“Mind Body Spirit”, Explained

    Still not sure what the ever-present phrase Mind, Body, Spirit actually means? You’re not alone! Millions of people see the term every day without really understanding it at all.

    That’s too bad, since the concepts behind Mind, Body, Spirit can change your life! People from all sectors of life use the term, so perhaps now’s the time for you to finally learn what it means when people talk about the “mind, body, spirit connection”.

    “Mind, Body, Spirit” is All Around Us

    It’s true: it’s everywhere. After all, it’s not just “hippy types” or “new age types” who abide by the rules of the mind-body-spirit concepts. It’s also:

    • entrepreneurs & successful CEOs
    • professional athletes
    • doctors & other medical professionals
    • school districts

    In fact, evidence of an awareness of the mind-body-spirit connection is all around you, if you know what to look for:

    • prayer rooms in airports
    • gym membership discounts at work
    • meditation in schools
    • aromatherapy in doctors’ waiting rooms
    • Feng Shui in public spaces or offices

    See? You already have some experience with Mind, Body, Spirit and you didn’t even know it. Now, let’s get down to what it means by covering the basic definition and major concepts behind this global and ancient idea.

    What Does “Mind, Body, Spirit” Mean?

    Your mind is affected by your body, and vice versa. Your mind is affected by your spirit, and vice versa. Your body is affected by your mind and your spirit and vice versa.

    Don’t follow? That’s OK, since when it’s written that way, the concept is quite convoluted. Let’s try a different approach!

    Mind, Body, Spirit means that our well-being comes from not just physical health, but from mental health and spiritual health as well. To be “healthy”, we must pay attention to all three aspects of our nature…mind, body and spirit.

    Here are a few examples:

    • Ever wonder why you get a headache when you’re stressed? There’s a prime example of how your mind is affecting your body.
    • Have you noticed that when you don’t exercise, you feel depressed? That’s your body affecting your mind.
    • Or how about when you eat too much because you’re nervous?
    • Remember that amazing feeling you had last time you went to a spa, had a massage, or practiced yoga…calm, happy, and even confident? That is your mind and your body and possibly even your spirit all working together to make you feel great.
    • The same principle is at work for people who attend Church: they feel good after services….they feel “whole”, happy, and focused.

    The main concept behind Mind, Body, Spirit is that we are all more than just our thoughts. We are also our bodies, our emotions, and our spirituality…all these things combine to give us identity, determine our health, and make us who we are.

    Practical Applications of Mind, Body, Spirit

    Our physical health is partly determined by our mental health. Even conventional doctors now ask us about stress and turmoil in our lives when we see them for physical ailments. That’s because even today’s modern medical practitioners, trained in Western medical schools, have been taught to pay attention to the mind-body-spirit concept.

    Let’s look at the world of psychiatry and counseling. People who harbor negative emotions can often make themselves physically sick. It’s actually been proven that mental issues can manifest themselves in the body, making us sick.

    Some even believe that long term festering of negative emotions such as hatred, fear, anger and jealousy will cause some forms of cancer. In fact, if you look hard enough, there are mind-spirit causes for just about every physical ailment you can think of. This leads back to ancient cultures…

    What Ancient Cultures Have Taught Us About Mind, Body, Spirit Connections

    The Greeks knew about it: they knew a sound mind worked better in a sound body.

    There is Greek Medicine, which puts forth that disease results from an imbalance with nature, among other things. Holistic healing stems from this concept. The body is more than the sum of its parts…there’s an energy or “life force” that goes beyond the mere physical nature of the body. The life force contains a deep-rooted biological intelligence that gives us immunity from disease, and when it leaves our body, we begin to age and die.

    The ancient Greeks also believed in the healing power of Nature, the importance of our environment (we are what we eat, that’s called pepsis) and a general approach to health as a holistic endeavor.

    Traditional Chinese culture also believes in the “life force”…

    …only they call it Qi.

    Ancient peoples from India knew about it as far back as 5000 BC, according to some. We know their teachings today as Yoga.

    In yoga and Ayurveda, the life force is called prana. Same thing, only a different culture and language.

    Native American wisdom incorporates a strong sense of mind, body spirit.

    Yup, same principles at work here as with the Ancient Greeks, traditional Chinese, and yogi masters from thousands of years ago in India. What all these cultures knew was that there’s a strong connection between belief systems, health, and happiness.

    In one form or another, each and every one of these very ancient belief systems is still in place today. The Ancient Greeks formed the basis of modern conventional medicine, in fact. You’ve seen yoga classes in virtually every town, and there are thousands of TCM practitioners at work today all across the world.

    Mind, Body, Spirit & You

    What can you take away from all this? For starters, the mind-body-spirit connection is deeply rooted in all our cultures, no matter where we’re from. Secondly, it’s still going full-force today, in its many forms.

    We haven’t even told you about all the types of mind-body-spirit therapies yet! We’ve only touched upon a few of the big ones:

    • Yoga
    • TCM
    • Ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine) used by Hindus

    Chances are, if you look at your own belief system, you’ll find bits and pieces of the mind-body-spirit connection already in place! In this day and age of mix & match belief systems, home remedies and alternative medicine, it’s not required that you go “all in” with one or another. A day of yoga complements your psychoanalyst sessions, as does your morning run, your vegan diet, or even your weekly visits to the spa.

    7 COMMENTS

    1. Thank you Catherine for this interesting and informative article. I believe that we consist of a physical body, which includes our brain, and a spirit body, which includes our mind (or intelligence). I also believe that our thoughts are centered in our mind and our emotions in our spirit body. As you rightly point out, our physical body, spirit body and mind interact with one another and therefore all can affect our health and well being. This is why I believe that all three need to be taken into consideration when dealing with ill health : a holistic approach to healthcare. With such an approach, I believe we will see great advances in successfully dealing with mental and emotional illness.

    2. You’re absolutely correct about many things in your article, but your history is a tad flawed. The Europeans actually received this concept under false pretenses from Africa mainly Kemet known as Egypt, thanks to Greece! Many of the Greek Philosophers studied the Mystery System in Kemet and in time Alexander of Greece and later the Roman Empire stole and practically destroyed everything in Kemet. The Kemetians were smart people and only gave away only a partial of the information and hid the rest, probably in plain sight. Regarding India and eastern Asia, they were in direct passage during the great migrations out of Africa, where Africans shared their knowledge of the Laws of Nature to whomever was seeking it all the way to the Americas. So a big whoop, whoop for Kemet, Kush and Nubia!!! I think what you’re doing is awesome but your history references needs to reflect Real History. One must remember, how one became enlightened with self reflection. So the World must be re-introduced to a Truth through its own self reflection, a one-sided tale of a belief system that fabricated a lie and sold it to its own people and later forced it on those of darker complexion even to this day.

      With Truth comes pain, relief, empowerment, happiness, love & peace…

    3. Our thoughts are center balance point for body and mind seeking equilibrium..change the thoughts..change the balances for bettervor worse …for now or eternity

    4. What happens when a person dies? I am fearful of dying.

      The Bible speaks of physical death and spiritual death. When a person dies physically, the soul and spirit leave the body in an inanimate state on earth. Those who die physically in Christ are united spiritually with God, while those who die apart from Christ await the final judgment. Physical death, therefore, is the separation of the soul and spirit from the body.

      Spiritual death is the separation of the soul and spirit from God. It is possible to be physically alive on earth while being spiritually dead. Apostle Paul describes those “who were dead in trespasses and sins” in Ephesians 2:1. Paul also wrote that sin entered the world through Adam and spread to every person (Romans 5:12), and that the “wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Spiritually dead persons are “made alive” through faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:1). Whatever one’s spiritual condition at the time of physical death, whether spiritually alive or spiritually dead, passes through to eternity.

      So physical death is the separation of the spiritual nature of man from the body, while spiritual death is the separation of the spiritual nature of man from God. For a Christian (born again), physical death is nothing more than a doorway through which we pass into eternal life. Jesus said it best: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25-26). There is no reason for a Christian to fear physical death. Through faith in Christ, we have eternal life even before die physically (John 17:3).

      If you were to die right now, do you think you would enter into Heaven? Would you like to have the absolute assurance that you will be welcome there? If so then, pray this simple prayer:

      Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner, and I know I cannot earn my way into Heaven. I thank you for sacrificing your life so that my sins could be forgiven. I know the only way anyone can receive forgiveness is through you, and so I come to you now and ask you to come into my life, forgive me of my sins, cleanse me, heal me, and be my personal savior so I may have eternal life through you. I pray in your name Jesus. Amen.

      As a continuation of your faith in Christ, you should start studying the Bible daily in order to gain a closer relationship with God, also find a local church to attend that teaches directly from the Bible so you will have someone to answer any questions you may still have. Welcome to the family of God!

    5. Jesus – Was He God?

      Many times Jesus referred to His own deity, both directly and indirectly. Although Jesus confirmed that He was the Messiah (Mark 14:62,63), He did not use the term Messiah to refer to Himself, perhaps to differentiate His deity from the widespread expectation of a human Messiah. Jesus used the terms “Son of Man” and “Son of God” often. Both referred to His divine nature (Daniel 7:13,14; Matthew 26:63,64). Jesus also used the specific words I am (Ego eimi in Greek, Ani bu in Hebrew) on several occasions (e.g., John 8:56-58). God used these same words to describe Himself to Moses. Jesus also states specifically that He and God are “one” (John 10:30), meaning, the same substance, nature and essence. (Greek word: homoosious, translated: “of the same substance.”

      And Jesus clearly indicated He had authority over issues controlled only by God, such as forgiveness of sin (Mark 2:5-10), the timeless power of His words (Matthew 24:35), and reception of glory (John 17:5). Perhaps as significant was Jesus’ acceptance of worship (Luke 5:8; John 20:28). The intense monotheistic foundation of the Jews would absolutely forbid any worship of anything but the one true God. Overall analysis of Jesus’ life, His compassionate miracles, His perfect lifestyle, and His love, indicate that His claims alone are trustworthy, and perhaps the strongest evidence of His divinity.

      Did Other People Consider Jesus to Be God?

      The disciples clearly came to view Jesus as God in human flesh, and they worshiped Him as such (Luke 5:8; John 20:28). Certainly, the witnessing of the resurrection and the transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-5) provided irrefutable evidence to them. New Testament writers and early Christian writing define Jesus to be God … our Lord … here on earth (1 Corinthians 8:6, 1 Timothy 2:5).

      Is There Other Evidence of Deity?

      Many people say that Jesus’ miracles are evidence of deity. But miracles have been recorded as being performed by other individuals (in the Bible and elsewhere). The Bible states that perfect fulfillment of prophecy proves God’s intervention (Deuteronomy 18:21,22). The odds of all Old Testament prophecies about Jesus coming true in any one man is beyond statistical possibility without divine intervention. And Jesus prophesied with perfect accuracy regarding such things as the precise timing of His death, the detailed manner of His death, His resurrection, and His later appearance in Galilee. Prophetic perfection combined with a claim to be God verifies Jesus’ deity.

      Why Do People Reject Jesus?

      The evidence regarding Jesus is so overwhelming that it seems incredible that many people still reject Him. After all, the promises of inner peace and joy on earth and eternal life in heaven are not bad promises … and they’re easy and free. Rejection of the Messiah, however, should not be surprising. It was often prophesied (Isaiah 53:1-3; Psalm 118:22; Matthew 21:42-46; Luke 16:19-31).

      Ignorance – Perhaps the greatest reason for nonbelief in Jesus is ignorance. Most people take far too little time to investigate their religious beliefs. As a result, world opinion often becomes the basis for the most important issue in life. Views about Jesus may come from a family belief, friends, or a dominant church in the community. People sometimes think a church is teaching biblical Christianity when it’s not. We are individually responsible for comparing teaching to the Bible. In the end, it doesn’t matter what the reason is, if you are wrong. Nor does sincerity matter. As history has shown too often, people can be very sincere, yet sincerely wrong.

      Apathy – Many times people have a false sense of security that God will take care of everyone. This idea is sometimes accompanied with the thought that hell doesn’t exist, or that God will send everyone who “tries to be good” to heaven anyway. The Bible reveals that God’s promises are reserved for His people, and there are many reasons why others “don’t hear” (Matthew 13:11-43). The reality and horror of hell is clearly stated, including the narrow path to get to heaven, which is available to all (Matthew 7:13).

      Fear – Some people fear that becoming a Christian means “giving up fun” or living a strange, secluded life without friends. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that we must start a dull life and turn away from having parties with other people. It says the opposite. The Bible promises that knowing Jesus will let us live life to the fullest (John 10:10). And not only will such freedom draw us to have fun with friends, the Bible says even the angels in heaven throw a party when we accept Jesus as Lord (Luke 15:10).

      Tradition – This reason for rejecting Jesus is often the strongest. But we are each accountable for our own actions. Even society doesn’t send parents to jail for their children’s crimes. Jesus knew He would, at times, cause people to break away from traditional family beliefs (Matthew 10:21,22).

      Some people think that believing in Jesus and being good are the secret to heaven. The Bible says otherwise. It says that religion, speaking in Jesus’ name, and being good are of no value if Jesus doesn’t know us (see Mathew 7:21-23). Knowing Jesus is more than just a belief about Jesus. It means repenting and accepting Jesus’ sacrifice and His claims to be God.

      Jesus Shows God’s Love for Us

      We are all separated from God by imperfection. Even the most righteous people have had unholy thoughts considered sinful by God (see Matthew 5:28). Since God is perfect and holy, His requirement for an eternal, heavenly relationship with Him is perfection that no human can ever offer. So God provided an alternative method to rejoin us with Himself through one perfect sacrifice, forgiving all of our imperfections. The only way for God to have such a perfect sacrifice was for God to fulfill it Himself. By sending His Spirit into Mary (Luke 1:35), God essentially came to earth in human form as Jesus, to be sacrificed and who His love for mankind (see John 3:16). To fully appreciate God’s love, we need to be aware of the excruciating pain and humility Jesus willingly suffered for many who hated (or now hate) Him.

      Rejecting Jesus Shows Our Disdain for God

      Jesus can be rejected in two ways: 1) by a decision to reject Him or 2) by simply not accepting Him. Knowing about Jesus, even believing the gospel story, is not accepting Him nor showing love for God. Even demons and Satan believe the gospel (see Mark 5:6-17). Love for God means acceptance of Jesus. It means turning our lives completely to Him for guidance. The Greek word used in the Bible for “believe” (as in John 3:16) is pisteuo, which literallly means to trust, or have faith in. This means more than intellectual knowledge. Imagine the disdain we show God by not accepting His very precious and loving sacrifice.

      God’s Unaccepted Gift?

      Imagine sending your only child to deliver a gift to show forgiveness to an adversary. Imagine knowing that your child would die painfully while delivering it. Now suppose that person never opened the gift, never accepting forgiveness. Would you choose to be with him forever?

      Acceptance or Rejection Is for Eternity

      The Bible frequently reveals God’s judgment. This does not conflict with God’s love and forgiveness, most emphatically shown through the sacrifice of His Son. But it does reveal that God is just. In the end, the Bible clearly states that there will be a separation of those who trusted Jesus as God, and those who didn’t. This separation is forever (see Luke 13:23-30; Revelation 20:12-15).

      How do we know the Bible is accurate?

      First, the integrity of original biblical manuscripts has been demonstrated by the vast number of manuscripts, precisely copied during the time of eyewitnesses and verified as unchanged by the Dead Sea Scrolls. Secondly, archaeology has shown complete consistency with what we know as the history of the world. Third, hundreds of ancient prophecies contained in the Bible and showing 100 percent accuracy indicate divine guidance and accuracy. And finally, the Bible is 100 percent consistent with established facts of science … corroborated by many of the finest scientists in the world today.

      Why do some people claim the Bible has contradictions?

      After hundreds of years of challenge, the accuracy of the Bible has stood the test of time. Common types of misunderstandings include:

      1. Details that once seemed to contradict science or archaeology. Often our information is too limited to know that the Bible is right. For many years, scholars believed the earth was flat, while the Bible indicated a spherical shape. Likewise, critics scoffed at the mention of the early Hittites, or cities like Sodom and Gomorrah, all thought to be nonexistent, yet verified as fact today. Scientist have recently “proven” Einstein’s definition of the universe (consistent with the Bible), which has superseded Newton’s more limited view. The list goes on and on. As archaeology and science learn more, the Bible is verified and has yet to be proven wrong.

      2. Different accounts by different authors. Details contained in different Gospels may at first seem contradictory. However, the accounts simply report events from different vantage points. For example, Matthew records that Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary” went to the tomb. Mark records Mary Magdalene and Mary, mother of James, and Salome as going to the tomb. Luke records “the women,” and John records Mary Magdalene. Are the reports contradictory? No. Different people report different facts. Placed side by side, they just give a more complete picture of what happened.

      The Chronological Visit to the Tomb.

      The three women went to the tomb, saw a “young man” who told them of the resurrection and also told them to go tell the disciples. They left and returned with Peter and John, who viewed the tomb. The disciples then “returned home” and the women stayed. At that time, Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene.

      Like witnesses to an event today, when all testimony is pieced together, it makes perfect sense and a more complete picture is given.

      The Bible extensively reviews heaven, hell, Satan, angels, and demons in many of its 66 books. Surveys show that many more people believe in heaven than in hell. Some nonbiblical religions even deny that hell exists. Yet, Jesus actually spoke more about hell than about heaven. So it would not be wise to ignore hell. Jesus’ parable in Luke 16:19-31 gives us a very poignant warning regarding heaven and hell.

      It would seem wonderful if there was only a path to heaven with no hell. Not surprisingly, false prophets attempting to design a religion for man’s desires try to do away with hell, or convince man that he is God. The Bible is specific concerning the path to heaven, and indicates that other paths lead to hell.

      How Do We Know What Religion is Right?
      No religion is “right” in and of itself. The Bible is about man’s relationship with God, the right way and the wrong way. Any religion that is totally consistent with the Bible’s teaching is right. Any with teaching that is counter to the Bible is wrong.

      So the reliability of the Bible as a guideline is vital. As indicated, the original biblical manuscripts are a miracle in and of themselves. Evidence of reliability, includes: (1) and explosion of credible, corroborative writing, (2) verifiable at the time by eyewitnesses, (3) with eyewitnesses dying for testimony they could affirm to be true, and (4) with many other people, able to know historical facts, also dying for the same beliefs. If the New Testament is true, then the Old Testament is also broadly verified by Jesus (Luke 16:16,17) by over 700 cross-references, by the Dead Sea Scrolls evidence, and by “mathematical proof” of hundreds of prophecies.

      A problem arises when man starts changing or adding to the Bible. Several things would indicate that such inspiration is not from God. First, the Bible commands us not to add to, delete, or change it (Revelation 22:18,19). Secondly, Jesus verified it would not change (Luke 16:17). And third, why would a perfect God change His original, perfect Word? The Bible is very clear that the path to heaven is defined as Christs:

      John 14:6-9 Matthew 27:51-53 John 3:16 Ephesians 2:8
      Acts 4:12 Colossians 1:15-23 John 6:48-58 Hebrews 10:26-31

      Avoiding false gods – The Bible warns against the following false gods:

       A god that is not a single God of the universe (having no peers – including man) is not the God of the Bible (1 Timothy 2:5; Isaiah 44:6).
       A god not manifest as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit is not the God of the Bible (Luke 12:8-10; John 1:1,2,14; Acts 5:3,4).
       A god that does not proclaim Jesus Christ as the ultimate sacrifice for redemption of those committing themselves to Him, is not the God of the Bible (Matthew 27:51-53; Mark 14:24; John 6:48-58; Acts 4:12; Colossians 1:15-23).

      How Can We Ensure the Right Relationship to Go to Heaven?

      When Jesus said not all who use His name will enter heaven (Matthew 7:21-23), He was referring to people who think using Christ’s name along with rituals and rules is the key to heaven. A relationship with God is not based on rituals or rules. It’s based on grace, forgiveness, and the right relationship.

      How to Have a Personal Relationship with God

      1. Believe that God exists and that He came to earth in the human form of Jesus Christ (John 3:16; Romans 10:9).

      2. Accept God’s free forgiveness of sins through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Ephesians2:8-10; 1:7,8).

      3. Switch to God’s plan for life (1 Peter 1:21-23; Ephesians 2:1-5).
      4. Express a desire for Christ to be Director of your life (Matthew 7:21-27; 1 John 4:15).

      People who sincerely take the preceding steps automatically become members of God’s family of believers. A new world of freedom and strength is then available through prayer and obedience to God’s will. New believers also can build their relationship with God by taking the following steps:

       Find a Bible-based church that you like, and attend regularly.
       Try to set aside some time each day to pray and read the Bible.
       Locate other Christians to spend time with on a regular basis.

    LEAVE A REPLY

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here