The Life Foundations Nexus
THE MENTALLY HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
Maintaining Good Mental Health
By Dr. Michael J. Bisconti
The Lord directs us to make the maintenance of good mental health a part of our lives.
No plan for a mentally healthy lifestyle is guaranteed to maintain good mental health. The reason is that such plans cannot possibly take into consideration all of the variables in the lives of everyone who follows such plans. These variables include how mentally healthy a person is or is not, the effects of age, needs determined by gender, how well the person follows the plan, etc., etc. However, following a mentally healthy lifestyle plan will increase the likelihood of maintaining good mental health. On the other hand, if God promises you that following a mentally healthy lifestyle plan will result in the maintenance of good mental health, then it will.
God promises us mental health if we do our part. II Timothy 1:7 says:
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
God has given us the spirit, the Holy Spirit, of a sound mind but God will only give us mental soundness (mental health) if we meet certain conditions. You will find some of these conditions in the following plan for a mentally sound (healthy) lifestyle.
This web page is for everyone.
One of the guiding principles of this plan is to keep things as simple as possible. This plan is as brief as possible.
Another guiding principle is that a mentally sound (healthy) lifestyle plan can always be improved. Therefore, this plan will constantly be updated. Many sources of information have been and continue to be consulted and new sources are continually being added. Some key sources of information are listed at the end of this web page. All but one are websites. If you cannot access a given website, let us know. We do not necessarily endorse everything on these websites.
The number attached to each item rates its value with respect to maintaining mental soundness (health). The rating scale is from 1 to 10. “1” indicates least value. “10” indicates greatest value. As more information is obtained, the rating of an item may change. Please note that a rating lower than 10 still means that you should be concerned about the rated item. Also, the ratings of items we know will never change appear in white on a black background.
Ask God to show you how to maintain mental soundness (health). God is greater than any mentally sound (healthy) lifestyle plan.
Definition of Mental Health (rated 10)
Mental health is mental soundness.
Signs of Mental Soundness (Health) (rated 10)
A mentally sound (healthy) person does not try to harm themself and does not try to harm others except, if necessary, in self-defense and/or the defense of others.
Fulfill your responsibilities. Your mental soundness (health) is influenced by your moral soundness. An unrighteous person does not have the mental health that a righteous person has.
Physical Health (rated 10)
Follow our “Healthy Lifestyle Plan” (see our Health page). Good physical health means good brain health. Note that we said “good brain health” and not “good mental health.” Mental health is not brain health. Brain health is sometimes necessary in order for a person to have mental health. Sometimes it is not necessary. For example, a person can have a brain tumor that causes partial vision loss. This particular lack of brain health cannot affect one’s mental health. Therefore, one can lack brain health and still have mental health.
Maintain adequate levels of the brain fuel glucose by eating often enough. Poor concentration and low energy levels can be a sign that it's been too long since your last meal. Folate (folic acid), vitamin B-12 and vitamin E are nutrients to investigate with regard to brain health.
· Leafy dark green vegetables
· Legumes (dried beans and peas)
· Citrus fruits and juices (orange, lemon, etc.)
· Most berries
· Wheat bread is better than white bread.
Vitamin B-12 sources:
· Dairy products
· Fortified cereals
Vitamin E sources:
· Soybean and its oil
· Safflower and its oil
· Corn and its oil
· Sunflower seeds
· Whole grains
· Wheat germ
· Leafy vegetables (Contain an appreciable amount of Vitamin E.)
Chastity (rated 10)
Read our Chastity page. Your mental soundness (health) is influenced by your moral soundness. An unrighteous person does not have the mental health that a righteous person has.
Knowledge (rated 10)
Only knowledge that prepares one to have sound beliefs is necessary for mental soundness (health).
Sound Beliefs (rated 10)
Sound beliefs are the nutrition of the mind. Here are a few sound beliefs a person must not reject if they are to have mental soundness (health):
Fundamental (Intuitive) Beliefs
· An idea is not a physical object.
· A physical object is not an idea.
· A thought is not a sentence.
· A sentence is not a thought.
· A mental image is not a physical object.
· A physical object is not a mental image.
· The mind is not a physical thing.
· Emotions are not physical things.
· Emotions are invisible.
· The mind is invisible.
· The idea of the mind is not the mind.
· The mind is not an idea.
· Knowledge is invisible.
· Beliefs are invisible.
· The soul is invisible.
· Emotions occur in the soul.
· Emotions do not occur in the body.
· Emotions affect the body.
· The mind is not the brain.
· The brain is not the mind.
Progressive (Rational) Beliefs
· Pleasure is better than pain.
· Pleasure is better than numbness.
· Numbness is better than pain.
· Good is better than evil.
· Love is good.
· Hatred is evil.
· Wealth is better than poverty.
· It is good to plan ahead.
Advanced (Moral) Beliefs
· God exists.
· God is invisible.
· God rules the universe.
· God rules the world.
· God holds people accountable for their actions.
· Murder is a sin.
· Adultery is a sin.
· Stealing is a sin.
· Laziness is a sin.
Sound Beliefs (Spiritual) (rated 9)
Spiritual beliefs promote mental soundness (health) but they are not indispensable to mental soundness (health). Here are a few:
· God loves people.
· Every person has the opportunity to be granted a place in heaven.
· It is good to love God.