It was a wonderful Saturday. I was able to sleep in and had nowhere to go. A nice run would get the blood flowing and clear my mind. Unwinding from the cares of the week was just what I needed. It was a beautiful day and the route was planned.

A friend had given me an eBook. Excited at its content, I plugged in my earbuds, laced up my shoes, and set off to enjoy an hour of the great outdoors. What could be better?

About halfway into my adventure, the content of the book got heavy and it touched a nerve in me. The weight of sadness snuck up and turned into tears. Slowing to a walk, I wept not really understanding all that was behind it. Quite a distance from home, I wanted to run again but there was no way to do it.

It surprised me that I could not run but my body, mind, and spirit are inextricably connected. The mental battle going on was too much. These thoughts gathered steam and affected my joy. The dominoes were falling simply from a few carefully chosen words in an eBook.


Downward Spiral

Our mind and body are connected.


One cannot function well without the other.

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Have you ever heard tragic news and felt yourself go weak? Have you ever been so sad you forget to eat? Have the concerns of the day kept you up at night? All of these are examples in how our mental health affects our body. The thoughts we entertain in our minds directly affect how our body feels. Many of us are going through life over-stressed and physically exhausted. It’s argued our mental health struggles can be the root of disease if we aren’t dealing with them appropriately.

On the flip side, a weak body causes us to have negative thoughts. My battle with depression was primarily due to my poor diet. The highs and lows caused by a caffeinated, sugary, high strung existence compelled me to come up with coping mechanisms which were mentally unhealthy. Worry, fear, negative thinking, and drawing pessimistic conclusions were fed by a body which felt tired, stressed, and agitated.


Our mind and our spirit are connected.


One cannot function well without the other.

Sad Mind Spirit.jpeg

When our mind is fighting to stay positive, our thoughts of hope, love, joy, and gratitude begin to waver. The negative thoughts can become a tsunami in our mind causing it to invade our spirit and become even more destructive. A small internal struggle paints our entire life with a broad black brush. The co-worker who drops the ball, causes you to lose hope that you’ll ever like your job again.

And our spirit affects our mind. A loss of hope brings down our ability to stay positive. When we’ve tried and failed, it’s hard to see the lessons to be learned, the increased effort it will take, or how others could help us reach our goal. We want to just turn, walk away, and forget we ever wanted to succeed. Hope is a tangible ingredient which helps focus our minds in a positive direction.


Our spirit and body are connected.


One cannot function well without the other.

Sad Spirit Body.jpeg

When we lose hope our bodies become exhausted. Without something to look forward to, our energy level wanes, we walk with slumped shoulders, and feel tired. Without something to live for, we don’t see the reason to care for our body. And a loss of love can cause us to lose sleep, overeat, or be lethargic.

And our unhealthy body can cause our spiritual health to be compromised. Without movement, both our bodies and minds become sluggish. It’s difficult to see anything to be joyful about. Physical illness causes us to focus on ourselves instead of others. And a lack of sleep can skew our thoughts into a tangled mess.


Upward Spiral

But more importantly than how our body, mind, and spirit can’t function without each other, think about how they CAN!

 Our mind can affect our body positively.

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A healthy mind impacts our body.

·        People have been known to move incredibly heavy objects to save a child.

·        Many use inspirational sayings, books, songs, and affirmations to accomplish athletic and other goals.

·        What we say in our minds about our body affects how we act, hold ourselves, and take care of it.

A healthy body impacts our mind.

·        When we feel physically fit, we’re more resilient to mental and emotional stresses.

·        When we’re well rested, we are able to be self-disciplined.

·        Exercise builds a strong work ethic.


Our spirit can affect our mind positively.

Happy Spirit Mind.jpeg

A healthy spirit impacts our mind.

·        Love is an important motivator. When we’re in love, everything else in life seems rosy.  

·        Hope brings about change. When we are hopeful things will work out for the best, we can endure the struggle.

·        When we chose to be joyful, the positive feelings come.

·        Having faith in a positive eventual outcome allows us to be emotionally strong.

·        Gratefulness puts a smile on our face, peace in our heart and allows us to see beyond ourselves.

·        When we see meaning in our lives, we understand the journey and look forward to our next step.

·        Living our life purpose causes us to stay positive regardless of setbacks.

A healthy mind impacts our spirit.

·        Positive self-talk helps us to be hopeful both in ourselves and others.

·        Using our words properly shows both ourselves and others respect. This respect is carried out in love.

·        When we know how to delay gratification, we are practicing faith both in ourselves and the final outcome.


And our body can affect our spirit positively.

Happy Spirit Body.jpeg

A healthy body impacts our spirit.

·        Our body is the house we live in every day of our lives. When it’s cared for properly, it functions well and can be used for the common good.

·        A healthy body causes our energy level to be high so we’re able to do for others in addition to ourselves.

·        Strength, flexibility, and resilience all have spiritual parallels. When we’re well rested, fed, and moving, we are less likely to focus on our own ailments and give to others.

A healthy spirit impacts our body.

·        When we believe in our worth, we hold our head high and have a smile on our face.

·        When we have a life purpose, we’ll do whatever it takes to fulfill it. Time passes quickly as we engage in our passion and we do not become exhausted.

·        When we fall in love, we are happy and relaxed.


Each of these three elements of our life; body, mind, and spirit, are connected to one other. The health of each will either cause an upward or downward spiral in our lives. When I was on my run and my mental health needed a boost, I had a strong healthy body to rely on. Then I focused on spiritual principles to expand my perspective beyond my current sadness. It got me back on track.

We all have the strength to get through any physical, mental, or spiritual problems. Tap into all parts of your beautiful nature to help. See physical problems as something which can be supported by a strong mind and spirit. See mental health problems as something that can be supported by a strong body and spirit. And see spiritual problems as something that can be supported by a strong body and mind.

It’s as easy as 1 – 2 – 3