Spiritual Wellness: Definition and Examples
Last in our introductory series, related to laying basic foundations of what each of the five dimensions of wellness is all about, is the topic of spiritual wellness. Many mistake “spiritual” for “religious”; that’s why it is highly underrated and renounced.
So far, we have introduced to your attention physical, emotional, social, and intellectual wellness. The following text will shed light on what spiritual well-being is, what you can do to apply it in your life to pick up the fruits, and what those actually are.
Spiritual wellness is about knowing your place in the bigger picture of life and society. Finding meaning and having a general direction is fundamental for feeling whole and happy. Those extend beyond the margin of everyday matters but rather stretch over the whole path of existence.
We know it’s hard to grasp the abundance of experiences and possibilities that life can offer, and be aware of what you want and follow it. It takes time and conscious exploration of one’s self. Exposing yourself to new activities, experimenting with one’s beliefs, and questioning what is set in stone are just some of the ways to achieve that.
Read on to expand your internal world!
What Is Spiritual Wellness
Spiritual wellness is often seen as the most personal dimension, as it revolves around the question “who am I, and what is my meaning and purpose in life?”.
According to Laborers’ Health & Safety Fund of North America:
“Spiritual wellness is being connected to something greater than yourself and having a set of values, principles, morals, and beliefs that provide a sense of purpose and meaning to life, then using those principles to guide your actions.”
Answering the fundamental question of what and why is a life-long journey and undergoes changes and transformations. It strictly depends on significant events in one’s life – loses and wins, positive and negative experiences. Both happy and sad moments build up our character and influence our perception of whatever crosses our path.
Inviting the spiritual into our existence, we arm ourselves with strength in our weakest of moments, with hope in our most desperate of times, with faith in our most down-hearted of situations. The power of the spirit can help us survive with grace and inner peace in the face of adversity. Many examples evidence for the unexplainable potency of faith and will when battling and healing from a physical or mental illness.
All that is what spiritual means, and although it overlaps to some extent and in some aspects with various religious teachings, it is a separate unit and should not be mistakenly equated with religion. Activities promoting spiritual wellness are quite different from religious ones. Read below to find out what those are!
Spiritual Wellness Activities
Practicing spiritual wellness could be done through many activities and, as with everything else, and maybe even to a greater point, it’s quite subjective and personal. There is no universal method that is suitable for all shoes. If there is one thing in common for everyone, that is personal exploration and experimentation. To know what works for you or doesn’t, you need to try first.
“Just as we exercise to condition our bodies, a healthy spirit is nurtured by purposeful practice.”University of New Hampshire
Although people are different and find joy and rejuvenation in different ways, there are common grounds shared by many. Spending time in nature is one of those means to attune to the fine vibrations of the spirit. Traveling to an unfamiliar destination all by yourself is yet another way to turn your sight inwards. Even getting lost and trying to figure out where you are and how to get back is physically the metaphorical way of searching for answers.
Some other activities to engage yourself with spiritual wellness are:
- volunteering – caring and acting for the welfare of others and the environment gives the sweet and warm feeling of being beneficial to something bigger than yourself.
- connecting with others – ensuring quality time spent with people, even strangers on the street but mainly close ones like family and friends provides us a sense of belonging.
- practicing self-care – helping and looking after others is just as important as doing this for yourself; let us not forget that if we are not in a good place ourselves, we can never provide anything good for anyone else.
- being present and aware – start keeping a journal of your experiences, feelings, and thoughts; this will keep you grounded and your senses open.
- expressing gratitude – remind yourself daily of all that you have and focus on the things we take for granted like health, food on the table, roof above our heads, significant others who care for us. Studies have shown that gratitude improves greatly spiritual wellbeing.
The ways by which you can indulge your soul in spiritual activities are indeed many and varied. After all, it all goes down to purifying and renewing your internal self and enhancing your psychic powers. Read the next section to learn how you can achieve that.
How to Improve Spiritual Wellness
Before thinking of improving anything, one must be aware of the current state – where he stands concerning the examined issue. They say asking the right questions is half the awareness, maybe even more important than the answers themselves. That’s why you need to reflect upon the following.
- What gives my life meaning and purpose?
- What gives me hope?
- How do I manage hardships? What is it that gives me the strength to move on?
- Do I allow alone time for myself to explore the depths of my soul and reflect on my feelings and experiences?
- Do I take the time to slow down the pace and relax, just breathe?
- How do I respond to events in my life and do I analyze their meaning to the bigger picture of my existence?
- Am I able to forgive when someone hurts me and feel compassion for someone else’s pain?
Having the answers to the above questions will give you a clear picture of what you already do in the direction of maintaining strong spiritual well-being. Don’t be down if you are not doing much, you can begin now by setting your goals.
Spiritual Wellness Goal Examples
Based on what we talked about so far, there are many different goals you can set for yourself to improve and expand your spiritual well-being. They can be either private and personal activities or shared and mutual with others. You can decide for yourself which you prefer, but we highly believe and advise engaging with both.
- yoga, meditation – practicing yoga and some form of meditation are both great ways to connect to your inner self, open your senses, and slow down the pace.
- mindfulness – take the time to practice being in the present moment, letting thoughts come and go with no further engagement with them; do so once or twice a day for 5-10 minutes.
- coloring mandalas – this can be performed as an individual activity or in a group; it helps focus and concentration, thus clearing the mind of all useless baggage we carry during the day.
- sing, dance – those are physical and creative activities that help release the tension and boost playfulness and unleash the child energy we all have buried and hidden in our normal everyday life.
- pause to remind yourself that life isn’t all about you – this is a very important thought that we seem to forget when overwhelmed with fear, frustration, and expectations; turn back to it whenever you catch yourself ruminating.
- take walks in nature – and marvel at its beauty, appreciate the transformation of the seasons, the sunrise and sunset, and the beautiful colors it paints on the sky, listen to the rain, to the birds sing, and be thankful you can.
- put the phone down – and just be present in the current moment and involved with everything happening around you; the dynamic world we live in has us swirling in a whirlpool of stimulation that has us trapped in overthinking and engaging with insignificant and transient information.
Spiritual wellness is the highest of the dimensions of wellness as it requires all else to be taken care of to turn the sight inwards. It is by no means to be confused with religion and even if you don’t identify yourself with one, you can and should still invest in your spiritual well-being.
First, you need to realize whether you have found your sense of meaning and purpose, and have set the general direction of your life. There are questions you need to reflect on, preferably on your own. Spend time with yourself, make journeys with no fixed direction for the sake of exploration, be aware and mindful.
And don’t forget – humans are physical creatures, but what differs us from other species is our mind and our soul. Never stop exploring the internal realm because, although invisible to the eye, it exists and has a great impact on who we are and how we feel.