• Samantha Gades

How Physical Well-Being is Intertwined With Mental Well-Being

“I went from depressed and hopeless to free and hopeful.”

In January 2018 I made a pledge to have a healthy body and soul. I honestly didn’t even know what that meant, but I wanted so desperately to get out of the place that I was in. That place was dark, cold, and nasty. A place, that by the grace of God, I was able to break out of.

First came the change of diet. I purged our kitchen and completely changed the way I viewed food. My original view of food was in vain. I ate to escape my feelings and it became a very selfish thing.

Next was the exercising. I used to be a very athletic person but my lack of exercise the several months prior took its toll on my body. I looked in the mirror and did not even recognize myself. I would see myself in pictures and could not believe what I saw. I wanted to get back to the way that I used to be physically. Which, looking back, was not an easy task.

After a short two months of changing my lifestyle and seeing the weight come off, I noticed a drastic change in my mental state. It seemed that every pound that was shed represented mental weight coming off as well. I was holding onto some heavy things. My disabling anxiety almost disappeared and my dark, depressed thoughts were non-existent. I went from depressed and hopeless to free and hopeful.

So how do you get to that place as well? Do you struggle with anxiety or depression? Are you being weighed down mentally and physically?

What changed my life was my decision. Which is not as simple as it sounds. Let me unpack that a bit.

  1. I chose to not be complacent anymore. I refused to feel that way ever again and vowed to fight tooth and nail for a healthier future.

  2. I chose to constantly speak positivity over my situation. Something I have learned during the course of my education is how powerful the mind is. It has been proven that if someone keeps thinking that they are sick, they will eventually start to be sick. Our minds are so powerful and are often times undermined. I remember constantly saying, “This isn’t permanent. I am not at my final destination. My pain is only for a short period of time.” That gave me confidence and hope. It literally transformed my thoughts.

  3. I chose to surround myself with people that encouraged me and supported me. This is huge. If you need anything out of this list, this is a major one. We all need people fighting and interceding for us. People that will speak not only positivity but also truth; they aren’t afraid to tell you things. I know I would not be in the same place if it wasn’t for the people around me.

  4. I chose Jesus. My constant. When everything seemed to be crumbling around me and inside of me I turned to my Savior. My hope. My comforter. The love of Jesus never felt more real to me. I was messed up and lost. When I really processed the fact that I no longer needed to carry the guilt or weight of sinner, my mental state transformed to something unrecognizable. A spirit of freedom entered my soul. Through the whole process I began to cling to Jesus over everything else.

Looking back, I am so thankful. I am thankful for the place that I got to. I am thankful that I realized my pain and suffering here on earth is only temporary. That your pain and suffering is only temporary. I realized that this is not my final destination. That this is not your final destination. There is more. So don’t let what you are feeling today stop you from your purpose. Make a decision today. Depressed and hopeless or free and hopeful? There isn’t a better time to start than now.

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