by John Stamoulos - Master Breathwork Trainer
As you go about meeting the demands of a life that regularly stretches your tolerance and maxes out your coping skills, spiritual wellbeing can often fall to the bottom of your attention pile.
"Listen to your own voice, your own soul.
Too many people listen to the noise of the world, instead of themselves."
~ Leon Brown
Without the gift of spiritual health you have little to no perspective on the challenges, experiences and actions in your life; you can become disconnected from the vital need to examine your values and beliefs to see how congruent they are with your external world; you have no ability to look at chaos or discontent in life as a lack of meaning or purpose; and you diminish the potential to develop inner harmony and peace that can sustain you when life gets overwhelming.
Evaluate your own spiritual wellness
Take the time to consider each of these questions to see where you might need to focus on improving your spiritual wellness.
- Do you make time for daily relaxation and refreshment?
- Do you have a daily ritual of meditation and/or prayer?
- Do your values (honesty, love, respect) determine your choices and actions?
- Do you listen openly and accept the views of others even if they are different from your own?
- Are you aware of a core inner peace and balance no matter what is happening externally?
Spiritual health is achieved because it provides an opportunity to detach from the personal experiences of your life and take a step back to see situations more clearly and honestly. Spiritual wellbeing is neither negative or positive but simply a circumstance that invites observation and curiosity…it is the source of the eternal question of who we are and why we are here.
3 Key Components of Spiritual Wellbeing
Become more aware of the present moment, listen to your thoughts and feelings, be conscious of your body’s messages and observe the world around you. Learn how to balance your inner needs with the demands of the external world.
Gain a bigger picture context for the events of your own life by understanding where you fit in your world and how your challenges might be part of your transformation. Connect to your concept of a higher power to open the view to who you are and use that perspective to support your ability to adapt to change.
Take the time to reflect on the meaning of your life and to develop actions and relationships based on what matters most to you. Look at themes and experiences that thread through your experiences and consider your life purpose and direction based on that framework. Live each day with that purpose in mind and make meaningful choices to support that conscious self-vision.
Take Action - Achieving Spiritual Wellbeing
- Engage - Breathwork, meditation, prayer, affirmations, or other spiritual practices can support your connection to a higher power or belief system. (The UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center provides an introduction to mindfulness meditation that you can practice on your own for free!)
- Develop – compassion with the capacity for love and forgiveness, and giving to others.
- Be – Let joy and positivity, values, beliefs, principles, and morals guide a fulfilled sense of spiritual health.
- Explore - Be willing to get out of your own narrow focus and question the meaning and purpose in your life and how your life intertwines with others.
- Hold space for yourself
- Know when to say ‘no’ to others to strengthen your sense of personal value and significance. Give others the permission to say ‘no’ as well without judging them.
- Embrace imperfection – of self, others and world events.
- Listen to self and others with kindness, acceptance and equality.
- Love deeply, unconditionally and compassionately without expecting anything in return.
- Nurture a relationship with whatever you perceive God or Higher Power to be. Learn to see yourself in a universal, cosmic context. Embrace the mystery.
Spiritual wellbeing gives you the ability to meet everyday life challenges with an empowered perspective. It connects your individual experiences to a much bigger community - the community of earth and the community of the universe where limitless support and possibilities are accessible. It feeds greater peace, harmony and an awakened sense of unity with others. It generates a desire for greater tolerance and understanding as it provides the means to see the purpose and meaning in the life we lead.
With a healthy view of our spiritual side, life can be lived with greater wisdom, insight and above all, love and compassion.
With each new year comes my resolution to look after both my well-being and our planet a little better. The practice of mindfulness, where we make time to notice and appreciate the present moment and our thoughts, feelings and physical sensations in that moment, is a growing trend when it comes to improving our mental health. (...)