10 Resolutions for a Year of Better Mental Health

10 Resolutions for a Year of Better Mental Health

Possibilities fill the beginning of the New Year, and resolutions help us make the best of the next 365 days. As we make our resolutions sometimes our minds swirl with worry and dread and our plans feel overwhelming and impossible. We start to think more about our fears and shortcomings than our potential. Quickly our mental health deteriorates, and anxiety takes hold. What we think about determines how we live: in freedom or chains of dread and apprehension.

Good mental health, according to World Health Organization, is described as a state of well-being where we understand what we can do, we have the ability to cope with normal stresses of life, and we contribute to the people around us. This description shows that with good mental health we can be what God has made us to be.

The apostle Paul also knew what we think about determines how we live and feel. The apostle urged the Colossian followers, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3:2 NIV) Worries and concerns of the world weigh us down and cloud our mind. Thinking of things from above, instead, keeps our mind at peace.

This year let’s set our mind on the things above and make resolutions for a year of better mental health. Here are 10 resolutions to consider for the new year.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock/AntonioGuillem

  • 1. Take Every Thought Captive.

    1. Take Every Thought Captive.

    Slide 1 of 10

    One of the most important resolutions for better mental health this year is taking every thought captive, making them obedient to the mind of Christ.

    We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV)

    What we think about determines how we live. If we focus on worry and concerns, we will be anxious and depressed, but if we think about godly things, we discover peace.

    Photo Credit: Thinkstock/Tinnakorn Jorruang

  • 2. Let Go and Let God.

    2. Let Go and Let God.

    Slide 2 of 10

    A large part of our worry and anxiety comes from trying to control our plans and their outcome. What if we let go of our plans and trust God to work out His plans? His plans for us are far better than anything we can imagine, and He always has the ability to carry them out.

    Through the prophet Jeremiah, God reminds us, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

    For better mental health in the coming year, let’s surrender our plans and allow God to produce the outcome.

    Photo Credit: Thinkstock/digitalskillet

  • 3. Count Your Blessings.

    3. Count Your Blessings.

    Slide 3 of 10

    When worries and concerns get us down, let’s take a moment to remember God’s blessings. Let’s remember how He has provided in big ways and in the everyday small ways He shows care and compassion. Everything we have comes from Him, so we have many blessings to count.

    Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17 NIV)

    For better mental health, this year resolve to daily count the ways God is good, large and small.

    Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the LORD.”  (Psalm 107:43 NIV)

    Photo Credit: Thinkstock/XiXinXing

     

  • 4. Turn Off and Tune Out.

    4. Turn Off and Tune Out.

    Slide 4 of 10

    We spend countless hours staring at our phone, tablet, or computer. Although social media pretends to keep us connected and in the know, it does not. Instead, according to many studies like this one, participating in too much screen time triggers more sadness and less well-being. Excessive screen time changes the way people think and affects mental health. 

    Again, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:2 NIV)

    To encourage better mental health in the coming year, add a resolution to limit screen time and add more face-to-face time.

    Photo Credit: Thinkstock/Photosjulief514

  • 5. Take Care of Your body and You Take Care of Your Mind.

    5. Take Care of Your body and You Take Care of Your Mind.

    Slide 5 of 10

    Taking care of our bodies glorifies God. Consider Paul’s admonition to the Corinthian followers: “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV)

    God made our bodies and minds connected. If your physical health is good, we tend to have better mental health. On the flipside, if our minds are not healthy, our bodies soon follow. This year let’s resolve to take care of our body and better mental health will follow.

    ...you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:20 ESV)

    Photo Credit: Unsplash/Lindsay Henwood

     

  • 6. Spend More Time Outside.

    6. Spend More Time Outside.

    Slide 6 of 10

    Studies show that being outside in God’s creation is good for mental health. A walk around the block for as little as 10 minutes can guard against depression and anxiety. When we step outside, we are among God’s creation surrounded by what He made for us.

    In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.” (Psalm 95:4-5 NIV) 

    Let’s add an item to the resolution list that takes us outside to enjoy God’s creation.

    Photo Credit: Unsplash/Eberhard Grossgasteiger

  • 7. Serve Others.

    7. Serve Others.

    Slide 7 of 10

    Jesus came to serve not be served, and as followers, we are commanded to do the same. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12 NIV)

    Research says that serving others improves mental health. Sharing our time and resources with others also reduces stress and improves happiness. Plus, the more you give, the more God returns.

    Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.” (Proverbs 19:17 NIV)

    The new year is a perfect opportunity to add serving others to our list of resolutions for improving mental health.

    Photo Credit: Thinkstock/Highwaystarz Photography

  • 8. Write God’s Word on your Heart.

    8. Write God’s Word on your Heart.

    Slide 8 of 10

    Doctors know that memorization and regular learning allows the brain to never stop changing and growing. So, by memorizing scriptures, we improve our mind and please God.

    Psalm 1 describes the man who is blessed. He avoids sinners and his “delight is in the law of the LORD.” (Psalm 1:3 NIV) Ultimately, writing God’s Word on our heart helps us avoid sin. “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11 NIV) This year let’s set our minds on the benefits of memorizing scripture and pleasing God.

    Photo Credit: Thinkstock/Imabase

  • 9. Watch What You Say (To Yourself).

    9. Watch What You Say (To Yourself).

    Slide 9 of 10

    King David often talked to himself. Many psalms written by David are words he spoke to his soul. “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?” (Psalm 42:5 NIV)

    Everyone participates in self-talk. However, the words we speak to ourselves can hurt or help our mental health. Speaking unkind words to ourselves stick and damages our self-esteem. Instead, in 2019 let’s promise to speak kindness and love to ourselves.

    Photo Credit: Thinkstock/tommaso79

  • 10. Remember Who You Are.

    10. Remember Who You Are.

    Slide 10 of 10

    The world often tells us we are not enough. If we believe this, our self-esteem and mental health suffer. We are not defined by the world but by God. 

    We are fearfully and wonderfully made. “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 130:14 NIV) 

    God makes us perfect and more than enough. “For we are God’s handiwork...” (Ephesians 2:20 NIV) Finally, in the next year, let’s resolve to know and truly believe that we are children of God. That is what we are.

    Good mental health allows us to be who we are created to be, to know our capabilities, to find joy and peace in the midst of turmoil and love others as God loves us. In this new year, ask God to show you His will for your list of resolutions. Making a list that includes God’s will always leads to peace and a happier state of mind.

    Tamela Turbeville is a redeemed daughter and her desire is for every woman with a difficult past to know they are loved. She is wife to Richard, and mother to three grown sons and one beautiful daughter-in-law. When doing what she loves most-- studying God’s Word, reading and writing--she is surrounded by her six rescue dogs on the floor of her tiny office in south Arkansas. She began Living One Word to write and share how God loves the unlovable and you can read more about Tamela, her journey, and her family at www.livingoneword.com, on Facebook, and Instagram.

    Photo Credit: Unsplash/Paola Aguilar