If you’ve never been the religious type, you might shrug off the need to work on your spiritual wellness. But that’s a mistake because making sure your spiritual needs are in tune can help you keep the rest of your life – physical, mental, and social – on track.
What Is Spiritual Wellness?
Spiritual wellness can mean different things, depending upon whom you ask. There’s no right or wrong answer as to what it entails. If you believe in organized religion, it can mean going to church every week, praying every day, or going to the confessional booth when you need it.
But if you aren’t religious, you can still seek spiritual wellness. It can be about finding your spot in this world, honoring what you believe to be important, living by your own code of morals or ethics, or making decisions in your life based upon your deeply-held values.
Paying attention to your spiritual wellness can help you define who you are as a person. You’ll better determine what’s important to you and what your purpose here in this world is.
How Spiritual Wellness Can Help Your Health
Having religion in your life or believing in a higher power of some sort can help with your mental health. Some studies have shown that people who consider themselves spiritual or religious have less anxiety or depression issues than those who don’t.
Although you’ll still experience the usual stresses that everybody does, you may find your reaction to them will change because your spirituality will help ground you and remember not to sweat the small stuff as much.
It can provide people with shelter from the storm that they need to get through the hard times in their lives – times that some other people might get through by turning to unhealthier coping mechanisms like drugs or alcohol. Your spirituality can be the fuel that keeps you going when you feel like giving in when the going gets tough.
Overall, spiritual wellness can give you a sense of wholeness, happiness, or balance. It can add optimism to your life, and that can be a transformative feeling.
How Spiritual Wellness Can Influence Your Social Life
Your social life is a big part of your overall wellness and happiness. People are social creatures and crave interaction with each other. And how you see the world and your role in it can influence your interactions with others.
Your spirituality can impact how well you connect with others and can influence what kind of social network you have available to depend upon if the need arises. If you attend a church regularly, it can feel as if you are gaining a whole other family.
Even if you are less interested in religion, you can explore your spirituality through long walks in nature, reflecting upon why you are here, or what you hope to accomplish. That, too, can benefit you and your relationships with others. It can help you become kinder, calmer, and more compassionate – that’s the type of person other people love being around. It can draw people toward you.
How You Can Work on Your Spiritual Wellness
Some people mistakenly believe that if they aren’t religious or if they don’t feel spiritual, they will remain that way for the rest of their life. But spirituality is just like your physical health – you can create it through your own work, and once you have it, you may have to strive to maintain it.
Just as you would do push-ups, bicycling, and running to maintain your physical health, you need to exercise your spiritual wellness. Here are some exercises you may use to help develop your spiritual side:
- Find something to be grateful for every day: Practicing gratitude can help you find your spiritual path. You might need to start small to find blessings for which you can give thanks. But with some practice, you’ll see the smallest of things as a reason to be grateful.
- Do some self-reflection: Figure out who you are, what that means to you, and what’s most important in your life. Self-reflection can help you see the larger picture and your role in the world.
- Explore organized religion: While you don’t have to join one, there are many forms of religion you may not have considered, which may align with your beliefs. See if one might be a good fit for you. It can give you another support system by connecting you with a church family who shares your same goals, interests, and outlook on life.
- Spend more time in nature: Connecting with nature can be an enlightening experience. A walk through a forest or some time spent at a beach or the mountains can help you think about higher powers or how we’re all part of a greater whole.
- Explore your beliefs through writing: Keeping a thought journal can be helpful while doing your soul searching.
- Meditation: If you’ve never done meditation, it can feel strange at first. That’s to be expected. But keep at it, and you’ll find you quickly become more comfortable with it each time you do it.
- Community service: Some people explore their spiritual side by finding ways to better their small corner of the world. Finding ways to give back to the community can help you find the spirituality that has eluded you.
- Using music: Music has made people think and feel since humanity first began. You can use music to explore your place in the universe, whether it’s religious music or a song that makes you think or feel deeply.
Do the Work and Feel the Benefits
It can take a bit of soul-searching to find your spiritual wellness. For some people, it comes naturally, but others have to dig deeper. By putting in the time, thought, and effort, you can determine what spiritual wellness means to you and get started on that path. Your overall health and happiness should improve, and you may feel more centered than you ever have before.