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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Living A Healthy Life Starts From What You Feed Your Mind





Living A Healthy Life Starts From What You Feed Your MindWe all have habits - good or bad. I'm sure majority would agree that it makes sense to invest in good ones! Some people, however, prefer to go for extreme fleshly or sensual pleasures not knowing these momentarily consume them. At start, they justify everything they do is for fun and then they would just find a way out, but not knowing this leads them to crave for more. Here where the big problems, sooner or later, will have to cut into one’s life. That person in the long run would find a hard way to break free from the bondage of unproductive habits.

When we say habits, good or bad, we refer to our common and daily practices in life, in public or in private.

No one can contest the fact that good habits bring better results into our lives. It's the society that actually attests to the remarkable benefits of investing our time in good habits. Reading good books (especially the Bible) is a good habit. Writing to enhance productivity and broaden our perspectives in different views of life is a good habit. Listening to thought-provoking conversation (the positive one) is a good habit. Watching TV programs, movies or documentaries that enhance our way of living is a good habit. 

A good habit is about feeding your mind the right way!

What you feed your mind creates 
your lifestyle

The society also defines bad habits. Anything that may hinder productivity and efficiency of the mind or the life of a person is a bad habit. To cite an instance, reading or watching er0tic or p0rn0graphic stories from books or internet with highly graphic and sensual theme is surely fun for many because it gives them certain level of arousal and personal bodily satisfaction. Most of these stories are extremely imaginative, departing from the reality. Some people have become unconscious about the adverse impacts these bring to them, especially on how they take a look at the meaning of life. Lent (1999, p.148) said, “Meaning is produced in a moment of reading and is inevitably configured by its context.” There is a certain level of risk associated with what kind of materials we come to interact with as it creates the kind of meaning we associate with life. If you feed your mind with sensual thoughts that come from what you read or watch, there would a tendency that your desire for sensuality moves forward to an upward spiral. If you read philosophical books, your view about life would possibly be intellectually motivated. If you read and apply Biblical principles, there would be a great chance you would adhere to the point of accepting what is essential and invisible to the eye, and so you would begin to live by faith and grow in God's wisdom - a very healthy lifestyle indeed!

Feeding our mind with worthless things creates bad strongholds

On the other hand, writing, at some point for some people may not be the best option to make their time productive. This activity requires high level of thinking, analysis and wide range of understanding of the various concepts, ideas and other relevant things around us. As a reality, not everyone has the ability or opportunity to develop this skill. Instead, there are many people who ended up in a gossip activity, talking about the life of others as their best option where they find a haven for themselves for more excitement. They love this as for them this is quite easy with fun, but they know little that their way of thinking and view about life have become poorer too. As they focused on others’ lives, they forgot to evaluate themselves and become self-righteous. As their lives become self-righteous, pride increases. When pride dominates over a person, it would be hard for that individual to listen to what is right. That being might find it uneasy to open the door to look for and accept a better perspective to change his/her way of life. To correct that person is a bit harder because not being teachable is tantamount to the presence of pride, the very stronghold of man, the unwillingness to give up his will!


Being oblivious to what we feed our mind leads us to our detriments

The advancement of technology increases the freedom of everyone to view whatever they want on the internet. This opens a wide freedom for everyone to accept a range of thoughts. I suspected that with the presence of high-tech communication gadgets that connect to a fast-speed internet connection the need for sexual pleasures also increase as both technological innovation and privacy co-existed (A 12-year old boy for instance nowadays will have a smartphone to connect to the internet. Then he could lock his room to ensure his privacy). To test this hypothesis, I tried to investigate the most popular words commonly looked for in the search engine. I was not taken by surprise to find out that the collective words are those highly associated with sexual pleasures.

For me, it is a normal thing to inquire things related with sεx, as this activity is an integral part of being human, a physiological input for the preservation of life. In the first place, God created sex for both man and woman, but was originally planned for the preservation of life of God-fearing people (what’s the purpose of man and woman after all?), and to be enjoyed as a form of recreation within the bound of the blessed matrimony. It makes sense that we should know many things about it. Although, I am not condemning those who cannot not wait or have not waited until marriage, but I still consider sεx as a bad habit when done outside the bound of marriage.

As early as 12 years old, young individuals could now be initiating sεx. This act, at their age can be quite addictive for them, which obstructs better opportunities such as excellent cognitive and emotional development. For these people, the time invested for having sεx should have been spent for the development of potential skills, talents or any other God-given gifts for the improvement of other aspects of life: social, emotional, physical, intellectual, financial and spiritual.

Sεx outside the bound of marriage also means having another third party, a solo sex, and other sexually explicit activities that one can possibly imagine. These are all potential bad habits as they become barriers to other good life's opportunities. Although they are highly associated with pleasures, and freedom to exercise free will, they always have corresponding consequences pertaining to social, emotional, physical (health), mental, financial and spiritual (I'm writing another article to justify my point on this).

Sexually transmitted diseases for instance are upshots of bad habits. In addition, addiction to sεx has broken many homes and marriages. As I also noticed, countries that are highly liberated when it comes to sεx have emancipated law concerning divorce, resulting to  broken marriages, lack of commitment and deficient in embracing full wave of responsibility. God only allows this to happen for us to learn that our ways are evil that they usually lead to destruction. God commanded us not to separate what He has joined together (Matthew 19:6), but we chose to follow our will. Now, we are reaping the consequences of our defiance to His law.

This is dangerous: What we feed our mind can be addictive, a recipe for our detriments

As clearly implied based on the above points, bad thoughts result to bad habits. We might have witnessed how bad habits led to addiction and potentially linked up with other chronic health problems. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that results to reduction of its level of activity in the presence of depression and cravings (Gracer, 2010, p.303). Because of this, it has become a major neurotransmitter playing a very important role in patients with problems in addiction (Addiction Science Research and Education Center, 2012). Addiction is considered a mental illness due to abnormal functioning of some neurotransmitters such as low level activity of dopamine. In addition, based on certain studies, low levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, noradrenaline and y-amino butyric acid (GABA) correlate with depression (Gandy, Madden & Holdsworth, 2011). Depression and addiction can be indicators of a person’s mental capacity and if it is going awry. Sadly, chronic health problems are also associated with these mental illnesses (Gandy, Madden & Holdsworth, 2011). 

It really pays to enrich our minds with good and positive thoughts that will lead to the development of positive habits and good health. We have the freedom to choose what we want in life, but God reminded us today that not everything permissible is actually beneficial, it would be healthy for us to seek not our own good, but the good of others (1 Corinthians 10:23-24), as what Jesus Christ exactly did. MORE ARTICLES HERE>>

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. - Romans 12:2

photo credit: Robert Couse-Baker via Flickr cc

References

Addiction Science Research and Education Center. (2012). Dopamine – A Sample Neurotransmitter. Retrieved from http://www.utexas.edu/research/asrec/dopamine.html

Gandy, J. W., Madden, A., & Holdsworth, M. (2011). Oxford Handbook of Nutrition and Dietetics (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Gracer, R. I. (2010). A New Prescription for Addiction. San Ramon, CA: Gracer Medical Group.

Lent, J. A. (1999). Themes and Issues in Asian Cartooning: Cute, Cheap, Mad and Sexy. Wisconsin: Popular Press.
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