and sorrows with them.
- Create a financial budget. Avoid overspending and focus on ‘needs’ instead of ‘wants’.
- Volunteer for a cause, a programme, or a special service, taking your mind out of some negatively stressful situations or go on a holiday/recreational break.
- Visit a doctor or medical facility if need be, for physical and mental health checks or treatments.
- Handle little issues promptly, before they become bigger issues that can handle you.
NTIVE IMPLICATIONS OF POOR MENTAL HEALTH
Mental health problems can cover a broad range of issues from disorders to depression, but the common characteristic is that they all affect the affected person’s personality, thought processes or social interactions. They can be difficult to clearly diagnose, unlike physical illnesses.
1. Mental Disorders:
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is characterized by an inability to remain focused on task, impulsive behavior, and excessive activity or an inability to sit still. Although this disorder is most commonly diagnosed in children, it can occur in adults as well.
- Anxiety/Panic disorder is defined by intermittent and repeated attacks of intense fear of something bad happening or a sense of impending doom.
- Bipolar disorder causes a periodic cycling of emotional states between manic and depressive phases. Manic phases contain periods of extreme activity and heightened emotions, whereas depressive phases are characterized by lethargy and sadness. The cycles do not tend to occur instantly.
Depression covers a wide range of conditions, typically defined by a persistent bad mood and lack of interest in pursuing daily life, as well as bouts of lethargy and fatigue. Dysthymia is a milder but longer-lasting form of depression.
Schizophrenia is not, as commonly thought, solely about hearing voices or having multiple personalities. Instead, it is defined by a lack of ability to distinguish reality. Schizophrenia can cause paranoia and belief in elaborate conspiracies.
Emotional Symptoms of Mental Health Problems
Mental health problems or stress can cause a wide variety of emotional symptoms, some of which include: Changes in mood, Erratic thinking, Chronic anxiety, Exaggerated sense of self-worth, Impulsive actions.
Diagnostically, there is no single cause of mental health problems, as they are caused by a mixture of biological, psychological, social and environmental factors. Apart from family histories of mental disorders, changes in brain chemistry due to hard substances, lack of proper diet, and negative stress can cause harmful thought patterns that can affect other areas of life. Therefore, to function effectively and efficiently, we need to utilize the resources that God has given to us, and also ask Him for wisdom on how to live in wellness.
“A Healthy Mind is a Prosperous Mind”. God bless you.
This lecture was presented by Counsellor UtibeAbasi Okon (Wonders), at the National Praise Team Retreat of Foursquare Gospel Church, Yaba, Lagos
I am Music Estate’s Music Director