A wellbeing mindset
The Oxford English Dictionary defines wellbeing as ‘the state of being comfortable, healthy and happy’. Psychology Today goes along with this, but also includes ‘having good mental health, high life satisfaction, and a sense of meaning or purpose. More generally, wellbeing is just feeling well’. 1
As we begin this reading plan, I want to start by focusing on the issue of our perspectives by looking at how we can develop a wellbeing mindset. It is so important that we start here because the way we think impacts every part of our lives. To use a horticultural image: if we want the fruits of wellbeing – physically, emotionally, spiritually, relationally, financially and vocationally – we need to attend to the roots, relating to our thinking.
One of the doctors in our local church recently wrote to me and said, ‘From my personal experience, my clinical practice and ongoing current research in neuroscience, I have come to understand that the link between mental stress and the physical body cannot be overemphasized.’ Then, she gave ‘8 Tips on How to Live a Stress-Free Life’ many of which are related to our thoughts and our mindset:
To help us explore God’s plan for our wellbeing, we’ll be looking at the story of an Old Testament prophet, Elijah. He’s a great example of someone who seemed to be strong and doing well, and yet had a sudden and complete burnout, before being lovingly restored by the Lord. We will glean from Elijah’s story to help illustrate the themes of replenishment and wellbeing. It would be useful if you could take a few minutes to read through 1 Kings 17-19, especially chapter 19, where the themes of wellbeing, burnout and replenishment are most evident.
1 See ‘What is Well-Being?’, posted 2 January 2019 [accessed August 2020]