But let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God. 1 Peter 3:4

So often, we spend more time and energy on how we look on the outside, instead of paying attention to our inner beauty. More and more scientific studies are linking our emotional health, and inner thought life, to physical health. Stress, unhealthy diet, and unhealthy emotions can definitely age us faster.

In a book called the Telomere Effect, two researcher confirmed that, stress and unhealthy diet, accelerated cell division and cell death. Telomeres (noncoding DNA) are caps on the ends of our chromosomes that keep our genetic material from unraveling. Telomeres shorten with each cell division and determine how quickly our cells age and die. Old cells are called senescent cells. Senescent cells are tired and worn out. Senescent cells produce inflammatory substances that can increase pain and make us more susceptible to chronic illness. Telomeres do not follow a pre-programed genetic code, but are listening to us. In other words, telomeres respond to internal and external stimuli. If we are stressed and worried, eating an unhealthy diet, and not exercising, our telomeres divide faster causing our cells to get age faster. The converse is true, if we are at peace, eating a healthy diet, and exercising, our telomere length is longer and our cells live longer.

“The foods you eat, your response to emotional challenges, the amount of exercise you get, whether you were exposed to childhood stress, and even the level of trust and safety in your neighborhood-all of these factors and more appear to influence your telomeres and can prevent pre-mature aging at the cellular level. In short, one of the keys to a long healthspan is simply doing our part to foster healthy cell renewal.” The Telomere Effect, pg 7.

Telomerase is an enzyme that replenishes the telomeres by restoring the DNA lost during cell division. The telomerase renews the telomeres. So to sum things up, longer telomeres and more telomerase slow the cellular aging process ,whereas less telomerase speeds up the cellular aging. Studies have shown that the more stressed you are, the shorter your telomere length, and lower your telomerase level. Through the work of Dr. Blackburn and Dr. Epel, we have learned that we can have an impact on changing the length of our telomeres by our life experiences, and how we respond to those experiences.

Inner peace and joy are just as key to a healthy life as reducing stress, eating a healthy diet, and exercising. There is nothing wrong with trying to look our best, but paying attention to our inner beauty will bring true health and happiness. We are living in very stressful times. Many are struggling with their health physically and mentally. Many factors are involved in being healthy in mind, body and spirit, and yes they are connected.

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well, even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers. 3John 1:2

The song that has been on my heart all week is the song by Cody Carnes-Run to the Father. The Creator of the Universe knows what we need. He is a good Father and nothing but good. He is love and there is no darkness in Him. He created us and loves us perfectly. Learning and believing that God loved me, began my journey of healing in mind, body, and spirit. His love has been shed abroad in my heart through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). His love is like no other. He is not angry but is standing with arms wide open to welcome us into His presence. It is in His presence, that we can experience true love and acceptance, and healing for our body and soul. Run to the Father, and ask Him about your health. Ask Him to show you His love for you. Call out to Him and he will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand). Jeremiah 33:3

I will leave you with a few scripture to meditate on today, as well as the YouTube video of the song, Run to the Father. In the days to come, I will be writing more about gut health, and it’s affects on our physical and mental health. Be blessed! You are greatly loved.

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. Philippians 4:6

In the multitude of my [anxious] thoughts within me, Your comforts cheer and delight my soul! Psalms 94:19

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