Mental Health has finally taken the front seat in conversations these days. As much as there has been plenty of buzz words or trigger words that are obnoxious, I am pretty happy that mental health is so openly discussed and stigmas are being shattered in regards to this important issue. Let’s be real, any tips or tricks that we can use to boost our mental health in fairly easy, tangible and inexpensive ways are welcome! To praise and worship God benefits our mental health and pleases God at the same time!
When I was growing up, my parents were fantastic about bringing us to church. It was what we did on Sundays from the time I can remember until I graduated high school. Sunday mornings consisted of praise and worship music and then a sermon. Sunday mornings then would extend to Wednesday nights as I got older and had middle and high school gatherings that looked similar to Sunday mornings. This is where I worshiped.
I really don’t have the gift of music – I don’t play an instrument, I don’t have rhythm to dance well, and I may not be the worst vocalist in the world but I wouldn’t want to hear me sing if I were another living soul.
Music itself, however, is one of those universal elements that humans gravitate towards and attach themselves to that brings about strong emotions. You never hear people say they don’t like music. If you do, you would question their humanity!
Ever hear music and you want to aggressively end the sound? For me that’s country music and I live in the epicenter! When I hear music that sounds pleasing to my ears, I want to join in – it lights me up from the inside out. I’m guessing you feel the same.
I love the advancements in music. It used to be only the radio and then a tape or CD player. Yes, I’m old. Then came our smart phones and with it all the abilities to get whatever music by song or by radio streaming services. This is where I started to take praise and worship music from the church building into my home and into my vehicle.
When I brought worship music into my home, I watched its ability to transform my mind. This was the start of me using praise and worship to not only give God the praises He deserved, but to change the atmosphere of my mind.
I won’t pretend this was an overnight process, or that I figured out how to fine tune the music to help me mentally. There were seasons I didn’t use as much worship music in my home as I should have. In general, I wanted my children to know the songs and I wanted to use time I had at home to worship God in my every day.
We were designed to praise and worship. This fact is throughout the Bible. What I have learned is in the best seasons life has to offer I will praise and in the hardest seasons or the hardest days I will praise just the same.
There were times I couldn’t stop crying when my children were little. My young family had been through so much and there was unbelievable grief along with plenty of other struggles. I was given a CD (at the time they were still barely being used but still) and found – to this day- my favorite worship song. And boy did I play the heck out of it. I learned it and I sang it. As I was dusting in my living room, I took to the floor on my knees and raised my hands in worship and could barely mouth the words much less make noise, as I praised and cried at the same time. Sometimes you have to force yourself to praise, not because you feel like singing, but because He deserves it. In those moments – God will meet you on the floor with your dust rag.
Other times I have used praise and worship to get out of a funk. When my head won’t leave me alone about junk that stresses me out and I’ve prayed about it already – I sing. I sing a song to God and it forces my mind and my body to line up it’s attention on Him and beautiful truths I need to fill my mind with. Not to mention He deserves it. He deserves it and it pleases Him. Those of us that are His children really do want to make our Father happy and this is one of the ways!
And do you know it alters my mind and renews it? Praising God when you sing physically raises your endorphins and oxytocin in your body resulting in a much better feeling in your entire body! TIME online has an article talking about singing and research showing this. Just do some google searching!
Physically we change when we sing but we can’t just sing any song to renew our mind. Sure singing fun songs that make us want to bust a move changes our mood but it is not necessarily renewing our mind. When we verbally proclaim God’s glory, character and faithfulness, it does a work deep in our mind and deep in our soul. We get the best of both worlds. We sing to God in response to His love for us and all the while it benefits our mind and body!
Take to your minivan, truck, SUV, sedan, whichever – crank up some praise and worship and sing at the top of your lungs. I’m sure lots of people have seen me sing in my truck and had a fantastic thought about what I look like and how crazy I must be. And I don’t care. Most likely no one I know will recognize me as I’m doing this and those that judge will be on to their next thought in under 10 seconds.
Sing praise and worship songs in your home, sing in your shower, sing while you clean, sing when you do laundry, sing while you cook, sing to music or just sing without it. Praise God aloud and watch it renew your mind as you please God’s heart. It’s a complete win win created by God. Talk about inexpensive and convenient mental health help!