Did you know that you can live with a sense of peace and enjoyment in life regardless of what’s going on around you, whether good or bad?
Psalm 32:12-14 says, “Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” (NIV, emphasis mine)
Would you like to love and enjoy your life?
I imagine you probably answered yes to this question. I think we all would agree that it would be nice to be able to love and enjoy our lives, regardless of our circumstances. I love these verses in Psalm 32 because they are telling me that it is possible for me to love and enjoy my life and the way to do that is summed up by seeking peace and pursuing it.
From a Christian counselor’s point of view, I relate this to emotional health. In fact, one of the definitions for emotional health is “the ability to enjoy life despite disappointments and frustrations.” Scripture encourages me that this is possible, but in order to achieve this I must seek peace and pursue peace. In other words, I must make it a priority and take action toward it.
What does it mean to seek peace?
Usually, when we think of peace we think of it in terms of relationship with others. While that is good and beneficial, that’s not the only relationship it applies to. I believe “seeking peace” also applies to seeking peace within ourselves (inner peace/peace of mind/emotional stability). And I’d argue that while seeking peace within ourselves may not be more important than seeking peace with others, it does need to come first if we want to have genuine, consistent, and long-lasting peace with others.
“A relationship can only be as healthy as the least healthy person in it.”
– Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott
The truth is, most people tend to more or less neglect the relationship they have with themselves. This can occur for various reasons, but a common culprit is guilt or fear of being selfish for doing something for yourself. The problem with this is that it can lead to an unbalanced life which can quickly lead to doing more harm than good. What happens is we end up giving most or all of ourselves to others and then become completely stressed out, burned out, and depleted. Maybe and often even physically sick. Then what happens? We are at our wits end and we start either lashing out or withdrawing from others. Once we reach this point, we are much less able to do good for others or be there for them if they need us.
This is why I believe one of THE BEST things you can do for your family/relationships is prioritize your emotional health.
What does it mean to pursue peace?
So how do we pursue peace and get to a place where we are able to love and enjoy our lives even in the presence of negative circumstances? It starts with understanding that it’s okay to put time and effort into developing a positive relationship with yourself. (If you are not sure where you stand, start taking note of the little things you say to yourself. What’s the nature of the unexpected thoughts that pop into your mind about yourself? Is it easy for you to allow grace for yourself when you make a mistake? Based on these observations would you say you like yourself?)
Then you need to take action by prioritizing your emotional health.
10 Tips To Becoming An Emotionally Healthy Person
If you want to have healthy relationships AND you want to learn to love and enjoy your life, it is essential that you prioritize your own emotional health.
To help you get started, here are 10 tips to becoming an emotionally healthy person. Review this list and consider what you are already doing well and what you believe you could improve on or add into your life. Then, take action.
- Learn to manage your thoughts
- Cultivate an attitude of gratitude
- Focus on what you can control, not what you can’t control
- Realize you can choose your response
- Find meaning and purpose in loss, trauma, and disappointments
- Take time to rest and relax regularly
- Sleep 7-8 hours per night
- Eat healthy
- Exercise at least 3 times per week for 30 min.
- Know when to seek help (books, resources, friends/family, counselor)
Please feel free to contact me if I can help you in anyway, whether that be sharing some more helpful resources targeted to your needs/interests or scheduling an appointment to more actively help you achieve your goals.
As another resource, I am starting a brand new women’s group called “Becoming An Emotionally Strong and Healthy Person.” If you want to learn more, send me a quick message with your name and email and I’ll send you some more information. (For the benefit of the group, space is limited so be sure to let me know if you are interested.)