Pathway to Wellbeing - Week 2

Welcome to The Wellbeing Journey. We begin this journey together by looking at what we mean by wellbeing and the different areas of our lives this affects. Each week there will be time to get to know each other, have some input from a variety of speakers and then discuss all that we have heard and how we might apply this.

This week we will be thinking about how our mindset affects our wellbeing. The human mind is wonderful and complex; the way that we think can be as unique as we are. But there are some guiding principles that we are going to look at today that will help to ensure that the way we think (our mindset) is contributing to our overall wellbeing.

Starter Questions

Would you describe yourself as a “glass half empty” or “glass half full” person?

What do you understand about the word “mindset”?

How does our mindset impact our wellbeing?


In this session Joanna meets Andy Croft, senior pastor at Soul Survivor Church in Watford, and psychologist Dr Kate Middleton, a director of the Mind and Soul Foundation, who has a particular interest in the way our emotions affect us. 

Discussion Questions

1. When you meet someone for the first time, how do you like to introduce yourself?  What themes do we use to define ourselves?

2. Can you think of a time when confidence in your own identity has been challenged?  How did you overcome the challenge?

3. Studies by researcher Carol Dweck revealed that there are two opposing mindsets. With a fixed mindset, people believe their qualities are fixed traits and therefore cannot change. Alternatively, with a growth mindset, people have an underlying belief that their learning and intelligence can grow with time and experience. Do you tend to have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset? When do you think you got stuck?

4. In your lifetime, who has inspired you to grow?  

5. How often do you reflect on your life? (Often, sometimes, never?)
Take a moment to look at the dials from last week and reflect on where you assessed you were in each category.  The dials are below as a reminder. 


Discuss together in twos and threes online in breakout groups or in the room.
1. When you completed the dials last week, which of the subjects did you find most difficult to be honest with yourself about?

2. Take a moment to look over the ‘8 Tips on How to Live a Stress-Free Life’ below. Which tip seems most relevant for you right now? Pick one to focus on over the next few weeks.

3. Take back control: At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic psychologist Dr Henry Cloud explained that, as human beings, we struggle with feelings of insecurity when we feel that we are not in control of events. His suggestion was to make two lists: one concerning things that we can’t control; the other, things we can control. We can then choose not to take responsibility for the first list and to act on the second list.

Discuss how these lists could help improve your mindset in the coming week.

Final Thought

Take a few moments to express your gratitude for the life you have and the good things you enjoy.
We look forward to seeing you next week!

8 Tips on How to Live a Stress-Free Life

Extracts adapted from ‘God’s Plan For Your Wellbeing’ by Dave Smith (Waverley Abbey Resources)

One of the doctors in our local church recently wrote to me about the strong link between our mental state and the symptoms of stress, such as headaches, muscle tension, dizziness, sleep problems, tiredness, irritability, feeling overwhelmed, anxious or fearful. She said: ‘From my personal experience, my clinical practice and ongoing current research in neuroscience, I have come to understand that the link between mental stress and the physical body cannot be overemphasised.’ Then, drawing on her own medical background and the Bible, she gave ‘8 Tips on How to Live a Stress-Free Life’,* many of which are related to our thoughts and our mindset.

1. Mindfulness and meditation. These practices are frequently recommended for increased mental wellbeing. Christian mindfulness is becoming aware of the presence of God and Christian meditation focuses on the Word of God (see Joshua 1:8). Together they produce wonderful benefits: ‘You will keep in perfect peace [‘complete wellbeing’, literally ‘shalom, shalom’] those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.’ (Isaiah 26:3).

2. Take control of your thoughts. The NHS website highlights the importance of this, and the Bible calls us to ‘take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ’ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

3. Develop the habit of casting your cares. The NHS advice is to accept what you have control over and accept what you cannot change. The Bible encourages: ‘casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on him, for he cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]’ (1 Peter 5:7, AMP).

4. Connect with people, help people. Science has shown that as we do this our neural networks form better. The Bible tells us we are to live a life of love (see 1 Corinthians 13 and Week Six of this guide).

5. Do things you enjoy. NHS advice confirms the biblical picture of the Creator God who ‘provides us with everything for our enjoyment’ (1 Timothy 6:17).

6. Be goal-oriented. Again, the NHS advises to set yourself goals and challenges. The Bible talks about the importance of vision (e.g. Proverbs 29:18) and has an underlying theme of the need for us to live with true purpose (see Week Eight).

7. Be thankful. Research shows people who are most grateful are generally more satisfied and less stressed. The Bible encourages us to give thanks in all things (see Colossians 3:16–17).

8. Live loved. The general term for this is self-love. The Bible tells us that we will only truly know we’re loved when we know we’re dearly loved by God (see Ephesians 5:1–2).

What’s encouraging about this list is that they are all things that are medically recommended, biblically based and practically accessible.
*Not all ‘stress’ is bad.