Finding time to meditate on the wonders of creation and the Creator (Sabbath) have many benefits for health and well-being.
You might find it odd to have faith as a health principle or law. Reasearch and my health gurus believe there is a correlation between trust in God and our physical and mental health.
To believe in a loving God that created you with a purpose in mind and the promise of an eternal life, helps to control stress, strengthen the immune system, and protect against heart disease and cancer. Living in expectation of a life of perfect health, free from pain, fear, and death further focuses the mind and morals on a positive outcome.
But can we trust God? Does He even exist? And if so, does He care about us personally? Before you can trust God, you need to get to know Him. You need to see His character and personality.
By praying you can communicate with God and ask for spiritual insight so that you may hear what He is wanting you to learn and guide you in your life.
● The Bible – Also referred to as God’s Word. It reveals His character, love and plan of salvation for humankind. It reveals a spiritual battle between God and Satan and how we can be on the winning side of this battle.
● The life of Christ – God sent His Son to the world to get an even clearer picture of His personality and character. While on earth, Christ lived a life of compassion, courtesy, and service to others which ended in His death on the cross. The most memorable portrayal of God’s love ever seen.
● Nature – Further emphasis of God’s love can be seen in the intricate designs in nature. God created amazing and beautiful things for all His creatures (animals and man) to enjoy. Although earth has deteriorated because of sin and is far from its original state, His presence and creative Hand can still be seen in nature.
● Other people – Fallible as we are, genuine Christians can give you a small glimpse of Christ’s character. However, “good” a person might be though, it is always better to stay focused on the Source.
● Providence – God intervenes in our lives for the sole purpose of saving us to enjoy eternal life with Him. Thinking about your past, you might now only see how God has lead, cared and protected you.
Becoming a believer in God does not make you exempt from trials in this life. God is always in control, even when it feels like our lives are falling apart.
Staying focused on what Christ did on the cross for us (His greatest act of love) and ultimate outcome of the spiritual battle, ensures that we accept God's leading in our lives.
Before blaming God for all the bad things that happen, consider the following:
● Own choices – God created us with free will. That is why Eve could transgress in the Garden of Eden. He does not force His will on anyone and respects each person’s right to choose if they will obey and follow Him by doing as He directs. He lets us experience the results of our own choices
● Choices of others – We all influence each other. The poor choices of Adam and Eve, local governments, drunk drivers etc. and our parents all affect our lives adversely. The innocent suffers from other people’s faulty decisions.
● Violation of natural law – Objects fall, ice is slippery, and machinery fails. When the physical laws that govern our world are broken, accidents happen, and people get hurt.
● The adversary – The devil is allowed to test the loyalty and commitment of those who claim to trust God (read Job 1:1-12 for more in this). Satan maintains that God’s people do not serve Him from love, but because they profit from His protection. That if His children experience pain, loss, or temptation they will reject God and choose Satan as their ruler. But when we are challenged and tried, yet stay true to God, God is vindicated and our faith proved to be true.
Because of the spiritual battle between God and Satan, the choices and circumstances that affect our lives may not be the best. But when we stay faithful to God’s promises, He takes our less-than-perfect lives and works them out for our ultimate benefit. We are not always capable of seeing the big picture and understanding decisions for future good that bring disappointment now, but remember that He either gives us strength to endure or provide a way out. “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20).
Having faith in a God that loves you enough to have given His life to you, keeps you grounded and focused on the positive aspects of this life.
"I am with you always, even unto the end of the world" (Matthew 28:20).
Our faith can be affected by our cognitive function and that in turn is affected by each of the health principles
Let’s tie it together with one final look at the affect the principles can have on our mind or brain (the control centre.)
Our ability to focus and concentrate allow us to accomplish amazing things, when all is working well.
Distractions are the main reason we lose focus, but often these aren’t as obvious as you might imagine. Instead you may feel scattered or “fuzzy,” or blame yourself for not having more control of challenges.
As we get older, focus and concentration can change, as can memory and other cognitive functions, but this is not inevitable. In fact, some studies with older people show no decline in decision-making capabilities, and the capacity for strategic learning using specific methods to understand something can get even better with age.
People in their 70s can be “more conscientious and vigilant, without being hyper-vigilant” than those in their 50s.
If you have poor focus, you may feel as if you simply have to try harder but this strategy probably won’t help. Instead, you can have better focus by taking action to promote improvements in the specific brain functions that drive concentration and awareness. By creating the conditions that make it easier to concentrate and complete your work, you can feel sharper and more focused especially when you have a specific task to accomplish.
“ Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? (1 Corinthians 6:19)
Factors that affect focus for better or worse. Starting at any of these points can be your first step towards having better focus and concentration in everything you do.
Factors that impair focus
Poor diet and nutrition– Weight loss diets are notoriously bad for focus and concentration. Low-fat diets can ruin focus because the brain needs certain essential fatty acids. But not getting enough protein is also problematic. The amino acids in protein are crucial for creating key brain chemicals used for focus. Processed foods lead to blood sugar spikes and crashes that destroy focus. And if you don’t get essential vitamins (particularly B vitamins and vitamin D) and minerals, including adequate iron, your ability to concentrate will suffer, and will worsen over time.
Hunger is a distraction we’ve all had. Many studies show the negative effects that hunger has on school-aged children and young adults. Hunger is tied directly to low blood sugar which quickly leads to fatigue and low energy levels and all wreak havoc on your ability to focus.
Dehydration– Loss of focus is a definite side effect of not drinking enough water and studies prove it. Dehydration can also lead to other symptoms that in turn reduce focus, including headache symptoms, fatigue and low mood. Even having just 1% lower than optimal hydration can cause lack of focus.
Hormonal changes– Normal hormonal fluctuations and shifts, like those during pregnancy or menopause, can affect how well women concentrate. This is so common during the midlife transition that loss of concentration is considered a symptom of menopause by many healthcare practitioners.
Lack of sleep– If you don’t get enough sleep even for just one night your thought processes can slow down, and your ability to concentrate suffers. You can become so confused that you can’t perform tasks requiring complex thought. It’s also hard to remember and learn new things if you’re sleepy and that also affects focus negatively.
Inadequate sleep also cuts into working memory, an important part of focusing. It makes you less vigilant and reduces both your accuracy and speed on mental tasks. If your sleep problems become chronic and long-term something so many people struggle with your reduced ability to focus can become your new normal, which
can negatively affect your employment, relationships and personal growth.
Stress is inevitable but it can have dire consequences on focus and concentration if it becomes chronic. Ongoing stress churns up deep internal distress that short-circuits important cognitive functions. But emotional stress can be just as bad. Job worries, relationship issues and health concerns can make it hard to concentrate, though lots of people don’t notice this happening until they become totally overwhelmed. When you become mentally exhausted, you eventually will have difficulties with concentration and attention. If you have to reread things a lot because you can’t focus, your work may not get done, and of course, that alone causes even more stress.
Medical, emotional and psychological problems, can hurt your focus, including sleep apnea, toxicity from heavy metals, traumatic brain injury, stroke, ADHD, learning disabilities, visual disorders, dementia, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and emotional trauma.
Lack of physical activity– If you don’t exercise, you won’t know how deeply your ability to focus is affected until you actually get moving. As an example of how the brain benefits from exercise, one study showed that three months of aerobic exercise was linked to the creation of new neurons, and broader and deeper interconnections between them. These types of neuronal improvements can increase and strengthen concentration.
Your environment– Is it too loud or too quiet when you’re trying to concentrate? Is your environment filled with distractions like ringing phones, humming light fixtures, rattling heater vents, or visual disruptions? Maybe it’s too hot or too cold. How about your comfort level (chair, desk height, lighting)? Are people always interrupting you? All of these elements can affect focus.
Quality of information-it’s very hard to harness your focus if you don’t have the right information to work with. An incomplete email, a misleading phone message or a skipped step along the way can muddle your focus as you try to make sense of the inadequate information.
"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."(1 Corinthians 10:31).
Factors that improve focus
Good Diet-You can improve your ability to focus exponentially by shifting your diet toward eating healthy whole foods. Consistently eating foods that support healthy brain function increases concentration and can even help you have more patience with distractions. In addition to moderate amounts of plant protein, fill your plate with lots of vegetables and fruit. Add pseudo grains and use olive,grape seed or coconut oil to cook instead of butter. Eat a good breakfast to send a message to your body that it’s going to get the fuel it needs you will be less stressed physically and better able to remain focused.
Targeted specific nutrition– Research has already identified many of the important nutrients and ingredients that directly fuel brain functions like focus and concentration. The range of B vitamins, and particularly B6, B9 and B12, are absolutely essential for good focus. Vitamin D is also key nutrient, and choline has great science behind it for brain health. The latest discovery with solid research supporting it is curcumin,
a powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Antioxidant ingredients like quercetin can also help with inflammation. Eat variety of whole foods to obtain these.
Plenty of water-Having enough water in your system throughout the day is one of the most basic steps you can take to help ensure good focus. Thirst isn’t the best measure of fluid status so lack of focus can be an important early indicator of dehydration. Drink +- 2lt of water a day.
Right environment -it’s important to set yourself up for good focus by choosing and adapting your surroundings as needed. Find the best place in your home to concentrate, or move to the library or a coffee shop if that fits your style better.
Too much silence can drive a lot of people crazy — think solitary confinement. And if it is too quiet, you’ll hear every little distracting sound, so aim for a little background noise. Conversely, if you’re fighting too much noise, try noise-cancelling headphones or create white noise with a fan. Listening to non-distracting music can help try classical or gentle electronic tunes.plant ingredient derived from turmeric that has
Weird but wonderful-Three unusual ways to improve focus
1. PRACTICE focusing when you don’t have to: read in a noisy spot or drive without the radio on.
2. WIGGLE feet your toes this mindfulness trick brings you back to the present if your concentration drifts.
3. AIM HIGH: Perform tasks that require intense focus, like learning a language, to turn on the nucleus basalis your brain’s mechanism for creating new neural pathways and strengthening existing ones, also known as neuroplasticity.
“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well” (3 John 1:2).
Good sleep every night: Just as important as the food you eat, is sleep both are basic components of good brain function. Get seven hours of sleep per night, or up to 9 hours on occasion. For most of us, anything less than 7 hours eats into a specific stage known as delta, or slow-wave sleep, which will make it hard to focus when we’re awake not to mention all the other effects .If you feel drowsy at the wrong times it may mean you’re not getting enough sleep. Take naps only when necessary, especially if you have trouble getting to sleep at night. If you haven’t slept well for a long period, use the weekend to catch up by heading to bed earlier and letting yourself wake up naturally.
Exercise– can do wonderful things for focus: just one session can improve mental focus and cognitive performance for any task you’re trying to complete. One study showed that even if people have attention deficits, they can sharpen their focus with physical activity because it releases brain chemicals associated with learning and memory.
Aerobic exercise can improve functioning in the brain areas related to attention. Need to concentrate immediately? A short, intense session of running in place speeds circulation to the brain and improves focus fast. And for a good focus workout, learn a new sport that depends on hand-eye coordination, like tennis.
Stress reduction -You can limit the effects of stress on your ability to focus by simply taking a break at midday and doing absolutely nothing for a solid five minutes. Taking a break physically disrupts the pattern of stress-building and can help you recover your focus, or prevent it from being lost.
Good breathing -Pay attention to your breathing throughout the day. Do you subconsciously hold your breath, especially when focusing intensely on a detailed project or fine-motor work? Is your normal breathing pattern shallow and irregular? You can feed your brain more oxygen with regular breathing that’s steady and complete, with full inhales and exhales. Make even more powerful changes to your focus with deep belly breathing: place one hand on your stomach and inhale for three full seconds and feel your belly expand, and then exhale for three seconds pushing the air out with your stomach muscles, feeling your belly drop. At first, perform this exercise for just 60 seconds total. When you’re ready, keep going for another minute or two or even longer if you like. Add meditation to your deep breathing practice even for just 30 seconds to re-focus your brain in the face of distractions.
You now have more knowledge and insight to live a healthy energetic creative productive life! Follow and apply the principles of life, be curious learn where you can and dont give up it takes time…..