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Six Simple Habits that Promote Mental Strength

Practicing these six daily spiritual habits can help us maintain good mental health.

Mental health challenges are a part of life. Just as everyone occasionally gets sick with a cold or the flu, at some point everyone will also experience some type of mental health issue. These issues could include varying levels of stress, anxiety, or depression. Although our mental health is just as important as our physical health, maintaining good mental health can seem less straightforward.

"Spiritual habits can give you strength, healing, peace, and hope." By Michael Gardner. Pencil on a black background.
PHOTO BY KELLY SIKKEMA

In his article “A 3-Step Guide to Maintaining Your Mental Health,” Michael Gardner, PhD, provides some actionable ways we can cultivate mental wellness. The first step to achieving wellness is by getting the “dailies” down. The following are six spiritual habits that increase our ability to cope with mental health challenges:

  1. Praying 
  2. Studying the scriptures
  3. Serving in church callings
  4. Attending church
  5. Going to the temple
  6. Following the promptings of the Holy Ghost

Although these habits are probably familiar, their connection to mental health may not be immediately apparent. Dr. Gardner explains the relationship between mental health and the “dailies.” He says, “When my clients commit to doing these little spiritual habits consistently, they feel greater influence from the Savior’s power in their lives. I have seen that power increase their spiritual and mental strength.” 

As Dr. Gardner explains, it is the Savior’s power that can help us cope with our struggles. Although the habits in themselves are an important way of overcoming our struggles, they are a means of accessing the hope and healing of Christ. Through Christ’s power we can find the strength and healing to continue forward and cope with the challenges—both mental and otherwise—that we face in our day-to-day lives.

These fundamental “dailies,” like prayer and scripture study, are emphasized again and again in the gospel. It teaches the solution to some mental health challenges might be less dramatic than we might expect (see 2 Kings 5:13). Ultimately, Dr. Gardner promises that “if you simply have the desire to believe that these spiritual habits can give you strength, healing, and hope, they will.”

Read the rest of Dr. Michael Gardner’s article “A 3-Step Guide to Maintaining Your Mental Health” for more ways to cultivate mental strength.

Source: Ensign

—Ashlin Holbrook, Latter-day Saint Insights

FEATUR IMAGE BY KELLY SIKKEMA

Find more insights 

Read Lorin Hurley’s article “Health from Home” to learn more about wellness as a whole

Take a look at Haley Roper’s article “You Can Find Peace Amid Mental Health Trials” to learn more about finding strength through the Savior.

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