Mind, Character and Personality/Mind and Health
Mind Controls the Whole Man—The mind controls the whole man. All our actions, good or bad, have their source in the mind. It is the mind that worships God and allies us to heavenly beings.... All the physical organs are the servants of the mind, and the nerves are the messengers that transmit its orders to every part of the body, guiding the motions of the living machinery....
The harmonious action of all the parts—brain, bone, and muscle—is necessary to the full and healthful development of the entire human organism.—Special Testimonies On Education, 33, c1897. (Fundamentals of Christian Education, 426.)
Electric Power Vitalizes Whole System—The electric power of the brain, promoted by mental activity, vitalizes the whole system, and is thus an invaluable aid in resisting disease.—Education, 197 (1903).
Few Realize the Power of Mind Over Body—But few realize the power that the mind has over the body. A great deal of the sickness which afflicts humanity has its origin in the mind and can only be cured by restoring the mind to health. There are very many more than we imagine who are sick mentally. Heart sickness makes many dyspeptics, (p.397) for mental trouble has a paralyzing influence upon the digestive organs.—Testimonies for the Church 3:184 (1872).
Victims of Diseased Imagination—The mind needs to be controlled, for it has a most powerful influence upon the health. The imagination often misleads, and when indulged, brings severe forms of disease upon the afflicted....
The season most to be dreaded by one going among these invalids is winter. It is winter indeed, not only outdoors but in, to those who are compelled to live in the same house and sleep in the same room. These victims of a diseased imagination shut themselves indoors and close the windows, for the air affects their lungs and their heads. Imagination is active; they expect to take cold, and they will have it. No amount of reasoning can make them believe that they do not understand the philosophy of the whole matter. Have they not proved it? they will argue.
It is true that they have proved one side of the question—by persisting in their own course—and yet they do take cold if in the least exposed. Tender as babies, they cannot endure anything; yet they live on, and continue to close the windows and doors, and hover over the stove and enjoy their misery.
They have surely proved that their course has not made them well, but has increased their difficulties. Why will not such allow reason to influence the judgment and control the imagination? Why not now try an opposite course, and in a judicious manner obtain exercise and air out of doors?—Testimonies for the Church 2:523-525 (1870).
Mind Impedes Circulation (advice to a timid soul)—If your mind is impressed and fixed that a bath will injure you, the mental impression is communicated to all the nerves of the body. The nerves control the circulation of the blood; therefore the blood is, through the impression of the mind, confined to the blood vessels, and the good effects of the bath are lost. All this is because the blood is prevented by the mind and will from flowing readily and from (p.398) coming to the surface to stimulate, arouse, and promote the circulation.
For instance, you are impressed that if you bathe you will become chilly. The brain sends this intelligence to the nerves of the body, and the blood vessels, held in obedience to your will, cannot perform their office and cause a reaction after the bath.—Testimonies for the Church 3:69, 70 (1872).
Fruit of a Listless, Dreamy Mind (counsel to a young woman)—You have a diseased imagination. You have thought yourself diseased, but this has been more imaginary than real. You have been untrue to yourself.... You appeared like a person without a backbone. You were half reclining upon others, which is a wrong position for a lady to occupy in the presence of others. If you had only thought so, you could have walked as well and sat as erect as many others.
The condition of your mind leads to indolence and to a dread of exercise, when this exercise would prove one of the greatest means of your recovery. You will never recover unless you lay aside this listless, dreamy condition of mind and arouse yourself to do, to work while the day lasts. Do, as well as imagine and plan. Turn your mind away from romantic projects. You mingle with your religion a romantic, lovesick sentimentalism, which does not elevate, but only lowers. It is not you alone who is affected; others are injured by your example and influence.—Testimonies for the Church 2:248, 249 (1869).
Health Sacrificed to Feelings (counsel to a woman of strong will)—Dear _____, you have a diseased imagination; and you dishonor God by allowing your feelings to have complete control of your reason and judgment. You have a determined will, which causes the mind to react upon the body, unbalancing the circulation and producing congestion in certain organs; and you are sacrificing health to your feelings.—Testimonies for the Church 5:310 (1873). (p.399)
Mental Illness Produced by Unsanctified Tongues (comments on the death of the wife of an executive)—Sister _____ was so weighted down with sorrow that she lost her reason. I ask, Who, in the day of judgment, will be held responsible for putting out the light of that mind that should be shining today? Who will be accountable in the day of God for the work that caused the distress which brought on this sickness? She suffered for months, and the husband suffered with her. And now the poor woman has gone, leaving two motherless children. All this because of the work done by unsanctified tongues.—Manuscript 54, 1904.
Overtaxed Mind Impairs Health—Brethren have invested means in patent rights and other enterprises and have induced others to interest themselves, who could not bear the perplexity and care of such business. Their anxious, overtaxed minds seriously affect their already diseased bodies, and they then yield to despondency, which increases to despair. They lose all confidence in themselves and think that God has forsaken them, and they dare not believe that He will be merciful to them.—Testimonies for the Church 1:304, 305 (1862).
Mental Activity Produces Health—God wants His delegated servants to be good preachers, and in order to do this they must be diligent students.... Studious habits, a firm hold from above, will qualify them for their position as ministers of the gospel of Christ. Mental activity will produce health, and this is better than a sluggish, disorderly, untrained mind. Many become worthless as ministers after advancing in age.... Had they worked the brain, they would have been fruitful in old age.—Letter 33, 1886.
Electrical Force of Brain Resists Disease—The minds of thinking men labor too hard. They frequently use their mental powers prodigally, while there is another class whose highest aim in life is physical labor. The latter class (p.400) do not exercise the mind. Their muscles are exercised while their brains are robbed of intellectual strength, just as the minds of thinking men are worked while their bodies are robbed of strength and vigor by their neglect to exercise the muscles.... Their influence for good is small in comparison to what it might be if they would use their brains as well as their muscles. This class fall more readily if attacked by disease; the system is vitalized by the electrical force of the brain to resist disease.—Testimonies for the Church 3:157 (1872).
Discontented Repinings Bring Sickness—That which brings sickness of body and mind to nearly all is dissatisfied feelings and discontented repinings. They have not God, they have not the hope which reaches to that within the veil, which is as an anchor to the soul both sure and steadfast. All who possess this hope will purify themselves even as He is pure. Such are free from restless longings, repinings, and discontent; they are not continually looking for evil and brooding over borrowed trouble. But we see many who are having a time of trouble beforehand; anxiety is stamped upon every feature; they seem to find no consolation, but have a continual fearful looking for of some dreadful evil.—Testimonies for the Church 1:566 (1867).
Unrestful Attitude Detrimental to Health (counsel to a disturbed woman)—The Lord has love for you, and care for you, and while your husband is not always with you, yet you have excellent companionship right on the premises where your house is built. Do not keep your mind in an unrestful attitude; for this is detrimental to your health. You must realize that no one is capable of composing your mind but your individual self.
You are too ready to look on the discouraging side. This has been a weakness in your character. It hurts your experience and gives a sad complexion to your husband’s experience.
You brood too much. Whatever you can do to divert (p.401) your mind from your individual self, in any line of employment, do it. You are to appreciate the great gift to our world of Jesus Christ, and you may expect much peace and comfort and love exercised to keep your mind in perfect peace. Every believer is to be clothed in the righteousness of Christ, and that righteousness speaks better things than the blood of Abel.—Letter 294, 1906.
Inability to Reason Rationally—A student may devote all his powers to acquire knowledge; but unless he has a knowledge of God, unless he obeys the laws that govern his own being, he will destroy himself. By wrong habits he loses the power of self-appreciation; he loses self-control. He cannot reason correctly about matters that concern him most deeply. He is reckless and irrational in his treatment of mind and body. Through his neglect to cultivate right principles, he is ruined both for this world and for the world to come.—The Ministry of Healing, 450 (1905).
Self-centeredness a Hindrance to Recovery [See chapter 30, “Selfishness and self-centeredness.”]—One of the surest hindrances to the recovery of the sick is the centering of attention upon themselves. Many invalids feel that everyone should give them sympathy and help, when what they need is to have their attention turned away from themselves, to think of and care for others.—The Ministry of Healing, 256 (1905).
Divert Mind From Self—Exercise will aid the work of digestion. To walk out after a meal, hold the head erect, put back the shoulders, and exercise moderately, will be a great benefit. The mind will be diverted from self to the beauties of nature. The less the attention is called to the stomach after a meal, the better. If you are in constant fear that your food will hurt you, it most assuredly will. Forget self, and think of something cheerful.—Testimonies for the Church 2:530 (1870). (p.402)
Doing Good Releases Positive Forces—The pleasure of doing good animates the mind and vibrates through the whole body. While the faces of benevolent men are lighted up with cheerfulness and their countenances express the moral elevation of the mind, those of selfish, stingy men are dejected, cast down, and gloomy. Their moral defects are seen in their countenances.—Testimonies for the Church 2:534 (1870).
Security Improves Health—When men who have indulged in wrong habits and sinful practices yield to the power of divine truth, the application of that truth to the heart revives the moral powers, which had seemed to be paralyzed. The receiver possesses stronger, clearer understanding than before he riveted his soul to the Eternal Rock. Even his physical health improves by the realization of his security in Christ. The special blessing of God resting upon the receiver is of itself health and strength.—Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 13, 1890. (Counsels on Health, 28.)
The Tranquilizing Effects of Suitable Working Conditions (counsel to an overwrought executive)—It is not for me to lay out for you a definite line of work. But you should work, if possible, in some place where your mind will be kept in even balance, where you can be peaceful and quiet, where you will not be consulted on many questions. It is not best for you to have supervision over many things. Your mind should not be overtaxed. This would be a great injury to you. When too many perplexities are placed upon you, the blood rushes to your head and you give way to an intensity of feeling that endangers your health.
Place yourself, if possible, where you will have little cause to worry over the work of others.... If you should take upon your perplexities in which large interests are involved, the confusion that would come as the result of planning for the management of many things would not be for your own good or for the best interests of the cause of God. (p.403)
Those who would place upon you a variety of duties requiring the most careful management are making a mistake. Your mind needs to be tranquil. You are to do a work that will not produce friction in your mind. You are to keep your conscience in the fear of God, according to the Bible standard, and you are to make steady improvement, that you may not be in any way unfitted for the work God has given you to do.—Letter 92, 1903.
A Quiet Mind Is Pathway to Health—The consciousness of rightdoing is the best medicine for diseased bodies and minds. The special blessing of God resting upon the receiver is health and strength. A person whose mind is quiet and satisfied in God is in the pathway to health. To have a consciousness that the eyes of the Lord are upon us and His ears open to our prayers is a satisfaction indeed. To know that we have a never-failing friend in whom we can confide all the secrets of the soul is a privilege which words can never express.—Testimonies for the Church 1:502 (1867).
Love, Hope, and Joy Essential for Health—In order to have perfect health our hearts must be filled with hope and love and joy.—Special Testimonies, Seria A 15:18, 3 aprilie, 1900. (Counsels on Health, 587.)
Christ the Answer—Many are suffering from maladies of the soul far more than from diseases of the body, and they will find no relief until they shall come to Christ, the wellspring of life. Complaints of weariness, loneliness, and dissatisfaction will then cease. Satisfying joys will give vigor to the mind, and health and vital energy to the body.—Testimonies for the Church 4:579 (1881).