Wholeness of Body, Mind and Spirit

Wholeness of Body, Mind and Spirit

Saturday’s Reflection

GOD DESIRES our health, our wholeness of body, mind, and spirit. This bold affirmation rests on the knowledge and experience of God in the life of Israel and the church. God was revealed to Israel as “the LORD, who heals you” (Exod. 15:26), whose deepest and most consistent desire was to redeem, bless, and restore God’s people . . . . In the here and now, we can count on this: that whenever we open ourselves to the activity of the Holy Spirit, some kind of healing takes place. Indeed, God invites us to ask for what we need just as a child would ask a parent. Even when our lives are filled with suffering or wracked with agonizing questions, we can cling to the faith that God is with us, somehow always offering new life and healing.

– Tilda Norberg and Robert D. Webber in Stretch Out Your Hand

From pages 51-52 of Stretch Out Your Hand: Exploring Healing Prayer by Tilda Norberg and Robert D. Webber. Copyright © 1998 by Tilda Norberg and Robert D. Webber. All rights reserved. Used by permission. 

Today’s Question

In what ways is God offering you new life? Share your reflections.

Today’s Scripture Reading

God’s looking after me, keeping me safe in the kingdom of heaven. -2 Timothy 4:18, the message

via www.google.com

Sponsored by The Upper Room daily devotional guide. Copyright © 2010 The Upper Room, a ministry of GBOD | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

Wellness Definitions

What Is Wellness?

“Wellness means overall well-being. It incorporates the mental, emotional, physical, occupational, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of a person’s life. Each aspect of wellness can affect overall quality of life, so it is important to consider all aspects of health.

“Wellness incorporates many dimensions of health. Dr. Sarah R. Linde-Freucht of the US Department of Health and Human Services stated that ‘health relates broadly to how an individual functions in one’s life, the quality of one’s relationships, and how one adapts to change and copes with difficulties.’ ” (2008). 10 x 10 Wellness Campaign

The underlying concept of wellness is that it is holistic — wellness involves all aspects of a person, and their life, in relation to others and their lives, in their broadest social and physical environment, in relation to the world and ultimately, to God.  Don’t be misled–wellness IS attainable for anyone, regardless of current or longstanding physical or mental illness, disability, or other perceived limitation. Wellness is about being who God created you to be, and living out your LifeStory.

What does wellness mean to you? What areas and aspects of your life would be important in maintaining your wellness?

Can Wellness Be Measured?

Not exactly. It is after all, a man-made concept to define God-made things and aspects of life and living. It seems that the best measures of these would be devised by God and so would be found in the Bible. (check back for a new article coming soon containing helpful verses.) For example, the fruits of the Holy Spirit at work in one’s life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23.) The Bible is often called the ultimate guide, dictionary and handbook when it comes to life. A good suggestion is to test everything related to life and “good living” with what is found in it, using a translation that is accurate and easy to understand.

Regarding the measurement of wellness, there are descriptions that can help us determine if we are headed in the direction of “wellness” as a concept. You will be your own best judge of whether you are working towards greater wellness on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly basis. Consider the following “models” for areas to focus on. (Note: The related concept of resiliency is useful. Check back for a future article on resiliency, which can be “measured” using methods developed by researchers.)

Model A: Click this link to www.DefinitionOfWellness.com for a nice visual model that is copyrighted, so cannot be produced here. It lists the following Ten Dimensions:

  1. Social Wellness
  2. Occupational Wellness
  3. Spiritual Wellness
  4. Physical Wellness
  5. Intellectual Wellness
  6. Emotional Wellness
  7. Environmental Wellness
  8. Financial Wellness
  9. Mental Wellness
  10. Medical Wellness

Other definitions of wellness include eight dimensions which are defined here.

Model B: The model below, from the McKinley Health Center at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, presents a person-centered graphic of wellness. While it does not show the person in relation to others, it does includes the social and environmental dimensions. It does not graphically convey a person’s relationship to God, or convey that one’s sense of greatest wellness may be when he or she has this relationship, and knows God intimately as the center and Lord of their lives. But it does include the emotional, mental, and spiritual dimensions and is useful in terms of “picturing the experience of personal wellness.” Hopefully at this point, and in the following discussion you will begin to see that the dimensions of wellness overlap onto each other.

“Wellness is a state of optimal well-being that is oriented toward maximizing an individual’s potential. This is a life-long process of moving towards enhancing your physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, and environmental well-being. These six dimensions highlight important components of wellness. Take time to explore your own level of wellness and see if you have gotten “your dose of wellness” today!


Wellness Resources:

Did You Get Your Dose?
Wellness Dimensions Definitions
Health and Happiness
Wellness Assessment:  “How Wellthy are You?”

Elements of Wellness

Like in the two examples cited above, models of wellness usually contain some or all of the following elements, and attempt to define them. The following are definitions and examples that we can refer to easily:

  • Social – relating with and contributing to one’s family, friendships, organizations, community, culture, etc.
  • Physical – staying active, learning about the body, healthy habits like nutrition, taking care of illnesses, handling stress
  • Emotional/Mental – being aware of one’s thoughts and feelings, finding balance, communicating in a healthy way
  • Spiritual – searching for meaning and purpose, knowing God, having faith, worshiping, praying, serving, loving
  • Occupational – deriving personal satisfaction/enriching other’s lives from one’s efforts, work, or labor broadly defined
  • Intellectual – creativity, engaging in mentally stimulating activities of interest, studying, hobbies, projects, goals
  • Environmental – living and working in healthy spaces, caring for nature, being responsible with natural resources
  • Financial – having basic needs met, assessing that one’s own financial status is positive, or objective measures of such

Where To Start?

Ultimately, many people identify the spiritual dimension as a turning point, or as the strongest foundation of their wellness. In terms of belief in a “higher power”, a relationship with a truly existing and personal God can transcend any circumstance, condition, or situation. Jesus Christ reportedly (in the writings of ancient historians, as well as in the Bible Gospels and letters of eye witnesses) claimed to be God, came to earth, lived, died, and rose from the dead to bring forgiveness, healing, hope, restoration, new life, eternal life…the ultimate in wellness. So the answer often given, is to start by knowing God, and making sure God is in the center of your life, not your Self–specifically, to determine who is Jesus Christ and who am I in relation to Him?

Engaging in personal or group study, prayer, worship or other spiritual activities influence all elements in a wellness model, and so these are always beneficial and even fundamental. God provided these as ways to love us and communicate with us; to outline how we are to relate with others, His creation, and the world; and generally for our growth, strength, encouragement, wisdom, joy, comfort, and peace.

See FaithandHealthConnection.org, an excellent website for wholistic health and wellness information from a Christian perspective, compiled by Dale Fletcher. Here is the text from the homepage:

“Welcome to Faith and Health Connectionfaith health woman

“There is a direct relationship or link between faith or spirituality and health. God made us with a spirit, soul and body and they work together in a marvelous way. This ministry was founded to teach people an integrated spirit, mind and body approach to wellness and living a healthy life, all based on Christian principles. I hope you’ll find resources that will help you grow deeper in your faith and to live a healthier life. Enjoy your time exploring here.”

What Is Wellness?

♥ Wellness is Well-Being

"Wellness means overall well-being. It incorporates the mental, emotional, physical, occupational, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of a person’s life. Each aspect of wellness can affect overall quality of life, so it is important to consider all aspects of health. "Wellness incorporates many dimensions of health. Dr. Sarah R. Linde-Freucht of the US Department of Health and Human Services stated that 'health relates broadly to how an individual functions in one’s life, the quality of one’s relationships, and how one adapts to change and copes with difficulties.' " (2008). 10 x 10 Wellness Campaign

The underlying concept of wellness is that it is holistic — wellness involves all aspects of a person, and their life, in relation to others and their lives, in their broadest social and physical environment, in relation to the world and ultimately, to God.  Don't be misled–wellness IS attainable for anyone, regardless of current or longstanding physical or mental illness, disability, or other perceived limitation. Wellness is about being who God created you to be, and living out your LifeStory.

♥ What does wellness mean to you?

♥ What aspects of your life would be important in maintaining your wellness?

♥ Can Wellness Be Measured?

Not exactly. It is after all, a man-made concept to define God-made things and aspects of life and living. It seems that the best measures of these would be devised by God and so would be found in the Bible. (check back for a new article coming soon containing helpful verses.) For example, the fruits of the Holy Spirit at work in one's life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23.) The Bible is often called the ultimate guide, dictionary and handbook when it comes to life. A good suggestion is to test everything related to life and "good living" with what is found in it, using a translation that is accurate and easy to understand. Regarding the measurement of wellness, there are descriptions that can help us determine if we are headed in the direction of "wellness" as a concept.

You will be your own best judge of whether you are working towards greater wellness on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly basis. Consider the following areas to focus on. (Note: The related concept of resiliency is useful. Check back for a future article on resiliency, which can be "measured" using methods developed by researchers.)

Click this link to www.DefinitionOfWellness.com for a nice visual model that is copyrighted, so cannot be produced here. It lists the following Ten Dimensions:

  1. Social Wellness
  2. Occupational Wellness
  3. Spiritual Wellness
  4. Physical Wellness
  5. Intellectual Wellness
  6. Emotional Wellness
  7. Environmental Wellness
  8. Financial Wellness
  9. Mental Wellness
  10. Medical Wellness

Other definitions of wellness include eight dimensions which are defined here.

♥ Defining Elements of Wellness

Dimensions of wellness overlap. Like the list above, models of wellness usually contain some or all of the following elements, and attempt to define them. The following are definitions and examples that we can refer to easily:

  • Social – relating with and contributing to one’s family, friendships, organizations, community, culture, etc.
  • Physical – staying active, learning about the body, healthy habits like nutrition, taking care of illnesses, handling stress
  • Emotional/Mental – being aware of one’s thoughts and feelings, finding balance, communicating in a healthy way
  • Spiritual – searching for meaning and purpose, knowing God, having faith, worshiping, praying, serving, loving
  • Occupational – deriving personal satisfaction/enriching other's lives from one’s efforts, work, or labor broadly defined
  • Intellectual – creativity, engaging in mentally stimulating activities of interest, studying, hobbies, projects, goals
  • Environmental – living and working in healthy spaces, caring for nature, being responsible with natural resources
  • Financial – having basic needs met, assessing that one's own financial status is positive, or objective measures of such

♥ Where To Start?

Ultimately, many people identify the spiritual dimension as a turning point, or as the strongest foundation of their wellness. In terms of belief in a "higher power", a relationship with a truly existing and personal God can transcend any circumstance, condition, or situation. Jesus Christ reportedly (in the writings of ancient historians, as well as in the Bible Gospels and letters of eye witnesses) claimed to be God, came to earth, lived, died, and rose from the dead to bring forgiveness, healing, hope, restoration, new life, eternal life…the ultimate in wellness. So the answer often given, is to start by knowing God, and making sure God is in the center of your life, not your Self–specifically, to determine who is Jesus Christ and who am I in relation to Him? Engaging in personal or group study, prayer, worship or other spiritual activities influence all elements in a wellness model, and so these are always beneficial and even fundamental. God provided these as ways to love us and communicate with us; to outline how we are to relate with others, His creation, and the world; and generally for our growth, strength, encouragement, wisdom, joy, comfort, and peace. See FaithandHealthConnection.org, an excellent website for wholistic health and wellness information from a Christian perspective, compiled by Dale Fletcher. Here is the text from the homepage:

"Welcome to Faith and Health Connectionfaith health woman

"There is a direct relationship or link between faith or spirituality and health. God made us with a spirit, soul and body and they work together in a marvelous way. This ministry was founded to teach people an integrated spirit, mind and body approach to wellness and living a healthy life, all based on Christian principles. I hope you’ll find resources that will help you grow deeper in your faith and to live a healthier life. Enjoy your time exploring here."

Faith and Our Health

"Teaching Spiritual Truths for Health and Wholeness"

From FaithandHealthConnection.org, an excellent website for wholistic health and wellness information from a Biblical perspective, compiled by Christian life coach and trainer Dale Fletcher:

Welcome to Faith and Health Connectionfaith health woman

There is a direct relationship or link between faith or spirituality and health. God made us with a spirit, soul and body and they work together in a marvelous way. This ministry was founded to teach people an integrated spirit, mind and body approach to wellness and living a healthy life, all based on Christian principles. I hope you’ll find resources that will help you grow deeper in your faith and to live a healthier life. Enjoy your time exploring here. Please contact me if I can help you in any way.

For Health and Fitness Professionals

Roll up your sleeves and make an even bigger difference in the lives of the patients and clients you serve. Incorporate a spiritual component into your programming and patient care.  Use the Spiritual Fitness Assessment to open dialogue with your clients on matters of spirituality and health.  Join the online spirituality and health community. Most of all, spread the love of God by serving others and helping to make them whole.

For Pastors and Ministry Leaders

First and foremost, take care of your own health.  Learn more about the spirituality and health connection.  Whether your church is in the Charlotte, N.C. area or elsewhere, let me know if I can minister to your congregation by leading a workshop or church retreat.  See my beliefs and mission statement.

For Others

Better understand how the spirit, mind and body work together and learn how to integrate these three areas and your spirituality into your day-to-day life so you can enjoy better health. As you learn more about this connection between faith, spirituality and health, you’ll be able to live a life that better integrates these components. With the improved level of fitness, health and wholeness you’ll be able to live a more full life and perhaps be better able to live out the purpose God has for you. __________ “…Spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness. Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important for it promises a reward in both this life and the next. This is true and everyone should accept it.” 1 Timothy 4:7-9 (New Living Translation – First Edition)

For more about Christian life coach training, visit Christian Coach Institute. Dale is creating a program to train Faith and Health Ambassadors in the above principles. 

Stages of Recovery

Definitions and Models of Recovery

In the mental health field and programs adopted by various states, Recovery is defined as “the process of gaining control of one’s life, and the direction one wants that life to go, on the other side of an illness or trauma, and all of the losses associated with that experience.” A person moves from the Impact of the illness, crisis, or trauma, into a journey of recovery, conceptualized by Five Stages that represent how the person is currently relating to the sometimes debilitating aspects the illness, crisis or trauma.

The Stages of Recovery

  • Debilitating Aspects of Illness, Crisis or Trauma
  • Impact of the Illness, Crisis or Trauma
  • Life Seems Limited
  • A Spark of Hope
  • Change is Possible
  • Commitment to Change
  • Actions for Change

Hope is Essential

Hope is essential in moving from Impact or a belief that now one’s Life Seems Limited, to believing that indeed Change is Possible. That spark of hope can come from a variety of sources, including personal prayer, Bible study or a special scripture, encouraging words from a caring compassionate friend,  a book or article, a website, a support group, meetings with a pastor or counselor, education about the illness and treatments, other people’s testimonies, or glimpses of a new dream or mission in life.

In the context of the Stages of Recovery, Hope is defined as “the belief that one has both the ability and opportunity to engage in the recovery process.” Certainly, believers in Christ can do all things through Him who gives strength, and the same power which raised Jesus from the dead is at work in them. The Holy Spirit is living within them and counsels them, and the word of God in the Bible is living and active and powerful. There is not doubt that Christians have the ability and opportunity to embark on the road to recovery.

What Can Help?

  • Coaching
  • Peer Support
  • Belief Therapy
  • Biblical Counseling