What is Spiritual Well Being?
Spiritual well being is defined as an expanding sense of purpose and meaning in life, including one’s own morals and ethics. It may include religious practices and engagement in a community based on this, but can also include personal practices that are not defined by a religion or religious group.
Spiritual beliefs can include the existence of a relationship to a higher power, and are related to perspectives on life, death and the nature of reality. Practices can include rituals such as prayer and meditation, religious service attendance, or participation in physical activities such as Yoga, Tai Chi or Qigong.
Spiritual wellness or a lack thereof, can have a significant impact on our day-to-day well being and ability to cope with the stressors of life. In fact, studies have shown that people who have a spiritual belief experience lower levels of depression, anxiety and display signs of better health – such as lowered blood pressure.
Spiritual wellness interacts with the seven other Dimensions of Wellness. Feeling stress within one Dimension of Wellness, can easily disrupt our wellness in other areas of life if not managed. Setting aside time to reflect, being conscious of the energies in your surrounding environment, and implementing routines to support spiritual wellness are essential for maintaining this.
Your goal could be as simple as practising a new meditation, or trying a new activity that promotes connection to your spiritual self. You may want to make changes to your physical environment that enhance your spiritual wellness also, or the changes may be internal and require ongoing self-discipline.
The information we’ll provide you with will help you work towards a more spiritually-well lifestyle.
What Are the Benefits of Spiritual Wellness?
There are many benefits to maintaining your spiritual well being. Some of these relate to yourself and your daily practices, while others relate to opportunities to shape the world around you.
Here we’ve listed just some of the benefits of spiritual wellness:
- A sense of purpose in life
- Comfort in times of uncertainty
- Tools to regain personal calm and centre
- A pathway to make sense of grief in times of loss
- An increased capacity for love and forgiveness
- An unlocking of creativity and resourcefulness
- Reduction of stress and depression
- An overall improvement in health and wellbeing
- Motivation to be of service to others
- A sense of community in those with shared beliefs
How to Set Spiritual Wellness Goals
While making changes to support your spiritual wellness may seem difficult in our busy modern world, the most important action is to take the first step.
Setting small goals for yourself to achieve each day can lead to the creation of a new routine. Asking family and friends to support your spiritual well being goals can also assist, whether by offering words of encouragement or simply accepting and embracing your beliefs.
Keeping a mindfulness journal can assist with progressing your spiritual goals on a regular basis. Writing down three things that you are grateful for each day, as well as acknowledging any new practices that you have succeeded at, can help to both maintain a positive mindset and create a feeling of accomplishment.
If progressing with your goals is feeling difficult, it can help to seek out groups of like-minded individuals – whether it’s an online group for people with a similar belief system, or joining a local service or prayer group.
Below we look at some tips for setting goals to improve your spiritual well being.
Spiritual Wellness Tips
When looking to improve your spiritual wellness, there are a range of practices that can be implemented. We’ve listed our favourites below:
- Meditation: Meditation involves paying attention to the breath as it goes in and out, and noticing when the mind wanders from this task. The purpose is to train yourself in awareness and gain a healthy sense of perspective on life. Meditation has been shown to produce many health benefits, including reduction of the inflammatory response caused by stress.
- Prayer: Prayer is defined as a request to a higher power for help, or an expression of gratitude for blessings. Prayer can be practised either in private or within a group setting. It can bring comfort in times of stress, providing the sense of a loving spiritual presence. Studies show that prayer can calm the nervous system, shutting down the fight or flight response.
- Mindfulness: Mindfulness is the practice of being aware and present of our senses and feelings in the moment, observing these without interpretation or judgement. Practising mindfulness involves breathing techniques, guided imagery and other methods to relax the body and mind. Studies show that mindfulness has the ability to boost both working memory and focus.
- Yoga: Yoga is a form of spiritual exercise which involves the control of breath, simple meditation and the adoption of specific body postures. It is practised widely around the world for health and relaxation, with an aim to bring harmony between body and mind. Research shows that Yoga can improve longevity, immunity and much more.
- Journaling: Journaling is a form of free writing, allowing the externalisation of feelings and a chance for personal reflection. When combined with mindfulness, it can become a powerful tool for self awareness and spiritual growth. The benefits of journaling include tracking of spiritual insight progress, managing stress and supporting faith.
The Eight Dimensions of Wellness
Spiritual wellness is one of the eight Dimensions of Wellness.
These are areas where you can improve your mental health and wellbeing.
As you progress towards fulfilling your goals in each dimension, you will experience an increasing sense of achievement and mental wellbeing in all areas of your life.
How Stride Can Help
Wherever you are in your journey and whatever you are experiencing, we’re here to help you create the life you want. We work side-by-side with you to provide specialist mental health services to improve your quality of life.
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