What is Spiritual Health?
There is no easy way to describe spirituality as it entirely deals with human nature and how we live. So, the question is – what is spiritual health, and is it essential for our overall well-being?
Spiritual health is a dimension of our being that merges all the other fundamental aspects of life – physical, emotional, psychological, and social. It is a means to create the basic foundation for living wholly, not fragmented. Spiritual health is also connected to a higher purpose in life: living in peace and harmony.
This higher purpose creates a profound meaning in our relationship with each other and moves in eternity with the universe. When this happens within an individual, a radical transformation takes place that glues all the pieces of our health in every aspect of life.
To understand the significance of spirituality, we need to discover the trueness and falseness through our own understanding, which is self-knowledge.
Is Spirituality Different From Religion?
Let’s look at spirituality and religion from an evolutionary perspective.
It all started from religion, and the root meaning of that word points to something that holds us all together. (1)
The attitude and well-being from a religious perspective often vary. There are two different outlooks toward religion; intrinsic religious experience and extrinsic religious commitment.
Experience of eternal divinity has always been the foundation of religious institutions. However, authentic intrinsic spiritual (religious) experience provides internal and external healing, while extrinsic religion has shown no significant changes inwardly.
Intrinsic religious (spiritual) experience:
1) Non-conformity to any group or religion
3) Internalized moral beliefs and ethics
Extrinsic religious commitment:
1) Influenced by groups, norms, and institutions
2) Personal security
3) Externalized beliefs and ethics
While religion is mainly based on methodological institutions, holding people in beliefs, attitudes, and practices, spirituality, on the other hand, is deeply a personal experience. It is a way of “being” rather than “becoming.”
Spirituality originates from the Latin word “spiritus,” meaning “breath” or “life.” Eastern traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism have known the importance of breath and implemented it in various meditative processes.
It is the guiding power for your daily living and to experience the wholeness of life. It is never a one-time experience, rather more of being in the present moment as though you are flowing in eternity.
Spirituality in itself doesn’t involve any practices, but there are ways where one can live in an orderly manner. Spiritual experience comes into being when you find order within yourself. Understanding the process of your mind and body is essential for inner freedom and peace.
How Does Spiritual Health Affect Your Overall Health?
Let’s take a step back and define spiritual health more vividly. ‘Health’ and “heal” seem related, doesn’t it? Surprisingly, these terms come from the biblical word “holy,” meaning to “heal” or “save.”
Healing occurs when all the fragmented parts come together to form “wholeness” or “oneness.” Whether it is physical, mental, or spiritual, everything requires connectedness to promote a healing effect.
An extraordinary sense of joy, happiness, and love connects all of us in a deeper aspect of life, and that is when we truly heal ourselves in all dimensions.
Spirituality and mental health (psychology) are closely related. That doesn’t mean we have to disregard physical health. It is important to remember that living spiritually can help manage your physical health. You are exceptionally aware of your diet and the required movement your body needs on a daily basis. (2)
Your diet, physical activity, and behavior broadly define your lifestyle, and this way of living helps you cope with your physical discomfort. After all, balance is the order that makes us whole.
Essential Aspects of Spiritual Health:
1) Helps us discover the greater meaning of life and the universe. This meaning is a contributing factor that drives every individual to live in peace, love, and harmony.
2) The self or ego naturally diminishes and creates a deep relationship between one another, allowing you to act with compassion, love, and genuine ethics.
3) Promotes inner peace, positively impacting your mental and physical well-being.
4) A deep insight or perception brings about a radical transformation psychologically, helping us connect more with nature, animals, and birds.
How To Become More Spiritual?
The spiritual dimension of human life is not just about some mystical experience but also offers a profound meaning in our daily life. It is the combination of sacredness and wholeness.
Spirituality influences us in our daily life significantly. Some of them are:
1) Decision making
2) Being in the present moment
4) Morality, compassion, and love for human beings, animals, and the environment.
5) Sexual orientation
6) Inner passion for the upliftment of society and culture
7) Non-indulgent in alcohol, drugs, and unhealthy food
8) Giving value to all kinds of relationships
In order to bring a spiritual effect to your life, you need to understand that we as human beings should be kind, healthy, considerate, compassionate, and loving. This doesn’t mean ignoring your suffering or struggles but realizing that every individual goes through the same process, although the cause varies. (3)
Initially, you need to understand that you, as an individual, are just a speck in this vast universe. However, suppose we perceive that we are all one. In that case, this becomes a tremendous realization, and we begin to understand how petty our “self” or “ego” is.
Here are some of the ways to bring order to your life so that you invite spirituality without the act of “will”:
As a human being, it is essential to be curious about outward as well as inward happenings. One of the most critical factors in spirituality is to notice or observe your daily patterns.
Most of us go on autopilot mode without knowing the fundamental basis of our existence and the relationships we have with one another and nature. Questioning yourself is a part of self-awareness and integrity, making you humble and open-minded.
2) Spend Quality Time in Nature
Spending time in nature doesn’t essentially mean hiking in the mountains or walking on a beach, but also connecting to the trees, plants, and animals around you. You can also have a walk around your nearest park or garden to refresh yourself. (4)
Instead of spending time on social media, you can use it to look at the sky, trees, birds, and almost everything natural. Embrace the feeling of the breeze on your skin, the petrichor, and the beautiful smell of flowers. Appreciate everything and everyone.
3) Don’t Seek Revenge, Forgive!
The most important aspect of being spiritual is not to seek revenge or vengeance. Forgiveness shows how humane and peaceful you are. Letting go implies forgiveness and vice versa.
That being said, it doesn’t mean you detach yourself from others. Instead, you see the consequences of holding on to unnecessary things.
4) Listen To Your Intuition
Spiritually inclined people always have a tendency to go with their gut instincts or intuition. Also, they know the value of going with instincts as it plays a major role in good decision-making.
Most times, we ignore this instant feeling and instead use our brains for long-term decisions. The brain can help you analyze facts and theories, but intuition is accurate for telling you what feels good and what does not.
5) Put an End To All The Negative Traits
Spirituality and selfishness don’t go together. Selfishness means when you use a person for your own benefit. The feelings of envy, jealousy, anger, and comparison are the traits that create meaningless attachments and, therefore, cause innumerable conflicts.
Usually, it is our ego, greed, and ignorance that act as a barrier to the feeling of oneness or wholeness.