Family: Marriage & Parenting, Home Education, Spiritual

Spring Into Healthy Living by Taming the Tongue

Ah, spring. The hope of new life, a breath of fresh air, the promise of sun and longer days. We throw open the windows, letting the crisp breeze clear out the stagnant breath of winter. With this series, we examine every area of our lives where we need freshness, detox, and change. This article is about detoxing our speech.

Sometimes our homes smell clean, our food tastes clean, but our mouths shoot poison. Have you ever found yourself saying things that you wonder about later? Maybe afterwards you had thoughts like these:  Where did that come from? I can’t believe I said that! He made me say that or, She pushed my buttons. With spring and its representation of newness emerging, it’s time to clean up our words.

Examining our beliefs

The first action to take is to consider our core beliefs about ourselves, our spouses, our children, and others. What does our self-talk consist of? Do any of these thoughts sound familiar?

  •         I’m so forgetful.
  •         I’m not a good homeschooler.
  •         I’m not a good mom.
  •         I’m messy and unorganized.
  •         I can never get it right.

Or, how about these?

  •         He would rather be at work.
  •         He doesn’t help enough.
  •         They are doing it on purpose to get a rise out of me.
  •         They are unmotivated and lazy.
  •         No one really cares.
  •         No one understands.

What we believe in our heart of hearts makes its appearance when we open our mouths. The first step toward changing what we say is to change what we believe.

Make a change

Fill your mind with truth about yourself and others

We change what we believe by refusing to listen to the lies we conjure up from our past, from our impressions of what others think, and from the whispers of Satan whose aim is to destroy you and your family. We need to do less listening to ourselves and more talking to ourselves. Lies must be countered with truth. Those negative statements must be turned into positive ones. Most importantly, we must open our Bibles and fill our minds with the Word of God, otherwise we may become victims of worse lies as described in Luke 11:25-26,

“On its return, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and dwell there. And the final plight of that man is worse than the first.”

Fill your mind with noble thoughts

In addition to countering lies with truth, especially the truth of what God says about you, we also need to change what we think about. Our thoughts impact our beliefs, which then impact our speech and actions. We can still experience the temptation to focus on negative events in our lives and the hurtful behaviors of others. Then we become discouraged, depressed, resentful, and frustrated and find ourselves right back where we were—believing lies. What if we focused instead on the positive? What if we lived out Philippians 4:8, which says,

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Imagine the transformation in your home if there were more loving, kind, praising words!

Examining our words

Does your mouth speak both blessing and cursing?

Now that we have addressed our thoughts and beliefs—the root of all behavior, including speech—let’s look at the words that come out of our mouths. Are we detoxing our speech even as we detox our thoughts? The words we say ought to improve if we are filling our minds with good things, but sometimes old habits linger. Sometimes we behave one way at church or with friends and another way with our loved ones. The book of James talks about this—out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing (James 3:10).

But, I don’t feel like building others up!

If we are to improve our relationships, our speech should encourage others, build them up, and point them to the right path. We know this, but sometimes we’re just having a bad day and it’s hard to build someone else up when we feel down. HERE are some ways to get back on track and gain perspective when you have a bad day homeschooling.

We also struggle to encourage and bless others when they have brought us emotional pain. We tend to take on an attitude of “you hurt me, so I’m going to punish you/hurt you/refuse to talk to you.” But, as this post reveals, that response only intensifies our pain. It doesn’t heal us.

During this season of renewal and cleansing, of repentance and transformation, let’s get back on track with the way we talk to each other. Let’s detox our speech!

CHIME IN: What are some ways you tame your tongue? Are there any go-to Scriptures or prayers you use? Share with us in the comments below!

This post is part of the Spring Into Healthy Living blog series. Check the other posts:


Julie Polanco is a 16+ years veteran homeschooling mom of four challenging, artsy kids. She is the author of two books for moms–God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn and 100 Ways to Motivate Kids–and the high school botany instructor for www.SchoolhouseTeachers.com. Julie has been featured in several publications and blogs, including Today’s Parent, Old Schoolhouse magazine, Some Assembly Required, Homeschooling with Heart blog, and Alternative Health Guide. She teaches live middle school science workshops for her local homeschool co-op and is actively involved in her church’s women’s ministry. You can find her at www.julienaturally.com where she offers natural learning & living solutions for challenging kids and their families. You can also find her on Facebook @julienaturally and Pinterest @julienaturally.

 

 

Holistic Health & Wellness

How to Spring Clean 3 Areas of Your Mental Health

Throughout this article we’re going is going to focus on how to spring clean your mental health. If you are like most people who take the time to clean and organize their home when the warm weather of spring comes around, than setting the intention to focus on our mental well-being can be a very similar, and equally as helpful, process.

Mental health is becoming less of a stigmatized topic in society, but there can still be a lack of understanding of the importance of maintaining our mental and emotional well-being. Let’s first be sure to understand the concept of mental health before moving forward, which, as mentalhealth.gov suggests “includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being”.

Mental health also relates to how we think, feel, and act and helps determine how we handle stress, interact with others, and make decisions. Our mental health holds importance at every stage of life, from childhood into adulthood and beyond. For this article, we’ll be exploring three key areas of our mental health including the mind, body, and soul.

As we explore, we’ll be looking at examples of how you can begin to spring clean your own mental health, and since we are all unique individuals, be sure to determine the strategies that work best for you and create your own steps to take in this process of organizing your emotional landscape.

Spring Clean Your Mind

The mind is a key component of our mental health, since our emotions are intertwined with our emotions and our thoughts. Take for example the last time you felt very stressed or anxious. Chances are your mind was racing with thoughts and you may have experienced an internal disorganization with a range of emotions such as frustration, sadness, and perhaps even anger.

Take the time right now to consider how you are feeling in this present moment. Write down any difficult thoughts or feelings you might be experiencing, and name these if possible. Being able to identify what’s happening inside can be an important step in working through these emotional disruptions.

It’s also important to remind yourself that everyone can experience moments when things aren’t okay inside. It’s normal to experience difficult emotions, or feel scattered in your thoughts. Also remember that things can be different and you can feel better.

Suggestions on how to spring clean your mind:

  • write down your thoughts and feelings and the impact that these concerns are having on your life at the moment
  • consider strategies of taking care of your mind,
  • create a support network and ask for help from trusted people in your life or a make an appointment with a professional

Additional reading: Depression Versus Sadness

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Spring Clean Your Body

Our physical health and body are also important aspects related to spring cleaning your mental health because of connection between our minds and our bodies, known as the mind-body connection.

The World Health Organization explains this phenomenon by stating that “health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. So what’s happening in our minds is just as important and interconnected to what’s happening in our bodies, as well as in our minds.

Consider your own physical well-being in this moment in the following areas as examples and rank them on a scale of 1-5 (1 is poor, 5 is great):

  • Nutrition
  • Hydration
  • Exercise
  • Sleep
  • Illness
  • Substance Use

Add up your total out of 30. The closer your number is to 30 means that you are taking pretty great care of your physical well-being, which can lead to a greater mind-body connection overall. Great job! Keep it up, and consider more ways you can take care of your body.

Worried about how well you’re currently taking care of your body and it’s needs? Consider ways of increasing your mind-body connection in small steps (eg. by drinking more water, creating a better sleep routine, or booking an appointment with your doctor).

Additional reading: 7 Ways Your Physical Health is Connected to Your Mental Health

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Spring Clean Your Soul

Finally, let’s consider ways of spring cleaning your soul. The definition of your soul can be your own and may include how you feel about yourself, the connection and relations you have with others in your life, or your spiritual beliefs and practices. However you define your soul, it’s important to be able to set the intention to regularly focus the needs of your soul and your self-care needs.

Some areas to consider when thinking of your own self-care and creating a routine that works for you are: eating habits, exercise, interests, social activities, relaxation, alone time, and moments of reflection. In fact, the list of self-care areas to consider can be endless, and it can be helpful to consider your own self-care needs and how to boost your own wellness routine.

Consider at least ONE self-care need right now and ONE activity that can help you to focus on treating yourself better and providing care for your soul. Some examples may include planning a walk with a friend, booking a massage or having a mindful moment to yourself.

Additional reading: The Anatomy of a Great Self-Care Routine

Well done! It can often be easier to focus on the needs of others or the responsibilities in our day rather than focusing on our mental well-being, so great job on being able to dedicate the time to taking care of yourself. If you would like to go more in-depth with this process of spring cleaning your mental health, join me for the free 4-week email challenge Spring Clean Your Mental Health starting March 20th!

In the meantime, snag a free self-love eBook filled with 21 days of ways to up the care and love for yourself!

 

CHIME IN: How do you gain clarity when it comes to mental health issues? Let us know in the comments below!

This post is part of the Spring Into Healthy Living blog series. Check the other posts:


Heather LeGuilloux is a therapist and mental health blogger who shares her knowledge, experience, and passion about mental health and wellness through her self-titled website www.heatherleguilloux.ca. Heather has an interest in helping people to understand themselves better in order to strengthen their emotional well-being as well as their relationship with others. Heather can also be found through Pinterest and Facebook.