Monthly Archives: August 2015

Self Discovery Can Lead to a Healthier You and Relationship

by Sheri E Ragland

Many individuals struggle with managing their happiness and well-being, while building a healthy relationship that incorporates the values and beliefs of the couple. It is very difficult to change a relationship for the better without consistently improving yourself. The heart of the matter is for you to take charge of your happiness by ensuring that your spiritual well-being is addressed as well. Also, journaling is a great way to help you manage your thoughts and ideas for reference later. Here are few things to consider on your journey to self-discovery:

Remember, you are responsible for your happiness. If you are not happy with yourself, figure out why. Of course, this step may take the assistance of a professional or counselor. Your happiness and joy are your responsibility. Therefore, you should not rely on someone else or material possessions to provide you with a false sense of happiness or temporary happiness. Such happiness is short-lived and leads to further indulgence of superficial wants to fill voids that can only come from you taking charge of your spiritual as well as your psychological and physical well-being. The fact of the matter is that you will look for other ways to fill the void, when the happiness is gone. On the other hand, joy is long-term and is based on a spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ. Joy is based on faith, hope, love and grace. These are a few of the characteristics of Jesus Christ. Romans 14:17 (ESV) states, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” And, Proverbs 17:22 (ESV) states, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Nehemiah 8:10 (ESV) states, “…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Therefore, joy is long-term happiness and preserves the heart for a healthy mind, spirit and body.

It takes a holistic approach to your overall well-being to make positive self-changes. You are a multi-dimensional entity that consists of the psychological, spiritual and physical components. In order to achieve balance, which can affect your happiness and joy, you need to address all three components. Individuals often address the physical before the emotional or psychological, while often neglecting the spiritual. Second, the spiritual component of your personhood deserves attention because it is the anchor for your physical and psychological components. I am a firm believer of exercising Christian values for spiritual growth, such as praying, studying the Bible and attending a faith-based church that teaches Biblical principles because it leads to positive change. Jeremiah 29:13 (ESV) states, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Scriptures can be found online or by downloading the free Holy Bible App. The short, daily plans in the Holy Bible App are beneficial and can address many questions you may have about your spiritual and psychological well-being, as well as your life. Attending a church that teaches the Bible in context will also help you to grow spiritually. Change begins with your thinking. Studying the Scriptures daily will change your thinking.

Get a journal and write your thoughts down daily. On my journey to self-discovery, I have found that writing my thoughts down daily in my personal journal to be very helpful. I like the fact that I can refer to them anytime. My father was a doctor, chaplain and author. Writing was his life. He passed along writing as a keepsake to me and many others. He encouraged his patients to journal their thoughts and feelings for reference. My dad thought it was the best way to monitor his patient’s mental, physical and spiritual health. He believed in a holistic approach to health. Therefore, journaling has become a daily practice for me. Journaling is beneficial to you for the three following reasons:

  1. It is an excellent way to monitor your feelings and thoughts about things, yourself, people and relationships for reference or self-correction.
  2. It is also great for jotting down creative ideas that can be of value later in your life.
  3. It is a way to release things that may bother you mentally.
  4. It enhances your memory.

Just to recap, it is important to take time for yourself to really understand your desires in life. You happiness and joy depends on your commitment to yourself. First, your journey of self-discovery can begin with taking charge of your happiness and joy. Second, a holistic approach to your well-being includes addressing the spiritual well-being. Spiritual growth will lead to positive mental change. Finally, journaling your thoughts and ideas are therapeutic. Your journal will become a great reference for managing your thinking and reflecting. These three strategies helped me to take charge of my happiness and joy, while managing my marriage. Healthy relationships are a result of healthier individuals contributing their best.

References

English Standard Version (ESV). 2001. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Nashville, TN: Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.