Article by: Jane Sandwood, freelance writer
Spiritual well-being is linked to strong mental health regardless of religion or ethnicity, according to recent studies. Despite its common misconception, spiritual well-being is not linked to any one religion, nor is it necessary to profess religion at all to reap the benefits of good spiritual health. Rather, spiritual well-being can be thought of as a philosophy that each person has a purpose and spiritual identity. Key practices such as meditation and holistic health therapies help people find their spiritual identity, a discovery which, in turns, yields better mental health and satisfaction.
Understanding Spiritual Well-Being
It’s important to understand the parameters of spiritual-well being in a broader sense before thinking about how you can adapt spiritual health for your individual needs. The University of New Hampshire outlines criteria for spiritual-wellbeing, including care for others, compassion, and the ability to reflect on events in everyday life. These practices rest on the idea that everyone has a purpose, and by taking steps to fulfill our purpose, we can find satisfaction and relief from stress. At a personal level, the cultivation of a spiritual identity may involve brainstorming ways to relieve anxiety or reflect on everyday life. When beginning, it is a good idea to keep a journal and set small goals so you can observe your own transformation towards healing.
Spiritual Well-Being and Holistic Therapies
Holistic therapies, including yoga, acupuncture, meditation, and other healing practices are designed to merge physical well-being with a more spiritual one. The word yoga, for instance, means “union” in Sanskrit; and indeed, many think of yoga as the unity of mental, physical, and spiritual cognisance. And indeed, yoga, a practice rooted in spirituality, is associated with symptomatic relief of medical disorders, including high-blood pressure, glaucoma, chronic pain, and above all else, stress. For people whose stress manifests physically, in muscle aches and tension, a massage has obvious physical benefits, but it also trains your mind to relax and trust the person alleviating your pain, which in itself is a component of spiritual-well being.
The Early Bird Catches The Worm
When it comes to childhood development, a comprehensive case study found that children and teenagers develop emotional resilience from spiritual well-being, a correlation that strongly indicates it’s a good idea to teach spiritual well-being to your children at a young age. The researchers hypothesized that spiritual well-being can be thought of as once branch of “coping mechanisms,” which teach youth to navigate hardships and achieve a more positive life outcome. It’s important that parents and guardians have discussions with their children about the development of a spiritual identity as they mature into young adults.
The combination of holistic therapies and daily reflection is tried-and-true when it comes to developing spiritual identity and, ultimately, more satisfaction with life. Incorporating these practices into your routine is a sound way to cultivate your own sense of spiritual well-being as it best suits you.