Maintaining a balance of mind, body, and soul is necessary to live a happy and fulfilled life. All three are interconnected and, should a weakness or imbalance in one of these dimensions of life exist, it could be crippling to the others. For example, if you are suffering from severe emotional stress of the mind, it can cause high blood pressure and other illnesses in an otherwise healthy body. In a similar way, a physical illness or injury can cause depression in a usually healthy
One of the easiest ways to maintain physical and mental health is through proper nutrition and regular exercise. People who are able to make healthy diet and exercise choices tend to have more physical and mental energy. They sleep better and are often able to enjoy physical activity
and a happier, fulfilling life well into old age.
However, the time to give steady emphasis to nutrition and exercise is early in life. It is a known fact that over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled. Nearly one in three children in America is overweight or obese, increasing their risk for asthma, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep problems, depression, and bullying. Our children make up the first generation in history to grow up less healthy than their parents.
The time is now to take a “let’s move” approach for body and mind.
The soul is another important part of the equation, as it has a great impact on happiness and how
people tend to view the world around them. Many people acquire a balanced spiritual life
through religious practices and regular participation in religious services. Spiritual happiness can
also be attained by meditating on God’s Word and through prayer. There are many facets to
keeping a balanced mind, body, and soul. Fortunately, there are resources and tools to guide us in
the quest for that balance.
The time is now to “move” for health of body, mind, and soul.
Finally, as we seek that delicate balance for body, mind and soul, may I encourage you with these two quotes from the writings of Ellen G. White: “The things of nature are God’s blessings, provided to give health to body, mind, and soul. They are given to the well to keep them well, and to the sick to make them well”—Counsels on Health, p. 169.
“Let every thought and word and deed reveal Him. You need a daily baptism of the love that in the days of the apostles made them all of one accord. This love will bring health to body, mind, and soul. Surround your soul with an atmosphere that will strengthen spiritual life. Cultivate
faith, hope, courage, and love. Let the peace of God rule in your heart” —Counsels for the Church, p. 175.
An excellent resource for obtaining information on how to balance body, mind, and soul may be found at the North American Division Web site www.nadhealthministries.org). Also, if you are wanting to start a Let’s Move community initiative with special emphasis on tackling the challenge of childhood obesity, go to www.adventistsinstepforlife.org. And keep in mind the national “Let’s Move Day” that’s coming this September 22.
Donald G. King is president of the Atlantic Union Conference and chairman of the Atlantic Union College, Inc., Board of Trustees.