There has never been a time we need emotional wellness more than now. Statistics from the World Health Organization (W.H.O) support this viewpoint. For instance, in the last quarter of 2012, the W.H.O reported “… Approximately one million people worldwide die by suicide each year. This corresponds to one death by suicide every 40 seconds.” A figure the organization claimed accounted for more deaths than wars and murders put together!
The organization further stated that the number of attempted suicide each year is 20 times higher than the number of deaths by suicide. Worse still is W.H.O’s claim that 5 percent of people in the world try to kill themselves at least once during their lifetime.
It’s a statement of fact that suicide often results from sustained emotional imbalance. It is a faulty thought pattern that eventually results in a person concluding that he’s better off dead than alive.
Considering the important role our emotional wellness plays in our lives, it’s therefore worthwhile equipping ourselves with the knowledge required to guarantee this all-important mental health.
The more, the merrier?
It’s ironical that suicide rate is on the increase in a world that has experienced more prosperity (though skewed) than any other time in history. That the rich also have a fair share of those choosing to take their lives points to the fact that material possessions do not insulate anyone against emotional ‘un-wellness’.
One of the injustices the haves do to the have-nots is giving them the impression that they will solve their problems when they acquire more material possessions. The truth is, as humans, we’re wired such that when we’ve got what we desired, we get accustomed to it and it ceases to motivate us. We then start craving for something else, and the vicious cycle continues.
Myths about material acquisitions
Some of the myths we have about acquisition of material possessions are:
- I can plan my life better when I have all the things I need
- I will be happy and fulfilled when I have all that I need
- Money is the cure-all medicine for my emotional pain
- I’ll be secure when I’ve met all my material needs
- I need money to have healthy relationships
Scriptural Perspective on Emotional Wellness
Jesus’ statement “The life of a man consists not in the abundance of what he owns” captures the main drawback on making acquisition of material possessions our focus. In effect, it point to the fact that what count most in life are not material possessions. This explains why we’re admonished not to lay up treasures on earth where moths will eat them up but rather lay up our treasures where no moths get to.
Why Material Possessions Won’t Do
The reason your emotional wellness won’t be met by physical things is simply because the Creator made it so. He made physical (material) things for our physiological well-being and something entirely different to satisfy our emotional wellness.
When the children of Israel asked God for what wouldn’t meet their emotional needs, He didn’t give them what they requested for. The Israelites persisted and God eventually yielded to their request. At the end, we read that after God had given them what they asked for, He sent leanness into their souls, meaning: they became worse off, emotionally.
The above anecdote is instructive for you and me. It means that we can acquire all that we want and still not have the emotional wellness our soul craves for.
4 Steps to Emotional Wellness
- Appreciate the gift of life
See your life as a gift, which it is. When you do, you’ll very likely be more thankful. Thankfulness has it benefits. According to Jim Rohn, thankfulness opens the door for good thing to come into our lives.
- Identify your talent and use it
One of the many parables Jesus told is the Parable of the Talents. The life applications of this parable are many and varied. The lesson from the Parable is that we must use our talents. Your happiness, joy and emotional wellness are dependent on the use of your talent.
- Love people
The commandments to love God and people are the two most important ones in the Scriptures. You may wonder why your emotional wellness depends on loving people. I don’t have all the answers but I believe your love for people will make you do things you will not ordinarily do. When you do those things, you’ll be happy with yourself.
- Serve God
I agree with the people who said that there’s an empty space in the soul of every man and that only God can fill it. If you see your life as a gift from God, you’ll not have a challenge with serving Him.
Looking at the above ingredients, it’s clear that your emotional wellness depends on what you give, not what you get. This is the mistake most of us make. Life is about giving not really about getting. Make this paradigm shift and you’ll see your emotional wellness soar.