Spirit, mind and body—those are the three areas that comprise you. If any one area is neglected, then you suffer. You won’t be as spiritually, physically or emotionally strong as you should be. That’s why it’s important to nourish each and every area of your life. You need to nourish your spiritual body with the Word of God and prayer. You need to nourish your physical body with good, clean food and physical exercise. But how do you nourish your soul—your mind, will and emotions? Here are seven ways to nourish your soul.
1. Cultivate Strong, Positive Friendships
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” –Proverbs 27:17
If you need help finding friends who will encourage you and speak positively to, with and about you, then visit a small group at your local church. Join a Christian networking group in your field. Join a local sports team. Start a prayer meeting for those at your stage in life—singles, young married couples, moms, dads, professionals, grandparents, etc. If you need help finding those groups, visit KCM’s Partner Community.
2. Pray and Meditate
“I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor and your wonderful miracles.” –Psalm 145:5
While prayer and meditation on the Word of God will affect your spiritual life, they will also affect your emotional well-being, too. Research has shown that meditation, in general, improves the brain’s ability to process, make decisions and improve attentiveness. Instead of a New Age approach to meditation, use an approach that focuses on God’s Word. Choose one scripture or passage, and pray, asking God to reveal the depths of that passage to you. Then get quiet and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you.
3. Practice Thankfulness
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
–Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV)
Make a decision to be thankful for the good things in your life—your health, your family, your job, your friendships and more. If this proves difficult, then begin to keep a list on your phone or tablet. Take it with you wherever you go, and when you encounter something for which you can thank the Lord, add it to the list.
4. Avoid Gossip and Negativity
“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” –Ephesians 4:29
When water-cooler talk, social media comments, or conversations with friends and family turn negative, gently guide the conversation back to happier ground. If that doesn’t work, then excuse yourself from the conversation. Eventually, those around you will learn that you won’t tolerate negativity. This isn’t just about being a good witness; it’s about preserving your state of mind. Focusing on negativity and gossip will only tear you down, and leave you discouraged and angry about things and people outside of your control.
5. Enjoy Positive Entertainment
“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” –Philippians 4:8
Let the movies, music, books and TV shows you watch lift you up, not tear you down. Instead of watching something that causes you to ponder depravity, fear and the darker side of human nature, enjoy media that promotes joy and godliness.
6. Learn a New Hobby
“May the Lord our God show us his approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful!” –Psalm 90:17
What is something you have wanted to learn? Play the guitar, take the perfect photo, knit a cable sweater, speak Portuguese, cook Asian fusion cuisine, master the use of power tools? Learning new hobbies gets you out of your everyday life, introduces you to new ideas and people, and allows you accomplish a goal. Science also shows that hobbies will help combat depression, anger and stress.
7. Get Outdoors
“Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and everything that moves in them.”–Psalm 69:34 (AMPC)
God has given His people a remarkable gift—nature. He filled it with wonders, beauty and the ability to rejuvenate. So, take a walk or a hike in a park. Enjoy a sunset on your back porch. Watch the sunrise over the ocean. Go fishing on a lake. Have a snowball fight with your kids or build a snowman. Go camping. Garden. Research concurs that being outdoors helps you feel happier, improves your ability to concentrate, promotes healing in your body, and encourages fitness.
John 14:27 says, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” Your soul—made up of your mind, will and emotions—matters to the Lord. He desires for your heart and your mind to be at peace. Implement these seven ways to nourish your soul, and enjoy increased peace, joy and emotional well-being!
Source: www.io9.com, George Dvorsky, “The Science Behind Mediation, and Why It Makes You Feel Better,” 4/4/13
 Source: www.allthingsdepression.com. “Hobbies and Mental Health,” 2/24/11.
 Source: www.health.harvard.edu, “Spending Tie Outdoors is Good For You, From the Harvard Health Letter,” July 2010.
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