Aligning Your Faith and Mental Health—Why It Matters
Posted by Soribel Martínez, LCSW
Mental health tends to be a hot topic of conversation these days and for good reason.
People are struggling.
We’re living in an exceedingly busy society. We’re still dealing with the effects of a pandemic. Many people are out of work. Others are struggling with illness. Some are experiencing extreme loneliness for the first time in their lives.
When you have faith and believe in a higher power, you already know you can get through those challenges. But, that doesn’t mean your mental health is immune to suffering.
By aligning your faith and mental health, they can support each other and get you through the most difficult of seasons.
Let’s talk more about why that matters.
It’s Okay to Struggle
The Bible says “do not fear” over 300 times. We know who is in control and we know who will take our burdens when we cast them. So, it’s not uncommon for believers to feel guilty when they’re struggling with things like depression or anxiety.
But, it’s important not to pick and choose passages. When you do, you miss out on other important pieces that can help you get rid of that guilt.
Think about some of the most notable characters in scripture. Who are the people who were often chosen by God or Jesus to “stand out”? They were often extremely flawed individuals with a lot of different fears and hesitations.
That didn’t make them weak in the eyes of God. Instead, He used their flaws to help them turn to Him for strength and to get the help they needed to do His will. When you understand that it’s okay to struggle, you can allow yourself to seek the help you need, both through your faith and with a mental health professional.
Your Faith Will Secure Your Identity
Many people who deal with mental health conditions have a hard time finding meaning in life. That’s especially true if you’re struggling with depression and things seem hopeless.
When you take a faith-based approach to your mental health, you don’t have to struggle with those thoughts. You already know your identity in Christ. If you let that serve as your foundation as you work through mental health issues, it can make it easier to keep moving forward without feeling helpless.
Your identity in Christ can also keep you from looking so far inward that you rely on your own strength and knowledge of self to make things better.
If you deal with anxiety, for example, you might struggle with truly understanding yourself. Because of the Gospel, you don’t have to worry about that.
You Have a Mission
Often, management techniques associated with mental wellness include things that will keep you busy, occupied, or even distracted.
When you have faith, you already know that the world is your mission field. You can manage your mental health on a daily basis by determining what it is you’re being called to do. That might include volunteering at a local homeless shelter or simply fellowshipping with others.
Having a purpose and knowing what that purpose is can greatly improve your mental well-being. Seek what that purpose is and remind yourself daily who it’s for.
If you’re struggling to connect your faith and mental health, you’re not alone. You don’t have to suffer in silence or confusion.
We all need reminders of who we are and what we can expect as believers. Feel free to contact me to set up an appointment. We’ll talk more about how to align your faith and mental health, and why leaning on your spirituality can make a big difference in your mental well-being.