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I know what it’s like to wake up around 4:00am feeling “soul sick” with anxiety. Its an irrational feeling that I’m going to fail or I forgot to do some vital thing the day before or there is so much to do today that I’ll never do it all.

Do you ever feel bad when you feel good for fear that you will feel worse after you feel better?

Or are you such a perfectionist that 99 people could compliment and one criticize you and only the criticism is remembered?

Those were many of my “yesterday” kind of experiences. Today is a different story. Not perfect or having it all together by any means, but on the right side of health.

And I thank God for that.

The single most important quality about you, your relationships, your future, your emotional well bring, your spiritual health, or your success is a healthy soul.

8 Habits of Healthy Souls

1. Respect yourself and do respectful things.

This habit is in a different stratosphere than the other 7 habits: If you really want to be healthy at the deepest level of your soul, start listening to the voice inside you.

What are you telling yourself about yourself?

The opinions of others can be nice, but they’re hardly objective, and in fact if you are too dependent on them they will lead you to be a people-pleaser.

You are in a relationship with yourself. Your opinion of yourself will be your greatest source of soul transformation.

You may feel you have a critic in your brain – a judgmental voice that belittles you. You don’t have to settle for that.

Respect is earned by doing respectful things. When you do respectful things you’ll respect yourself a lot more.

2. Practice reflective appreciation.

Healthy souls are deep in reflection and appreciation.

One of my formative reads for 2014 was the book, “Sleeping With Bread.” It tells the story of WW2 orphans. The fortunate ones were rescued and placed in refugee camps where their received food and good care. But many of these children were so traumatized by their losses that they could not sleep.

They feared waking up and finding themselves homeless and without food. The only thing that reassured them was when workers gave them a piece of bread to hold onto at bedtime. Holding their bread, these children could finally sleep in peace. All through the night the bread reminded them that, “I ate today and I will eat again tomorrow.”

They were holding onto hope.

Where there is no faith in the future there is no power in the present.

When you make a habit of ending your day by asking yourself questions like the following, you are holding on to hope:

A. “For what am I least grateful?” “For what am I most grateful?”

B. “When did I give and receive the most love today?” “When did I give and receive the least love today?”

C. “When did I feel most alive today?” When did I feel most life draining out of me?”

In your answers, acknowledge how God is speaking to you through them.

“Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us!” 1 Chronicles 29:14

3. Have faith in yourself and do faith-filled things.

Who do you think you are?

Healthy souls see themselves as unconditionally loved and immeasurably valued creations of God. You are, as the Bible says, “fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 136:14)

People aren’t really motivated by goals; they’re motivated by character transformation.

Every story that we love is about a character that doubts himself or herself in the beginning and believes in himself or herself at the end. The most powerful stories are about people who learn something about themselves that changes their identity for the better.

When you take faith-filled action, you’ll discover a lot about yourself and the God in whom you have faith.

“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)

4. Identify what generates the most hope in your life.

Your soul needs HOPE more than anything else to be healthy.

You need HOPE not HYPE. We tend to misuse the word “hope” as a synonym for “wish.” Hope differs from optimism, positivity and certainly wishful thinking: hope is the confident expectation of future good.

Is your source of hope from Prayer? Music? Reading the Bible? Art?

Whatever it is for you, make it a part of your daily life.

In times of setbacks and difficulties when you do what you most like to do, you are acting in hope.

Can you have false hope? Not according to Yale oncologist, Dr Bernie Siegel – “There is no such thing as false hope. I know people are alive today because I told them, “You don’t have to die.”

That’s enough for your soul to mull over – in a healthy way – for this post. Read the remaining four habits here “8 HABITS CONT’D.”

Which of these four habits stands out most to you as personally helpful? Please leave a comment below. Thank you.

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Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 44 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vincent and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love inspiring people through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, and reading. I'm a fan of the Double E, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers


  • Patricia says:

    My most helpful habit is #4. The sources of hope I have come from reading my Bible, quiet time with God, listening to music, going for long walks and talking with someone who understands. #2 is new to me. Asking yourself these questions at the end of day I can see being very helpful. All of these habits are great ones in building and keeping hope.

  • soultrees says:

    Wow. This is one thoughtful blog… Definitely worthy of reflection and a good beginning point to journaling regularly, which is something I desire to get into. I wasn’t able to get kids and I going for services today, so this was an encoyraging replacer and start to my own time with Him today! I look forward to reading it and part 2 again.

  • bob jones says:

    Hi Lisa. Glad this was helpful. I’ll have part 2 up later this week. Keep up the journaling.

  • Mike Hendrick says:

    Bob: I spoke at a church in Westlock recently on a Rope of Hope and examined the whole thinking of hope. I took it from a Hebrew culture mind set too and shared that it was not simply wishful was a confident expectation of God’s promises…and used the initial usage of the word which was found in Judges when Rahab the prostitute threw down the scarlet rope as her hope of deliverance…the word Tikvah was from the Hebrew describing a tying of a cord…I shared how God ties one end of the rope to himself and ties the other end to his promises and it is like a tethering rope we hold on to in hope.

  • bob jones says:

    Hi Mike. Thanks for commenting. Glad to know you are speaking in churches! Thanks for staying in touch by commenting.

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