Female Praying

Spiritual wellbeing is an integral part of mental, emotional and physical health and is not associated with any particular religion. It also means different things to different people. Basically, it is a sense that there is more to being a human,  than  body, mind, will, emotions and personality. As human beings we have the need to hope, find meaning and purpose in life, forgive, have the ability to love and be loved, connect with others, connect with nature and most importantly to believe in and connect to a higher power.

Spiritual wellbeing can be promoted by the development of helpful habits to focus on spirituality through prayer or meditation, the reading of spiritually uplifting material, conversations with helpful, likeminded individuals about their spiritual experiences and also being mindful of the blessings you have received and  those you  offer to others. For some, spirituality is expressed  through  religious faith. It can help us feel in control of our lives, to develop a sense of hope and trust and  be at peace. It is a contentment that brings together body and spirit. Spirituality can sometimes be observed in the manners and behaviour of individual people and groups. It is enhanced  through our understanding of self, our relationships with one another and the world around us and  with the “Life Force” (God).

Spirituality and religion are two distinct and separate things and should not be confused.  You can be spiritual without adhering to any specific religion and you can be religious (adhering rigidly to one religion) without being spiritual. Spirituality is nebulous and intangible yet real.  You cannot touch it as you would a solid object, yet you can sense it and feel it.

If spiritual wellbeing is integral with other aspects of wellbeing, for example, the physical , wouldn’t it therefore be appropriate to consider your  body as your personal temple in which you house your spirituality? And if so, the same way you respect your collective temple (church, tabernacle) should you not respect your personal temple (body) by ensuring that it is kept in good condition and not defiled. Keeping your personal temple, in which your spirituality resides, in good shape, is dependent on certain factors but mainly your diet, lifestyle and thoughts.  By bearing this in mind, you are more able to demonstrate those  God like qualities that help you make the transition  from  a human being having a spiritual experience to a spiritual being having a human experience.



Stress is subjective (personal) and appears to be very difficult to define although several definitions have been forwarded. A couple are listed below.


Stress has been defined as “the non-specific response of the body to any demand  placed  upon it.”  Stress has also been defined as, “ the body’s reaction  to any stimuli that disturbs its equilibrium.” Stress can also be mental, emotional or physical pressure.  Central to the concept of stress is homeostasis (balance). We all try to live what is considered to be a balanced life but since stress is subjective so is the concept of homeostasis. What is  considered to be a balanced  life to one person may be considered abnormal or even weird to another because it does not fit in with that person’s perception of normality.  Since there is no gauge or meter by which you can measure homeostasis it will always remain a fluid and personal objective.  However when you are experiencing less stress in your life you feel more balanced.

In our every- day lives some stress is vital to keep us motivated , goal seeking and active but excess stress can play havoc with our wellbeing. When the equilibrium (balance) of various hormones is altered the effect of these changes can be detrimental to the immune system.

The central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) plays a crucial role in the body’s stress-related mechanisms. The brain plays a critical role in the body’s perception and responses and the spinal cord transfers the stress response impulses from the brain to the rest of the body. Certain nerves that belong to the sympathetic branch of the central nervous system exit the spinal cord and stimulate peripheral nerves, which in turn engage the body’s major organs and muscles  in a “fight or flight” manner. Homeostasis  is also regulated by hormones from the pituitary gland which is situated at the base of the brain. During a stress response it releases hormones into the blood stream which modulate a heavily regulated stress response system. These hormones that are released into the blood stream are then synthesised by the adrenal gland which is located on the top of the kidneys. Cortisol is the major hormone released by the adrenal gland. Its primary function is to redistribute energy (glucose) to parts of the body that need it most, namely the brain and major muscles during a “fight or flight” situation.

Symptoms of stress may be emotional, physical, cognitive or behavioural. Emotional stress can manifest  itself through moodiness, depression or general unhappiness,  a short temper and sense of loneliness and isolation and the inability to relax. Physical stress is associated with aches and pains, a rapid heartbeat, nausea, dizziness, diarrhoea and constipation and a loss of sex drive. Cognitive stress manifests itself through memory problems, poor judgement, constant worrying and the inability to concentrate. Behavioural stress is characterised by overuse of alcohol, cigarettes and drugs, sleeping too much or too little, nervous habits, isolating yourself from others, eating more or less and neglecting responsibilities.

The intensity and duration of stress changes, according to the circumstances and the emotional condition of the person suffering from it. Social issues such as births, marriage and deaths, divorce, social defeatism, unemployment, insufficient sleep, conflicts in relationships, noise, bright lights, poor housing can all cause stress. Responses to stress include adaptation, anxiety, depression, coping psychologically and proper stress management.

Agonizing woman

Stress can be acute or chronic. Acute stress is normally short term and equilibrium comes back after a short period of time. Chronic stress on the other hand, is more dangerous and takes a more significant toll on your body. It has been defined as a “state of prolonged tension from internal or external stressors which may cause various physical manifestations.” Some of these manifestations include headaches, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, back pain, fatigue and a suppressed immune system. It can cause an  increase in blood pressure with the associated risks of strokes and heart attacks, increase anxiety and depression and can speed up the aging process. During chronic stress, cortisol is over produced causing fewer receptors to be produced on immune cells so that inflammation cannot be ended. Inflammation,  being one of the two basic underlying causes of degenerative diseases. The other, is oxidation.

Chronic stress has also been shown to impair developmental growth in children by lowering the pituitary gland’s  production,of growth hormone, as in children associated with a home environment where there is serious marital discord, alcoholism or child abuse. Chronic stress also affects parts of the brain where memories are stored and studies have shown that individuals suffering from higher levels of stress also have higher levels of visceral fat in their bodies which can cause hormonal and metabolic changes that contribute to heart disease and other health problems. Chronic stress, therefore, impacts on all systems in your body and should not be ignored. If you are stressed seek proper, professional help and don’t take it out on those around you or even kick you cat.

Whatever you do keep your stress levels to a minimum and endeavour to put your health in the black.



873-06441278er.jpgBlack Mother and daughter sleepingQuality sleep is essential for the normal functioning of the body, including our immune and nervous systems. If you are having problems sleeping you are at risk from various diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, premature aging, dementia and alzheimer’s disease. Sleep promotes the production of new brain cells and sleep deprivation prevents this process from taking place. Sleep also reduces stress and inflammation, one of the underlying causes of most major illnesses.

When you sleep your cells produce more protein. These protein molecules form the building blocks of the cells allowing them to carry our repairs to any damaged part of your body. Sleep plays a significant role in brain development and research shows that individuals who are deprived of sleep often have difficulty in making rational judgments and reacting to changing situations. Sleep deprivation also impacts adversely on cognitive functioning and on emotional and physical health..

Snoring occurs when the soft palate tissue at the back of the throat relaxes too much obstructing the entrance to the throat. As air tries to pass through, the soft palate vibrates and produces the snoring sound. This problem gets worse with age. Weight is usually the main cause of snoring so shedding a few pounds should help.

Sleep apnoea is caused by the same muscles that cause snoring. However, sleep apnoea is more dangerous. While asleep, sufferers may stop breathing for about 10 to 25 seconds at a time, depleting the blood stream and the brain of vital oxygen. The person then gets a signal from the brain to wake up and take a gulp of air. Sufferers may experience up to 350 “apneic events” in one night and may wake up with a dry mouth, sweaty hands and face and a headache. Of course, these frequent interruptions lead to sleepiness and fatigue the following day. Sleep apnoea is potentially life threatening and has been associated with strokes, heart attacks and high blood pressure.

index.jpg black child sleepingThere is no one specific cause for insomnia, but certain individuals seem to suffer from it more than others, mainly, people over the age of 60, females, those under stress and those with a history of depression. There are situations when temporary insomnia kicks in. For example, during exams, when you are jet lagged and other lifestyle factors. A healthy lifestyle is one way to prevent insomnia. Another way is to watch what you eat in the run up to bedtime. Alcohol, caffeine and salt may prevent you from having a good night’s sleep or you may be suffering from a magnesium deficiency. Some people resort to counting sheep as a means of falling off to sleep. The central theme here is that you get so tired and bored with the monotony you just drop off. Here is another similar way. Instead of counting sheep why not count your “blessings”. Lie on your back and think about the positives in your life, the good things, your family, your friends, your successes. This should relax you and you go to sleep with a smile on your face.

When you are asleep the pineal gland in your brain produces a hormone called melatonin, which helps to regulate other hormones and maintain the body’s circadian rhythm, your 24 hour body clock. Circa (around) and dias (day). Production begins around 9.00 pm and lasts for about 12 hours, until 9.00 am. Bright light has an adverse effect on melatonin production so your body produces very little during the daylight hours. At night, however, your bedroom should be as dark as possible to ensure maximum production. The amount of melatonin produced differs from individual to individual and decreases with age. There are some foods that contain melatonin, namely, rice, oats, sweet corn, ginger, barley, tomatoes and bananas. Scientists have also produced a melatonin pill to enable insomniacs to get some sleep but the evidence, so far, shows that it is not particularly A good night’s sleep therefore, is vital for wellbeing and goes a long way to helping you put your life in the black, click here for sleep ease.



index.jpgBlack woman showing emotionsEmotional wellbeing begins with self- esteem. How do you see yourself? Have you got a positive or negative image of yourself? A human being always acts, feels and performs in accordance with what he imagines to be true about himself and his environment. If you imagine yourself to be useless or a failure you will act and behave accordingly. This is certain to destroy your Creative Mechanism, which is your God given ability to do more than just survive. However, if you imagine yourself to be successful you will hold a successful attitude and your mannerisms and general behaviour will reflect this. Doing small positive things will set you on your way to greater success and even the smallest success boosts your self-esteem and emotional wellbeing.

The aim of “self- image” psychology (psycho-cybernetics) is to help you find your real, positive self. Not a fictitious self, but the real you. It is common knowledge among psychologists that most of us under rate ourselves and sell ourselves short. We constantly “hide our light under a bushel” instead of letting it shine out. The reason for this is that we are constantly carrying around a mental picture of ourselves as defeated, an object of pity and injustice. Healthy self- images do not bruise easily. People who have healthy self-images are considered to be “broad shouldered and not thin skinned”. They very easily overcome slights, knocks and setbacks. Conversely, people who become offended easiest have the lowest self-esteem.

Life becomes worthwhile when you have worthwhile goals. Select a worthwhile goal and focus your aggression towards achieving it. Once you start to go down this road you will quickly notice a major improvement in your self-image, which impacts positively on your emotional wellbeing. On your way to achieving your goals you will make a few mistakes and possibly suffer some pain and setbacks but one thing you should remember. Nothing worthwhile was ever achieved without overcoming obstacles. It does not take any effort to be an idiot but if you want to be something other than an idiot then some effort is called for and the greater the goal the greater the effort required. You cannot sit in front of a coal fire and expect to get warm by saying “give me the heat and then I’ll put in the coal” Your effort is to get up and fetch the coal first. Within every one of us is the ability and the power to do whatever we need to be successful and being successful simply means achieving whatever personal goals you set yourself. Everyone has succeeded sometime at something.

index.jpg happy black child

In aspiring to emotional wellbeing it pays to be like a clock in a thunderstorm. You are going on at your own pace towards your goals despite the thunderstorms raging around you. Do not think of failure and do not over magnify the consequences of failure. What is the worst thing that can happen if you fail? Once you are mentally and emotionally prepared to accept that then nothing else really matters. Invariably, the worst things never happen. There is, however, a vast difference between “I have failed” and “I am a failure” The former translates as “I have not succeeded this time but it is not the end” This is a pragmatic, realistic look at the situation. The latter, however, shows low self- esteem and demonstrates a fatalistic acceptance of failure as a way of life. This calls for an emotional facelift. Perhaps in the latter case there may have been real injustices and wrongs over a long period of time, resulting in low self-esteem and emotional unbalance but seeing yourself as a failure is the deadliest trap of all.

Open-Letter.png  Mental

A positive self-image and emotional wellbeing generate confidence and poise. Poise has been described as “the attitude of being immune to strangers or strange situations and deliberately shunting aside all fears arising from new and uncontrollable circumstances” Poise embodies friendliness, calm, peace, love, maturity and  self- control and demonstrates that the individual is emotionally stable. People who have poise are not normally self-conscious or to put it correctly “other people conscious” as they are not overly concerned about what other people think of them, so they are neither inhibited nor extravagant in behaviour. They demonstrate emotional wellbeing.

On your way to emotional wellbeing you have to divest yourself of false beliefs, emotional scars and imaginary ugliness which are blocking your capacity to live a full and rewarding life. Remember you are unique. There is only one of you in this world and you owe it to yourself not to put limitations on your life. Look forward and live. Retire from work if you must, but never retire from life.

S-ense of direction F-rustration, futility
U-nderstanding A-ggression (misdirected)
C-ourage I-nsecurity
C-harity L-oneliness
E-steem (self) U-ncertainty
S-elf Confidence R-esentment
S-elf Acceptance E-mptiness

People who have emotional health have ……………

  • A sense of contentment
  • A zest for living and the ability to laugh and have fun
  • The ability to deal with stress and bounce back
  • A sense of purpose in both relationships and activities
  • The ability to learn new things and adapt to change
  • A balance between work and play and rest and activity
  • The ability to build and maintain fulfilling relationships
  • Self- confidence and self esteem





Wellbeing Black Female

Physical health is extremely important but in order to achieve and maintain it you must give your body the right nutrients in a balanced way together with regular exercise. Good physical health can be a key to a long disease free life.  Physical wellbeing is a first step towards improving other areas of your life, but lack of motivation is usually a major stumbling block in improving one’s physical health. Physical, mental and emotional health are linked in many ways and taking care of one usually makes it easier to handle the others.

Physical wellbeing not only involves the ability to understand your physical limitations but also what can make your body efficient. A high degree of physical wellbeing is achieved  through proper exercise, nutrition and proper medical care. There are psychological benefits to be derived from physical wellbeing and high self- esteem is one such benefit. Lack of physical exercise usually results in a lack of energy. Exercise is far  more effective at eliminating fatigue than prescription drugs used for the same purpose. Physical exercise not only makes you  lose weight but boosts your confidence and increases your self- esteem.

Diet plays a crucial part in physical wellbeing and the Mediterranean diet of  fruits, nuts, fish, vegetables , pulses and olive oil has been proven  to be beneficial to one’s health, in terms of a lesser chance of chronic illness and a lower mortality rate.  This diet has generally been accepted as the model for good, healthy eating.  A large body of evidence demonstrates that the quality and quantity of food and other dietary choices affect aging and  life span. Remember the seven pillars of good nutrition….. carbohydrates, protein, good fats, vitamins, minerals, water and fibre. Every meal, where possible, should contain these.  Eat plenty of high fibre foods, limit refined carbohydrates, eat by colours (yellow, green, red and purple especially) limit your intake of red meat and use poultry, fish and beans. Use coconut milk instead of dairy milk, avoid smoked and salt cured foods  and  limit your alcohol consumption. Your body will thank you for it.

Remember also that 80% of your immune system is in your gut and that is where the bacteria that break down food live. There are good bacteria and bad bacteria. Good quality food increases the good bacteria, which strengthen your immune system  and  help keep the degenerative diseases at bay. Junk food, cooked in hydrogenated oils encourage the growth of bad bacteria and  weaken your immune system thus exposing you to a greater risk of contracting one of the life threatening degenerative diseases.

One aspect of physical wellbeing that should not be overlooked is that of elimination.  It would not make sense to build or even renovate a house and not have proper toilet facilities.  Waste matter left in the system can play havoc with your physical wellbeing so a diet that contains plenty of fibre and water is essential for proper elimination of waste products from the body.

Take this advice on board and you are on your way to putting your health in the black. 



index.jpgMental photo

To be mentally healthy you must value and accept yourself. Valuing and accepting yourself generate confidence and self-assuredness. This is vitally important as it determines how you interact with others. If you do not value and appreciate yourself how can you value and appreciate others.

Mental wellbeing, sometimes called happiness, is affected by what you think and what you do. Good mental wellbeing means feeling good about yourself and about life. The less “good” you feel about yourself, the less gregarious you become. You find comfort in your own company because you do not see yourself as a well-rounded person able to take your place in society. This can be as a result of past experiences which have not been properly dealt with in your subconscious or even your conscious mind. Over a period of time you may have been conditioned to see yourself as unattractive, unlovable and unwanted. You allow others to walk over you because you dare not show your displeasure, you so want to be accepted.

“Good” mental wellbeing is sometimes referred to as “mindfulness” which has been defined as “a non-judgemental awareness of who and what you are.” Mindfulness helps us to deal more productively with issues we find hard to let go. It also helps us to notice signs of stress and anxiety and deal with them better. It also helps us to take our lives out of “autopilot” and put our hands firmly on the controls and prevents us from getting trapped between past problems and future worries.

Very important for mental wellbeing is good connections with family, friends and community, physical activity and learning new things as these promote self-confidence and positive feelings. The difference between mental wellbeing and being mentally off balance can be summed up by the following statement. “If you are mentally balanced and positive and you suffer a loss you get sad. If however, you are not positive and well balanced you do not become sad after a loss, you become depressed.” There are two things to note about depression. It is not caused by a chemical imbalance in your brain and it is not in your genes. Over the years a lot of time, money and effort have been spent in the search for the genes that directly cause mental disorders. None has been discovered.

Also of paramount importance is the ability to step back and try to see yourself a bit more objectively, warts and all, as though you were looking at someone completely different from a slightly critical perspective. Without the rose coloured glasses you can see some shortcomings and areas that need improvement. This is the point where the most profound and fundamental decision takes place. The decision to change those habits, feelings, emotions, mannerisms and THOUGHTS that kept you shackled. This is not going to be easy but it CAN be done. Remember this, nothing and no one stays the same. Things are constantly changing and if you are going to change make it for the better. Meditation, yoga and tai chi are activities that can help you effect the positive change you desire. Here is a poem that should help. It is entitled “IF”


If you think you are beaten, you are

If you think you dare not, you don’t

If you’d like to win but think you can’t

It’s almost certain you wouldn’t

If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost

For out of the world you’ll find

Success begins with a fellow’s will

It’s all in the state of MIND


If you think you are outclassed, you are

You’ve got to think high to rise

You’ve got to be sure of yourself before

You can even win a prize

Life’s battles don’t always go

To the stronger or faster person

But sooner or later the one who wins

Is the one who thinks he/she can