As Christians, we believe that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). It’s important that we take care of ourselves, including our mental health, so that we can continue to serve and honor God.
The Importance of Rest and Connection with God
In the Bible, we see many examples of individuals struggling with mental health, such as David, Elijah, and Job. In their struggles, they turned to God and found comfort and healing. We too can turn to God in our struggles and find comfort in His word.
Furthermore, Jesus Himself often withdrew to quiet places to pray and be alone with His Father (Mark 1:35). This shows us the importance of taking time for ourselves, resting, and connecting with God.
The Power of Physical Activity for Mental Health
Did you know that exercise can be more effective than counseling or leading medications for managing depression and anxiety? A recent study by the University of South Australia has shown that physical activity is 1.5 times more effective than these conventional approaches.
The researchers reviewed 97 studies, encompassing over a thousand trials and 128,000 participants, making it the most comprehensive study on the topic to date. The results showed that physical activity is extremely beneficial for improving symptoms of depression, anxiety, and distress.
Interestingly, exercise interventions that lasted for 12 weeks or less were the most effective in reducing mental health symptoms. This highlights just how quickly physical activity can make a positive change in your life.
The study also found that all types of physical activity and exercise were beneficial, including aerobic exercises like walking, resistance training, or stretching. The largest benefits were seen among people with depression, pregnant and postpartum women, healthy individuals, and people diagnosed with HIV or kidney disease.
The Importance of Prioritizing Mental Health
It’s important to note that poor mental health affects around 970 million people worldwide, with poor mental health costing the world economy approximately $2.5 trillion each year. In Australia, an estimated one in five people have experienced a mental disorder in the past 12 months.
Lead UniSA researcher, Dr. Ben Singh, says physical activity must be prioritized to better manage the growing cases of mental health conditions. “Our review shows that physical activity interventions can significantly reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety in all clinical populations, with some groups showing even greater signs of improvement,” he says.
Conclusion: Take Care of Yourself
So let us prioritize our mental health, including physical activity, as part of our self-care routine being good stewards of what God has given us. Let us seek God’s guidance and comfort in our struggles, knowing that He is with us always and desires for us to have abundant life (John 10:10).
As a Christian, you are fearfully and wonderfully made, and taking care of your mental health is an important part of taking care of yourself. Why not prioritize physical activity as part of your mental health routine? Even a small amount of exercise can make a positive change in your life.
If you are experiencing depression or anxiety, Contact us immediately. We are here to serve your Counseling needs in Anaheim Hills, CA. We even offer a FREE consultation to have your questions answered. Book your free consultation now.