Body, Mind, Spirit

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Body, Mind, Spirit | God created man. He didn’t create spirit, soul, and body separately and then somehow weave them together. In the scripture quote above, St. Paul refers to all three of these aspects as what makes us an entire person | #Friends #GrowingCharitytoUprootGreed #UprootGreed #GrowingCharity #TipsforConnection #GreaterPeaceJoyandfreedom #Joyfreedom #MargaretVasquezs #GrowingVirtue #ModelofHonesty #TipsforConnection #OpennesswithGod #KnowingGod #Body,Mind,Spirit #BodyMindSpirit #Body #Mind #SpiritBody, Mind, Spirit

God created man. He didn’t create spirit, soul, and body separately and then somehow weave them together. In the scripture quote above, St. Paul refers to all three of these aspects as what makes us an entire person. Because of the great expanse of knowledge regarding the different facets of the person, they have become artificially divvied up into distinct areas of study. The truth, however, is there is a continual interplay between them. Maximizing our pursuit of holiness also requires seeking wholeness, and vice versa. We are body, mind, and spirit. We can’t opt out of that fact. Spiritual balance and personal wellness require that we tend to all three of these aspects of our person.

The four main hormones that cause us to feel good are dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins. Dopamine is primarily associated with learning new information and accomplishing goals; oxytocin is associated with love, trust, and friendship; serotonin has to do with a sense of respect and importance; and endorphins are released when we push past our physical limits, as in a runner’s high – oh, and eating chocolate! Each of these speaks to God’s design – in his wisdom, he literally created us for cooperation, collaboration, and connection.

Cortisol is a stress hormone. It is released in times of fear and perceived threat. The release of this hormone shuts down the production of oxytocin, which we said above is necessary to foster trust, friendship, and love. Personal and interpersonal disconnection causes us to exude cortisol. That’s a fact of how we are made. This is all the more reason to respect boundaries and relate with compassion.  Otherwise, we’ll likely fuel stress in ourselves and those around us which will undermine our peace and relationships. Respect and compassion are crucial and perpetuate the cycle of connection from God, through self to others. This is critically important in every cell of our body and is an ongoing factor in every one of our relationships.

We are not at the mercy of our body’s use of hormones to keep us on guard.  The practice of contemplative prayer has been shown to decrease cortisol18. With less cortisol in our bodies, we are more inclined to calmness, compassion, and collaboration, because oxytocin is not reduced. Through such peaceful and loving interaction, mutual respect fosters serotonin because it offers us a sense of importance. We are able to accomplish more, since we are all different members of the body of Christ with varying gifts and skills working together to build the kingdom of God. Thus, the release of dopamine is bolstered. We may even push past our normal physical limits since our interactions are fueling our positive mood and so we receive an endorphin rush. God’s design is beautiful. It starts with plugging in through receiving his love in prayer.

      There are many facets to wellness for our body, mind, and spirit, and needs vary from person to person, yet some things are consistent. Physically we need good nutrition, hydration, exercise, and sleep. To have a healthy mind, we need to take on the mind of the Lord in all things. To be healthy and grow spiritually we need to be rooted in God’s love and truth. We do well to consider in what areas the Lord is calling us to greater health and discipline in each one of these areas; that way we are moving towards ever-greater holiness and wholeness. This is a much more peaceful and effective way to live rather than only seeking solutions when problems arise.

May the Lord give you peace!

Margaret

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