Participants: Shelley Quinn (Host), Magna Parks
Series Code: IAA
Program Code: IAA000439A
00:29 Hello, I'm Shelley Quinn.
00:30 And we welcome you to Issues and Answers.
00:33 This is a program that talks about issues
00:36 that are important to today's population.
00:40 And we provide answers...
00:42 Practical answers from the Bible.
00:44 And today we have a wonderful program.
00:46 I think, you're going to enjoy this so much.
00:48 We will be speaking about keys to optimal mental health.
00:53 And our special guest is Magna Parks-Porterfield.
00:57 Magna is a PhD in counseling psychology.
01:02 And the thing I love most about her
01:05 is her humble spirit and just Christ-like behavior.
01:09 So let me introduce.
01:10 Magna, so glad that you're with us today.
01:12 So good to be here, Shelley.
01:14 Yeah, now where are you living now?
01:15 I'm actually living on the campus
01:17 of Uchee Pines Institute.
01:18 All right.
01:20 My husband is the education director there,
01:21 and we live there.
01:22 Wonderful. Alabama.
01:24 Alabama. Yes.
01:25 But you don't have that southern accent yet.
01:26 Because I grew up in New York City.
01:30 Magna, tell us just a little bit about yourself.
01:33 Why did you pursue a PhD in counseling psychology?
01:37 Well, you know, Shelley,
01:39 I actually started out in nursing
01:41 and then I went to physical therapy
01:42 but in the back of my mind, I was always interested
01:45 in listening to people and observing people
01:48 and I thought why not do a career
01:51 where I could get paid for doing that.
01:53 And I went into that with that desire to listen,
01:57 to observe, and then the desire grew to help people.
02:00 And I thought that if I could get that degree,
02:02 then I could help people but then, you know,
02:03 God brought me through a path of recognizing
02:05 that that's good, it's a door opener,
02:08 but His word has everything that we need.
02:10 And so I'm trying to mix the two together when I can.
02:13 Well, that's beauty of when you have a close,
02:17 intimate relationship with the Lord of even though,
02:20 you've got the best of, you know,
02:22 when you get your doctorate, you've had the best training
02:24 that's available in the... what the world has to offer.
02:28 But then you can supplement that
02:32 with the truth from the Bible.
02:34 So that's what's good.
02:36 All right, so let's just get into this
02:37 because I'm really anxious to hear about it.
02:39 We're going to be talking about the keys
02:41 to optimal mental health.
02:44 What is the first key?
02:45 The first key...
02:46 Can I say something before the first key?
02:49 How I came up with these keys is that
02:51 I'm very interested in looking at science,
02:54 true science that goes along with what God's word says.
02:57 I love it that you said true science
02:59 because if the science contradicts God's word,
03:02 we know that in the years, it will correct itself
03:05 because we see over and over again
03:07 that science has often contradicted God's word,
03:09 and usually people will say,
03:11 "Well, that means the Bible is an error."
03:13 But you know, if you wait just long enough,
03:15 science will correct itself, doesn't it?
03:16 It does. It does.
03:18 It comes into line with what the Bible says.
03:20 It does.
03:21 So I started looking at science for this particular show.
03:24 And I've been doing it for a while.
03:25 And I said.
03:27 What if science is showing right now that goes along
03:29 with the Word of God for mental health?"
03:31 Things that God told us 3000, 4000, or 5000 years ago
03:35 that science is starting to catch up, as I call it.
03:38 So that's how I came up with these different keys.
03:40 And the first one that the Lord revealed to me
03:42 was the importance of taking care of our bodies.
03:46 You know, the Lord tells us that our body is his temple,
03:48 the Holy Spirit dwells there, and He wants us to recognize
03:51 that not only for spiritual reasons
03:53 but I think he wants us to recognize that
03:54 for physical and mental health as well.
03:57 I certainly know that if your body...
04:00 If you're suffering in the body, what happens is,
04:03 you can become, you know, like when people get sick,
04:06 they become...
04:09 Essentially, you become emotionally depressed
04:12 after a while because you're sick
04:13 and tired of being sick and tired.
04:15 And then you can become spiritually depressed
04:17 and you're just, kind of, there's a decline that happens.
04:20 So, yes, I think when the Lord told us,
04:23 you know, there's so much in the Bible
04:24 that has to talk about taking care of our bodies,
04:28 and the reason why is God knew that
04:30 we are a whole, aren't we?
04:32 That's right, we're faithfully and wonderfully made,
04:34 and when both of those are put together,
04:36 and it was so exciting to me in 2011,
04:39 and I was reading through one of the psychology journals
04:42 and a Dr Roger Walsh actually from Australia,
04:44 he looked at several studies, 60 or 70 of them,
04:47 and what he came up with is that
04:50 if we take care of our bodies, if we have a proper lifestyle,
04:53 it can be just as effective.
04:55 And I thought this was powerful when he says,
04:57 just as effective as drugs
05:00 and counseling for various mental health concerns.
05:02 And I said, and he calls it therapeutic lifestyle changes,
05:09 he even talks about religious and spiritual involvement,
05:12 getting out into nature, proper diet,
05:14 getting proper sleep.
05:15 And I was just jumping up and down because, you know,
05:17 we've known about this for years
05:20 but now science has started...
05:21 Hundreds of years, science is starting to show that now.
05:24 And, you know, we certainly know that
05:26 there are people that if they're depressed,
05:28 if they get outside and get the sunshine
05:30 so their body can make vitamin D,
05:32 so the body can make serotonin,
05:35 God did, HE created us to be active human beings.
05:42 And, you know, on one part of that,
05:43 that I was particularly interested in,
05:45 we know about the diet and all of that, you know,
05:47 people know when you eat properly.
05:49 I have case studies of examples of people
05:51 I've worked with who...
05:52 One young lady was molested for years
05:54 and when she came to me,
05:55 she had been through all this therapy.
05:56 And God had already started to change my way
05:58 of working with people.
05:59 And, Shelley, all I did was change her diet,
06:01 and she's plopped in front of me.
06:03 And at that point in time, I was Dr Parks.
06:04 She says, "Dr Parks, I feel better
06:06 than I felt out of all these therapies
06:08 where we went through all my childhood."
06:09 Praise God.
06:10 And so I know that the diet helps
06:12 but one thing that's really catching my attention now
06:14 is nature.
06:15 They actually have come up with a term
06:16 called nature deficit disorder.
06:20 Really? Yes.
06:21 So people who are living say, in the inner city,
06:26 who don't get out and get to see
06:28 a beautiful sunset, or trees, and the birds
06:31 and that it actually affects them mentally.
06:35 And they're tracing back some of the emotional
06:38 and behavioral problems that children and adults
06:41 are experiencing to not being in nature.
06:43 And they're talking also about the fact that
06:45 we have so immersed in media.
06:46 Media is good.
06:47 I mean, people are watching now because of media.
06:49 So I don't want to, you know, completely bad mouth it
06:51 but we're getting so involved with the lack of reality,
06:55 the artificial way of relating.
06:57 We're not relating to people one on one anymore,
06:59 we're not getting out into nature,
07:01 and so we're saying that because of that,
07:03 this nature deficit disorder is affecting us mentally.
07:06 That's amazing. It is.
07:07 And so, you know, I always tell people,
07:09 even if their living in a city, find a park,
07:12 try to go to it as often as possible.
07:14 Plant some pots right outside on your patio.
07:17 I mean, there are things we can do
07:18 to just get us in touch with nature more,
07:21 and it helps our mental health.
07:22 It really can enlighten us or help us.
07:25 You know, it's interesting because for me,
07:27 I can't be in a room where there's no greenery.
07:29 I like green living plants wherever I'm at.
07:32 And it seems, I've heard studies where they say that
07:35 that actually improves the air quality...
07:38 Yeah, I have heard that too.
07:39 Yeah. I heard that too.
07:40 That's very interesting. It is.
07:42 So one key for mental health,
07:44 optimal mental health is to enhance your lifestyle,
07:47 get out in the nature, eat better,
07:48 exercise and all that.
07:50 And another thing Dr Walsh doesn't talk about this,
07:52 we talk about exercising your body.
07:54 We also need to exercise our minds.
07:56 And what I mean by that is we need to watch
07:58 what we're reading,
07:59 we need to watch what we're watching,
08:01 we need to be careful with we're listening to
08:04 because all of these things can either exercise our mind
08:07 or just kind of make us passive receivers,
08:10 and went on exercising it.
08:11 And what you don't lose, you use, right?
08:13 What don't use, you lose.
08:15 I said it the wrong way.
08:16 I knew what you mean though.
08:18 No, that's very, very good.
08:19 So exercising the mind is also important.
08:22 That's critical.
08:25 When, you know, the thing that you're saying
08:29 is be careful.
08:30 We need to have a filter. We do.
08:33 To what we let into our mind
08:34 because there are certain things
08:36 or certain types of music, there are certain programs
08:40 that you can watch that you don't realize
08:42 how it is effecting to you in a very negative way.
08:45 And you're not really using your mind,
08:47 you're just absorbing a message from someone else.
08:50 So that's a very good message.
08:51 That's right, it can effect your mental health.
08:53 A quick story, I was working with a young lady
08:55 and she kept jumping in and out of this relationship
08:57 with this man who kept going in and out of jail.
08:59 And every time he get out of jail, she would get,
09:00 you know, take him back in and again when she came to me,
09:03 I had changed how I work with people.
09:04 So I started to ask her,
09:06 "What type of shows do you watch?"
09:07 She says, "Oh, Jerry Springer."
09:09 And, you know, these kind of other different kind of shows.
09:12 And I said, "Well, what do you read?"
09:13 "Oh, mostly novels."
09:14 I said, "Tell you what, we're going to go on a TV fast
09:16 and a novel fast."
09:18 She says, "I don't know if I could do that."
09:19 I said, "Let's just try it. And I want you to read."
09:22 And I have heard this from another doctor,
09:24 "I want you to read the first chapter of Proverbs
09:27 that corresponds to the day."
09:29 I think, I first heard that from Dr. Neonataly.
09:31 And she says, "The Bible is so boring."
09:33 I said, "I promise you.
09:34 As you take out the TV
09:35 and you take out the novels, the interest would..."
09:37 What happened, initially, it was hard for her
09:38 but then she kept doing it.
09:39 And, you know, Shelley, for the first time,
09:41 she was able to write that man a "Dear John letter"
09:44 and stay out of that relationship
09:45 for a long period of time.
09:47 And she says, "Why did that happen?"
09:48 I said, "Because you started to take care of your mind,
09:50 so you could think more clearly,
09:52 and you started feeling it with scripture."
09:54 And that exercised her mind to make better decisions.
09:57 And she also began to, you know,
09:59 you become what you behold, if you're constantly beholding
10:04 stuff like, you know, programs that are elevating
10:09 that kind of behavior to make it sound as
10:11 if it's normal, a negative behavior is normal,
10:14 then you won't break free of those bad patterns.
10:18 Yeah, that's good.
10:19 So those things are important.
10:21 That's really good. Yeah.
10:22 So a second key is looking at how our thoughts affect us.
10:28 How do our thoughts affect us?
10:29 We get into a lot of trouble because of our thoughts.
10:32 Just this morning, Shelley, you don't realize
10:34 but you changed my thought for me.
10:36 You walked into the room and you heard me sniffling.
10:38 And you said, "Oh, it sound like
10:39 you have the sniffles too."
10:40 I said, "Well, no.
10:42 I don't really have the sniffles.
10:43 That's my nervous reaction."
10:44 And you says, "Magna, it's just you and I
10:46 talking on the set.
10:47 Just think about you and I talking on the set."
10:50 And I said, "Well, I'm just going to let that thought
10:51 just keep going through my mind."
10:53 And it actually decreased my anxiety.
10:55 It did, it calmed me.
10:56 We get into a lot of trouble because of the things
10:58 we say to ourselves.
11:00 I was in there getting nervous because I'm thinking,
11:02 "This is going to be shown,
11:03 thousands of people are going to watch it.
11:05 I'm going to be in trouble," you know.
11:06 But because I changed my thought, it calmed me.
11:10 And, you know, the thing I think most about thoughts
11:14 is there are people who rehearse the negative
11:19 just over and over.
11:20 And that actually makes the emotions,
11:24 you get that.
11:26 The adrenal glands are flowing, and you just get...
11:28 people get worked up over something.
11:30 That may never happen, or else they really focus on the past
11:35 and on the negative things of the past.
11:37 And that's my next thought.
11:38 That is your thought, oh. The next principle, yes.
11:41 But before we jump to that, I just wanted to say too
11:43 that the bible talked about it years ago.
11:46 Remember, Paul in Philippines 4:8,
11:48 "Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest,
11:52 just, pure, think on these things."
11:54 And so if we train our minds to think on things
11:58 that will be elevating and enlightening,
12:00 it really will help us to adjust better in life.
12:02 I know a precious Christian woman
12:04 who said that she spent some time at home
12:07 and became hooked on daytime soap operas.
12:11 And something that surprised her
12:13 actually was that she began to...
12:20 She said like she was experiencing
12:23 for the first time in her life lust.
12:26 And so if you're watching this kind of thing,
12:28 we have to understand that there's so many things
12:31 that affect our thought pattern.
12:33 And again, we're back to media that it can,
12:36 if you're watching bad media,
12:37 it can affect you know very negative way.
12:38 That's what I thought. That's a very good point.
12:42 So what I was going to move onto
12:43 was the third one about not living in the past,
12:46 moving past the past,
12:48 and accepting responsibility for our choices.
12:52 In my feel, I was taught that
12:54 when a person comes in with problems,
12:56 I need to dig into their past and find out
12:58 what has led to that problem.
13:00 That has some merit.
13:01 But sometimes, we can stay too much in the past.
13:04 You just rehearsing the negative.
13:06 Just rehearsing the negative and that is not healthy.
13:09 Because, really, don't people...
13:11 when you go back and relive things from the past,
13:14 quite often, it's the very same emotions are coming up.
13:17 It's just like going through it again.
13:19 And can I share a Scripture with you?
13:23 I just love this Scripture because the Lord
13:24 really helped me.
13:25 There were a lot of negative things in my past.
13:27 I grew up in a very dysfunctional environment.
13:32 And this one is Isaiah 43:18 and 19.
13:37 And here's what the Lord says,
13:39 "Do not remember the former things
13:42 nor consider the things of old."
13:44 In other words, don't dwell on the past.
13:48 "Behold, I will do a new thing.
13:51 Now it shall spring forth.
13:53 Shall you not know it?"
13:55 Oh, that's beautiful. Isn't that?
13:57 I love that.
13:58 And when I got to that I realized that
14:01 there were some things from the past
14:03 that were kind of anchoring me, if you will,
14:06 they were kind of keeping me, holding me back.
14:09 So I think, that's very important.
14:11 It is, it is.
14:12 We have to recognize the past does affect us
14:14 but as adults we can make decisions even now
14:18 that will either help us or hurt us.
14:21 And so I think and I've seen this where people
14:23 stay in the past and it makes them victims
14:26 because what happens is, "My parents did this to me
14:30 and that's why I am, that's why..."
14:32 Yes. "Who I am right now.
14:34 You know, that's what turned out to be
14:35 because of what my parents did."
14:37 We cannot undo what our parents did
14:38 but we could deal with what we are facing right now.
14:42 And so when we can say to ourselves,
14:44 "This has happened in the past
14:45 but by God's help, I can move forward,
14:47 I can become a survivor instead of a victim,"
14:50 it gives us more of a sense of power in our lives
14:52 and we don't feel as victimized and helpless.
14:55 And you know what I'm excited about?
14:57 I ran across a group of psychologists,
14:58 they were doing research and what they found was that,
15:01 "We need to encourage people
15:03 to start looking at our parents,"
15:05 and I have to read this 'cause it was so powerful.
15:08 "Looking at our parents as someone
15:10 with his or her own or her own fragilities,
15:15 insecurities, and longings."
15:17 You know, I was just getting ready
15:18 to say that what helped me too...
15:19 Were you, Okay.
15:21 If you look into the past and say,
15:22 "Okay, my mother did the best she could
15:26 under the circumstances,"
15:28 or, "My father did the best he could,"
15:30 and you may think, "Well, there were abusive,"
15:33 but that means that they were broken people
15:36 who didn't know any better themselves,
15:39 they needed the counseling,
15:40 but you can't let a broken person
15:43 what they've done to you ruin your life.
15:48 That's the bottom line. Yeah.
15:50 And they're saying that when you do that
15:51 and, you know, I don't want to be insensitive to people
15:54 who's going through some horrible things as children,
15:57 so I don't wanna just...
15:58 I'm not just saying, you know, brush off your knees
15:59 and just get up and keep moving.
16:01 It's a process.
16:02 But changing that perspective is healthy not only for you
16:05 but it's healthy for your current relationships.
16:08 If you have children, it's healthy for them
16:11 because if you stay in the past
16:13 you cannot develop those positive relationships
16:15 with your spouse, with your partner,
16:17 with your children.
16:19 But once you start to change your perspective
16:20 on what your parents haven't done
16:22 and look at your parents in a more empathic way
16:24 then that will help you to have healthier relationships
16:27 right around you.
16:28 And you know, I think I've been doing
16:30 a little counseling with a young man
16:32 who has really... he is having
16:36 a difficult time forgiving his mother
16:39 and his mother knew he was being sexually abused.
16:42 She did nothing to protect him,
16:44 but she did nothing to show him love either.
16:47 And, of course, there were drugs
16:48 and many things involved and I think of all people,
16:52 it's probably the most difficult to,
16:55 you know, you expect your parents to care for you,
16:59 to nurture you, especially your mother,
17:01 you expect to experience that maternal kind of love,
17:06 and some people are so sick themselves,
17:09 sad to say they shouldn't even have children is what it is,
17:14 but you have to get beyond, if you can get to that point
17:17 where you recognize that
17:18 parent was troubled and a sick person,
17:21 then I think it helps you get beyond.
17:22 It does, yeah.
17:24 That's an excellent point. Yes.
17:25 I remember working with a woman who was molested
17:27 by several different men,
17:29 physicians, teachers, it was just amazing
17:32 there's something that happens with
17:33 sometimes when people are molested
17:35 that they are prone re-victimization...
17:38 And so that happened to her a lot.
17:39 But it was only as she started to work on forgiveness
17:42 that she started to heal.
17:44 And I know you know of that
17:45 because I've heard you talk about that
17:47 and that's the same perspective of starting to reframe
17:51 how we look at our past.
17:52 It's so important for optimum mental health.
17:55 I really believe that.
17:58 Another one that we could talk about
17:59 is looking at happiness that lasts.
18:03 And there's so much research, you know,
18:05 there's a new branch of psychology,
18:07 I say new, it's maybe been around 20 years or so,
18:09 called positive psychology.
18:11 This branch of psychology,
18:13 they decided that, "You know what?
18:14 We're always looking at abnormalities,
18:15 we're looking at schizophrenia, we're looking at depression,
18:17 we're looking at all these psychopathologies.
18:19 We want to look at people's strengths now
18:22 because as you encourage strengths,
18:24 you can even help all of these disorders
18:26 that we're talking about
18:27 as opposed to just focusing on the abnormalities."
18:30 Does that make sense what I'm saying?
18:31 Yeah, absolutely.
18:33 So positive psychology looks at things
18:34 and we're gonna talk about this probably in the future like,
18:36 gratitude and joy and all of that, trying to see
18:39 the human strengths that we have
18:41 and how that could help us through various things,
18:44 and one of the areas is happiness.
18:46 And what psychologists are founding
18:48 is just amazing to me.
18:50 They have differentiated between
18:53 short term happiness and long term happiness.
18:56 And they're saying that with the former
18:59 we're always looking for something to help us feel good,
19:02 you are never satisfied.
19:03 You want more money, you want more degrees,
19:06 you want more relationships,
19:07 whatever you're looking for that short term happiness,
19:10 you're never satisfied.
19:12 You know, the Bible talks about broken cisterns?
19:13 Right. That's right.
19:15 The short term happiness focus is like a broken cistern.
19:18 And so psychologists are saying we need to be focusing
19:21 on happiness that lasts.
19:23 And they're saying the way we do that
19:25 is to do something that's worth doing,
19:27 to look at things that's bigger than ourselves,
19:31 to try to get more meaning and purpose in life,
19:34 and to fulfill our potential.
19:35 So these are the things that they're saying
19:37 will bring long term happiness,
19:39 not just things to help us feel good for the moment.
19:42 You know, how interesting that science is
19:44 once again catching up with the Bible.
19:47 When you said that, Proverbs 15:13 came to my mind.
19:50 It says, "A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance
19:54 but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken."
19:58 If there are things, you know, the way I put it
20:01 and I don't know if you would agree, Magna,
20:03 but the way I put it is that
20:05 happiness is what I call circumstantial.
20:11 If your spouse has just died you can't be happy.
20:14 Joy is something that, you know,
20:16 the joy of the Lord is our strength,
20:17 so joy is something that we can always experience
20:20 but happiness is something that is circumstantial.
20:24 If I just fell and broke my arm and I'm in pain,
20:28 it's hard to be happy.
20:29 But that is so important.
20:31 What you were just saying is that
20:33 people who are reaching out to do something
20:36 bigger than themselves
20:38 they find that they are lifted rather than having this sorrow
20:43 hold them down, they're being lifted up.
20:45 Amen. Amen.
20:46 Amen. Amen.
20:48 Listen to this too that they found.
20:50 "This happiness that's long term,
20:52 it is not problem-free," this is psychology talking,
20:56 "And it sometimes brings personal hardship
20:59 and effort over the long term."
21:01 Boy, this is beginning to sound more like the Bible.
21:04 That's what I thought when I read that.
21:05 It said, "But the key is that it will still bring
21:08 more life satisfaction than pursuing activities
21:12 or emotions merely for our pleasure."
21:16 And I thought about the beatitudes,
21:18 that immediately came to my mind
21:20 because when Jesus said, "Blessed,"
21:21 He's really meaning happy, right?
21:24 "Happy are those who mourn,
21:25 happy are those who are pure in heart,"
21:27 you know, it's like these things
21:29 don't come automatically.
21:30 There may be some hardships that bring
21:33 some of this meekness and the mourning
21:34 for their spiritual state
21:37 and all of these things may come with some difficulties
21:40 but in a long run you're going to have
21:42 the better sense of happiness.
21:45 And I thought to myself,
21:46 the rocks are crying out, really.
21:48 I believe that God is allowing research
21:50 to show that His Bible, not that He needed that
21:53 but because of our human mind and how we think,
21:56 I believe He's allowing these things to say, you know,
21:59 "All along I've had this but you won't...
22:00 might not listen to someone preaching at you,
22:03 so I'll allow researchers..."
22:05 To finally come up with truth. It's amazing.
22:07 Magna, we are just clipping through our time here.
22:12 So tell us what you had another point
22:14 that you wanted to cover.
22:15 Yes, I did.
22:16 And that is we wanted to talk about still another key
22:20 for optimal living and that is
22:22 I mentioned monitoring changing...
22:23 Oh, I have to read this. Can I just read this quote?
22:25 Sure. It comes from Steps to Christ.
22:27 She says, "Happiness that is sought from selfish motives,
22:31 outside of the path of duty is ill-balanced,
22:35 fitful, and transitory."
22:39 "It passes away and the soul is filled with loneliness
22:42 and sorrow but there is joy and satisfaction
22:45 in the service of God."
22:47 Amen. You know.
22:48 And for me to fully understand that I went back to
22:50 what the psychologists found where they said
22:52 that sometimes pursuing this long term happiness
22:55 may bring some difficulties, in the service of God
22:57 we're gonna have some difficulties,
22:59 it won't always feel happy.
23:01 But God knew that in the long term,
23:03 service to Him brings true happiness.
23:07 So it gives a purpose to our life,
23:09 a life without purpose is empty.
23:11 That's right.
23:12 So do we have for one more, time for one more point?
23:14 Sure. We do. Okay.
23:16 So let's talk about this another key
23:18 that the Lord helped me to find and that is taking time
23:21 to engage in activities
23:23 that are aimed at helping others.
23:25 Oh, amen. So...
23:26 You know, that kind of, it just,
23:28 that really dovetails with what you just said.
23:31 That that's where true happiness is found
23:33 is when something is bigger than yourself.
23:35 Amen, amen.
23:36 And Isaiah 58 says it so well, the true fast...
23:40 When he talks about the things about ministering to the poor,
23:42 clothing the naked, and giving bread to the hungry
23:45 but then in one of the verses Isaiah says,
23:47 "Then the shall thy light break forth as the morning
23:51 and thine health shall spring forth speedily."
23:55 So these things about helping others
23:58 can actually help our health, not only our physical health,
24:01 I believe our mental health as well.
24:03 Absolutely, that's perfect.
24:05 And there's so much research now being done
24:07 on the importance of generosity and altruism
24:12 and it just goes back to the Bible
24:13 telling us about the benefits that come from giving.
24:17 You know, I'm thinking of my sister,
24:19 I member once when she was living in Chicago,
24:22 this is 25 years ago.
24:23 She called me, she was depressed, Magna,
24:26 and she was just kind of, "Woe it's me,
24:28 Poor Pitiful Pearl,"
24:31 that's what I'd always call her when she get like that.
24:33 I'd say, "You're doing a Poor Pitiful Pearl party."
24:35 And I told her, I said
24:38 what you need to do is get involved helping someone.
24:43 What she did was went down
24:45 and she volunteered at a ministry,
24:48 helping to feed the poor, helping to, you know,
24:51 do clothing drives but I mean,
24:53 she served in a line feeding them,
24:55 it didn't take any time whatsoever
24:58 to have that depression that had her
25:01 so oppressed for months, was just totally gone.
25:05 Because she was reaching out to help somebody else.
25:07 Reaching outside her, that's a perfect example,
25:09 Shelly, of what we're talking about.
25:11 And even if you're not depressed,
25:12 see we're talking about keys to optimal mental health
25:15 and so I want the listeners and those who are watching
25:18 and listening to be able to realize,
25:19 you don't have to have a diagnosis with depression
25:22 or anxiety to apply these principles.
25:26 Because some of us might not have those diagnoses
25:28 but we do not have, we're not experiencing
25:30 that optimal mental health.
25:34 Yeah. It's so for us. It is.
25:36 So these things are good for all of us
25:38 whether or not we're depressed.
25:39 Altruism, I mentioned that,
25:41 listen to some things they've found.
25:42 People who volunteer tend to experience
25:45 fewer aches and pains, less depression.
25:47 Some studies suggest that giving to others
25:50 makes people feel happier
25:52 than when they spend some money on themselves.
25:53 Yes. That's amazing to me.
25:56 Blessed to give than to receive.
25:58 Than to receive.
26:00 You see how these things,
26:01 the Bible just has given this to us years ago
26:04 and science is just now showing this.
26:07 And we have a term within our Seventh-day Adventist Church
26:12 called systematic benevolence.
26:14 When I started to understand and read the research
26:17 on giving, I said, "Lord, that's why you came up
26:20 with this whole plan of giving."
26:21 It's started during the time of Israel.
26:23 It did. You know?
26:24 It's not just to sustain His cause
26:27 but it's also for our own mental health.
26:30 My husband and I are reading through a book right now
26:32 and the author is talking about the fact
26:34 that when we give,
26:36 God has given people things, but when we give,
26:39 it actually removes the selfishness
26:41 and the covetousness from our own hearts.
26:43 That's very good.
26:44 So the whole system of giving God
26:46 has given to us to help us mentally.
26:48 That's beautiful. Isn't it?
26:50 And so when we give now
26:52 we don't have to give of a grudging spirit.
26:55 You know, recap, I can't believe
26:57 how quickly this went by.
26:58 Recap those four points for us real quickly.
27:01 We talked about, we're not doing it
27:02 in the same order but we talked about
27:03 aiming for true happiness, taking care of our bodies...
27:07 Monitoring our thoughts, moving away from the past
27:10 and then we slipped in the fifth one
27:12 and that's the importance of finding time
27:14 to engage in activities to help others.
27:16 That's wonderful.
27:17 Now, Magna, we're all out of time.
27:19 We're going to have Dr. Parks come back
27:21 and I just want to thank you so much for...
27:24 and I should say, Dr Parks Porterfield,
27:26 I'm accustomed to calling you Dr Parks as well.
27:29 She's going to be coming back
27:30 and doing another program with us.
27:32 And today you've heard some things
27:35 that God can teach...
27:37 If you will accept it and allow God to do this
27:40 they will help you have optimal health.
27:43 God bless you and join us again next time.