Much attention is focused on the importance of our physical and mental health, but what about our spiritual health? Top 8 Ways to Take Care of Your Spiritual Health.
As it turns out, our mind, body, and spirit are all deeply intertwine. The health of one can significantly affect the health of another. While spirituality won’t cure you, it’ll help you cope with pain and navigate troubled waters.
But what is spiritual health? Does it require religious ideals and beliefs, church services, guilt and atonement? You may be surprised to know that there isn’t one path one needs to take to be spiritually healthy—it’s different for everyone.
Some people experience spirituality through religion, but religion isn’t the only tool to experience it,” said Carrie Wester, a chaplain with Banner Behavioral Health Hospital in Scottsdale, AZ.
Spirituality is a sense of internal wellbeing and how you connect with something greater than yourself—whether that’s a higher power, nature, music, art, or humanity as a whole. It’s the ideals and beliefs you form throughout your life that form your own unique spirituality.”
What are the benefits of spiritual health?
The benefits of being a spiritual person are endless. “It can create a sense of purpose and belonging, help you feel calmer and more mindful, and create hope when things don’t go the way you want,” said Wester. “The most important thing is that spirituality can provide hope when it is not there or looks like it. Many spiritual practices can help you find or make peace. “
8 ways to boost your spiritual health
Some people find spirituality through religion; others don’t. There is no right or wrong way to achieve spiritual health. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some ways to help you get started.
1. Connect with your faith community
According to a Gallup study, 43% of Americans say they belong to a church or other religious body. These places of worship offer many ways to connect and encourage people living with mental disorders to connect with the community. Find someone or an organization that shares your beliefs and thoughts, and reconnect with them – online, over the phone, or in… in person. Contact your pastor or spiritual leader and find ways to connect with like-minded people in your faith community who can support and encourage you. “Many support systems were taken from them during the pandemic – church, volunteer, support,” said Wester. “It was really hard for those who were already struggling with mental health issues. As soon as you feel it is physically safe, I encourage people to reconnect with the faith community.
2. Volunteer or help others
If you don’t have a faith community, that’s okay. Another way to feel connected to your spirituality and faith is to find a cause that matters to you and to give back.
You can work at a food pantry, become a mentor or tutor or foster an animal. Doing so can grow your community and connect you with like-minded people. By helping others, it’ll also give you a sense of purpose and gratitude.
3. Practice yoga
You don’t have to be a yogi to derive spiritual benefits from practice. Yoga is for everyone at every level. In addition to strengthening and stretching your body, it can help your mind and spirit by reducing symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety.
Just like yoga, you don’t need to be an expert in meditation. Meditation is one of the easiest practices to maintain because it requires little time. “Some people think you need to keep quiet, but that’s not true,” said Wester.
You can walk and meditate keeping in mind how your feet feel on the ground or the details of your surroundings. Only the practice of slowing down the body can slow down the work of the brain.
Meditating for as little as five minutes can help reduce stress, depression and anxiety, and increase mindfulness. If you need help, there are excellent guided meditation apps like Calm or Balance.
5. Keep a journal
The act of writing can help process emotions, increase awareness, and provide a non-judgmental space for expressing feelings in the moment. Write down your worries and fears, or start a daily gratitude journal with hints.
6. Spend time in nature
Whether you live in the mountains, in the desert, or near the beach, spending time in nature can improve your spiritual health.
You can’t help but disconnect from the phone, your day and your problems. Even a few minutes of watching birds, swaying trees or the waves crash on the shore can be therapeutic.
7. Focus on your hobbies
Find things you like to do, whether it’s knitting, coloring, cooking, playing sports or exercising. Focusing on the things you like can restore your sense of purpose and keep you focused on the moment – even for a moment.
8. Speak with a chaplain or someone you trust
If you are having trouble connecting to your spiritual side or mental health, contact someone specially trained or someone you trust who can help.
Chaplains are specially trained in the struggle of faith in a clinical setting,” said Wester. They can help confirm your feelings and not wash them away – chasing them away. They can lead you back to your spiritual path. “
If you need help right now
If you are disconnected from your faith community and are having difficulties (mentally, physically, and / or spiritually), talk to your doctor or contact a mental health professional. They are here to help.