Life Flows from Him
My Dear Youth:
I greet you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and ask that his blessings, love and direction be upon you in abundance.
Processes of the mind
According to the WHO, there are more than 350 million people with depression in the world, but in reality, there are more because thousands and thousands do not recognize this disorder of the mind or seek help. Suffering from depression is substantially life altering. When this physical alteration is suffered, the individual experiences a persistent feeling of sadness for a time that can be more or less long.(1) Apart from depression, there are other alterations of the mind that can lead the individual to illness and death. Against this background we can better understand the words of the wise Solomon that he said: “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23. In other biblical versions instead of “mind” it says “heart,” but in reality both terms mean the same thing, so when we find a text where the heart is spoken we must understand that it is referring to the mind. Today, in our colloquial language, we also make the same use of the word “heart” to refer to our mind: “I love you with all my heart.” “What you told me stayed in my heart,” and so on.
Solomon understood in his time that the mind was the seat of thoughts, feelings, emotions, and intelligence, and that it had to be conscientiously guarded. He himself said: “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.” Proverbs 12:25. Perhaps he could not explicitly and scientifically explain the physical processes that occur in the brain, as neuroscience does today, but he did understand (by divine inspiration) that the attitudes and what the human being decides to harbor in his mind, conditions your life, and positively or negatively affects your health.
For example, today it is known that 60% to 90% of medical consultations have to do with toxic emotions, which are those negative thoughts and feelings that we decide to harbor in our minds. We are not negative because we are doing badly but we are doing badly because we are negative, in fact the Bible says that what is expected will happen to bad men (Proverbs 10:24) and on the contrary, to those who want something that is in accordance with God’s will, they will do well (Proverbs 10:24). Somehow, when we decide to harbor negative thoughts and feelings, we attract what we think; our life goes in the direction of our thoughts.
The Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy confirm it: “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7. Many thoughts make up the unwritten history of a single day; and these thoughts have much to do with the formation of character. Our thoughts are to be strictly guarded; for one impure thought makes a deep impression on the soul. An evil thought leaves an evil impress on the mind. If the thoughts are pure and holy, the man is better for having cherished them. By them the spiritual pulse is quickened, and the power for doing good is increased. And as one drop of rain prepares the way for another in moistening the earth, so one good thought prepares the way for another.”(2)
These words show us what was already known thousands of years ago, the words of the wise Solomon confirm it. The mind has power over the body and depending on the emotions and feelings that we decide to harbor, so will the quality of our health and our state of mind.
When a person is very worried and stressed, the body secretes cortisol, a hormone that is produced in the adrenal glands, found at the top of each kidney, and acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. If the levels of this hormone are balanced, the body will work well. But when its levels rise, the whole body suffers, favoring depression and anxiety, fear and sadness, apart from damaging the digestive system and the heart, among others. Anxiety and worries also affect the hippocampus in the brain, because there are many cortisol receptors in it, an area in charge of enhancing learning, memory, and regulating emotional states.(3)
We are all going to have to face difficult situations in life. The Lord Jesus taught us: “In the world you will have tribulation” John 16:33. But we can all receive the strength and power to face life’s problems with the help of Jesus. Someone said that all humans receive hard blows during our lives, but we add the suffering.
Let me explain myself better. Having moments of anger, being sad in some special situation, it is not that it is bad, we are all going to experience it because we live in a world ruled by the enemy and we have a sinful nature; Another very different thing is when we “decide” to settle in sadness, resentment, bitterness, melancholy, hopelessness, resentment, etc. And I say “we decide” because no one imposes or forces us to live under the tyranny of these feelings or emotions, we are the ones who make it possible to do so. These emotional states sustained over time intoxicate our mind, just as acidic pH foods intoxicate our body. The problem is that these emotions damage different organs, promote arrhythmias, raise blood glucose levels, kill neurons in the hippocampus and alter the immune system, leading to autoimmune diseases.
The well-known doctor Mario Alonso Puig, general and digestive system surgeon, member of the New York Academy of Sciences, and a scholar of the mind, affirms: “Today we know that self-confidence, enthusiasm, and illusion have the capacity to promote higher brain functions. The prefrontal area of the brain, the place where the most advanced thinking takes place, where our future is invented, where we value alternatives and strategies to solve problems and make decisions, is tremendously influenced by the limbic system, which is our emotional brain.”(3)
Psychoneuroimmunobiology is the science that studies the connection that exists between thought, speech, mentality and the physiology of the human being, continues Dr. Puig. “The thought and the word are a form of vital energy that has the capacity (and has been demonstrated in a sustainable way) to interact with the organism and produce very profound physical changes … It has been shown in various studies that a minute entertaining in a thought negative leaves the immune system in a delicate situation for six hours.”(4)
Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Spanish physician and scientist specialized in histology and pathological anatomy, awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1906, who discovered the role of the neuron in the brain, went so far as to affirm: “Every human being, if he wants to, can be the sculptor of his own brain.”(5)
These scientific discoveries only confirm what was already known by inspiration before science discovered it. The inspired pen reads: “The relationship between mind and body is very intimate. When one is affected, the other sympathizes. The condition of the mind affects the health of the physical system. If the mind is free and happy, by an awareness of doing well and a sense of satisfaction in making others happy, it creates a joy that will react on the whole system, producing better blood circulation and a toning of the whole body. God’s blessing is a healing power, and those who generously benefit others will feel that wonderful blessing both in their hearts and in their lives.”(6)
With God’s favor we can take care of our brain, our mind, which is the strength of our entire being. With the mind we praise God, we decide what we do, we make commitments, we elaborate thoughts that lift and inspire us, we pray, rejoice and enjoy the achievements we make, we are driven to help our neighbor and above all to love him; the mind is the source from which life springs. Today it is known that there are practices and habits that can help us keep it healthy and connected with God to use it according to his will, and that it becomes a blessing for us and those around us. Let’s look at some practical tips.
Cultivate correct eating and drinking habits: “The brain is the organ and instrument of the mind, and controls the whole body. In order for the other parts of the system to be healthy, the brain must be healthy. And in order for the brain to be healthy, the blood must be pure. If by correct habits of eating and drinking the blood is kept pure, the brain will be properly nourished.”(7)
Develop positive thoughts: “Disease is sometimes produced, and is often greatly aggravated, by the imagination. Many are lifelong invalids who might be well if they only thought so. Many imagine that every slight exposure will cause illness, and the evil effect is produced because it is expected. Many die from disease, the cause of which is wholly imaginary.”(8)
Practice physical exercise: “Physical exercise stimulates neurotransmitters that improve your mood such as serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, endorphins and others … Exercise is the action that can have the most impact on your brain and your mood.” (9) “Anything that promotes physical health, promotes the development of a strong mind and a balanced character.”(10)
Placing yourself in harmony with God’s law: “The consciousness of rightdoing is the best medicine for diseased bodies and minds. The special blessing of God resting upon the receiver is health and strength. A person whose mind is quiet and satisfied in God is in the pathway to health.”(11)
May the Lord help us to take care of our mind because it is the source of life, through which we embrace faith, we praise God, and we love Him, and we also relate to our neighbor and love him. God bless you.
José Vicente Giner
Pastor and Leader of the Youth Department
of the General Conference
- How would you define what the mind is?
- What are the most important functions of the mind?
- Name some habits that enhance its effectiveness