How do you live a happy and healthy life?
Is it possible for everyone?
And how do we combat the negative effects of stress—oftentimes created by the actions of others we cannot control?
In a 24-hour period, I had to deal with dishonesty in two individuals, several rude clerks, airport scans and a search, a hair-raising taxi ride, a rip-off artist, 400 emails, several disappointments of people not following through on commitments, meetings, and a delayed flight which threw a day’s worth of appointments off.
At the end of the day, I found myself stressed and trying to figure out what to do with the hotel’s bathroom trash can that was divided into two sections that weren’t labeled.
What’s this for? Is this recycling gone mad?
Tired, I stared at the little divided trash can in disbelief and prayed, “God, our lives have all gotten so complicated! How do I stay focused on the right things when there are so many pressures everywhere around me?”
Do you ever feel like getting in an RV and driving to the desert? I do! And even though an occasional getaway is helpful, we can’t escape pressure. We must deal with it or it will deal with our health and happiness.
There are many who try to exercise to be healthy, or obsess over every morsel of food that goes into their mouths. While eating a balanced diet of food in its most natural state and getting regular physical activity is very important to health and stress relief, what we do in the realm of the soul is just as important.
Yes, the wellness of the soul has a direct and overriding effect on our health as much as any food or benefit of exercise.
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 2, NKJV).
So how do we manage our stressed lives without getting under pressure and letting it affect our health?
The soul is composed of the mind, will, and emotions. Health does not result from just a physical act or restraint, but it truly begins in the area of the soul! As our soul prospers or as we develop a proper outlook and belief system, we reap the benefits in our physical, emotional, and even financial health!
True happiness is not a momentary emotion. It is a lifestyle of heeding God’s Word and letting it bring His goodness and plan into every area of our lives.
“He who heeds the Word wisely will find good. And whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he (or she)” (Proverbs 16:20, NKJV).
To combat stress and live healthy, we need to feed our soul God’s thoughts, His promises, His Word. His ways are higher and our trust must be in Him!
When we think pleasant thoughts and speak words of life, it is health to our lives. “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb. Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones” (Proverbs 16: 24, NKJV). What you believe, think on, speak, and act will have the greatest outcome on your health, wholeness, and healing, and how you handle stress before it turns you into a negative, unhappy person.
What are you stressing over? Toddlers, financial problems, marital discord, in-laws, weight gain, health issues?
God’s Word has an answer for every stress that life can bring! It is a process of training the soul—feeding the mind God’s truth (renewing the mind with His Words), choosing and submitting to His will for our lives, and bringing our emotions under the control of our spirits. We must live out of our spirits, letting them be the place where faith grows and our feelings and emotions learn to trust!
1. Reading the Bible and finding a promise that corresponds to a situation I feel concerned about.
2. Praying and visualizing myself handing God the problem and really casting the care to Him, then thanking Him that everything is going to work out fine.
3. Going outdoors and doing something physical. My favorites are biking, hiking, swimming, or playing a game of basketball, kickball, or baseball with the family.
4. Traveling for leisure to the mountains to hike or to the ocean to ride waves.
5. Exploring new cultures, foods, history, art, and scenery.
6. Stopping to focus on all the great things in my life and being thankful!
7. Cruising in the car with the top down and listening to music.
8. Talking to my husband or family.
9. Spending a day with my grandchildren.
Are you ready to get HAPPY? God has an incredible plan for your life, but it starts with discovering your joy in His presence. Embark on a journey toward a happier you today by preordering my new devotional, The Happy Life: Notes from God HERE!