TThe Nurse Perspective: How are you doing? Part two
When I thought I had concluded my writing the other day, for some reason I knew I had more to write. This morning as I picked out a book to read for my devotions, I was made acutely aware I had not finished my message. I still want to know how you are doing, but there is something I failed to do if you perhaps had an answer to my query.
The book I picked from my library shelf, Mental and Emotional Health by Dr. Julian Melgosa, dean of the School of Education and Psychology at Walla Walla University, is the piece I needed to support my ideas about mental and emotional wellbeing. Dr. Melgosa reminds us of biblical characters who experienced all kinds of adversities, including personal losses, even death. Yes, Job comes to mind, but so many others also had tribulaions and trials, Queen Esther, Ruth, Naomi, Stephen, Mary, the mother of Jesus, and most of all Jesus Himself. Dr. Melgosa writes that the Bible permits us an exclusive look at the emotions Jesus experienced in His short life on this earth. Jesus was known for His compassion and love for others. Remember His feeding the multitudes who came to hear Him preach, or when He healed the lame, the blind, and those affected by severe mental maladies. Jesus was not sent here to heal our physical or mental disabilities, but out of His compassion for mankind, He healed as He continued to carry out His Mission.
Emotions are necessary to our mental and physical health. Some are good emotions and some can be acutely bad. There is no doubt, and scientific data supports it, emotions affect our physical health. Emotions affect and effect changes in and to our whole body, changes that can be either positive or negative. For example, receiving bad news can cause an upset of your gastrointestinal system, i.e., stomach ache, diarrhea, nausea; or the nervous system, anxiety or increased anxiousness, headaches, uncontrollable trembling. In my practice, I treated patients who had been in auto accidents who experiened panic attacks, the fear of getting behind the wheel of a car again, had completely immobilized them. These are just a few examples of how negative emotions affect us.
On the other hand, positive emotions of love, compassion, kindness, gentleness, patience, and a humble spirit (Galatians 5), increase our overall sense of wellbeing, improves our view of the space we occupy in this world, and brings us to a closer relationship with God. Who doesn't want this, I ask?
Of most importance to achieving optimal men tal and emotional health is a thing called resilience. My daughter, a social worker, used to conduct trainings called Trauma Informed Care and one topic was devoted to Resiliency. The classes were especially designed for foster parents, teachers and others responsible for the care of children. I attended her classes and learned things about myself I had never given much thought. I discovered that throughout my life, frought with many adversities, I am a resilent woman, but more than that, my connection with God and my reliance on Him strengthened me and made me resilient.
If you want to know how you are doing in the midst of this increasingly chaotic world, do a self-evaluation and decide what it is you need to stay the course. Determine what things will contribute to obtaining and maintaining optimal emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing. Find that peace inside this mad, mad world.
You pray for me as I pray for you,
I love you,
Donna from The Nurse Perspective