As I continue to process the events of the last couple of weeks I am so grateful I have a routine in place that keeps me grounded, focused and provides me with mental energy. The devil loves to attack our mental being when we are in a vulnerable state. There have been times over the past several days where the devil has tried to get me to sit on the pity pot and get depressed. That may have worked years ago but today I chuckle when the devil starts messing with me.
I know today that I can feel anger, saddness, discouragment, fear and unbelief but I do not need to allow these feelings to paralyze me or force me to act out like they used to years ago. Back when I was learning how to live the “right way” with my addiction problem I was told I had a thinking problem and there were ways to prevent the thinking problem from igniting my addiction problem which in term became a mental problem. In essence I had to build “mental toughness.”
As human beings we all have a mental, physical and spiritual part of our “being.” If we slack in nurturing any of these three parts then the others suffer. Although I do things everyday to flex my “mental muscles” like reading, practicing positive self talk and interacting with other positive people I have found that if I’m not flexing my spiritual and physical muscles I begin to get weak mentally. I’ve often thought that Jesus’ mental toughness could be attributed to the fact he was always preaching, teaching, healing, praying and walking. He flexed his his spiritual and physical muscles early and often.
As I’ve shared many times, I spend about 1 hour every morning working my “spiritual muscles” through prayer, meditation, scripture and journaling and then I head to the gym or swimming pool for an hour workout in order to work my “physical muscles.” These two practices in turn help me strenthen my “mental muscles” which turns into a “mental toughness” that allows me to not just survive, but to thrive in my various responsibilities throughout the day even during this difficult time.
If you are someone who struggles with a thinking problem and often find yourself getting on the pity pot more than you would like, try starting your day by flexing your spiritual and physical muscles. Start by doing a little bit at a time. I started my routine over 20 years ago with about 5 minutes of daily prayer coupled with 30 minutes of exercise 3 times a week. There is nothing wrong with crawling before you walk. There are only 2 steps in making this a process a daily routine…start and continue.