When people consider the term “spiritual”, they often think of having a higher power or developing a deeper connection with the physical or supernatural world. Spirituality embodies multiple elements of mental and emotional health that are critical for self-discovery and growth. Spiritual wellness encompasses the experiences that we have with ourselves and with those around us. It allows us to feel connection through empathy and compassion and gives us a sense of purpose for our lives here on Earth.
What Does It Mean to Be “Spiritually Fit”?
When it comes to mental health, being spiritually fit means understanding your own values and worth. Each and every one of us has a unique purpose and we are all on our own subjective journeys trying to figure out what that may be. When we experience issues with our mental or physical health, we often isolate ourselves from others and even from ourselves. We get stuck in the cycle of thinking that we do not belong or do not deserve to experience happiness, especially if our conditions cause us to ruminate on our past mistakes. In these circumstances, we are not spiritually well. We are left with feelings of guilt, shame, and an inevitable loss of connection.
Being spiritually well also means knowing that mistakes are inevitable. Although we may want to think perfection is achievable, part of being a human being is to be flawed. Spiritual wellness involves knowing how to forgive ourselves for our past mistakes as well as forgive others for theirs. Forgiveness is a crucial element of mental health recovery, and a very hard one at that. Once we understand how to embody forgiveness, we can be less focused on perfection and more focused on appreciating the opportunities and lessons that life may reveal to us.
A spiritually fit person may also understand the value of mindfulness and living in the present moment—as the present moment is all that we will ever have. Mental illness can disrupt our ability to function in the present moment and takes away our control over our mind’s state. Mindfulness teaches us to recognize, reflect, and grow into the best version of ourselves.
“If I Am Not Religious, Is There Any Benefit to Spiritual Wellness?”
Although religion and spirituality are often used synonymously, spirituality is a much broader term, encompassing more than just organized religion. Spirituality is more about finding deeper meaning in the connections you experience with others and the world around you, while religion typically involves the praise of a specific God or deity. Being spiritually fit means acknowledging your own intuition and honoring the connection you have with the world that surrounds you.
“I Am Struggling Severely With My Mental Health. How Could I Possibly Find Spiritual Wellness?”
When you experience dark times, spiritual wellness can and will benefit you. One way you can try to engage with spiritual wellness is by practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness can be achieved through a variety of meditative states, through mindful breathing or other exercises, or even through active listening. All you have to do is focus on the present moment and appreciate it for what it is. Focus on the things that you can control, or otherwise try to look at a situation from an objective view. Mindfulness teaches us to accept the things we cannot change and to not judge a situation from our own limited perspective. Try to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine and you will experience a greater sense of connection to yourself and your environment over time.
“What Are Some Other Ways to Find Spiritual Wellness Other Than Mindfulness?”
Mindfulness may seem like a difficult task to be accomplished at first, but it is more a way to live than a box to be checked. Mindfulness can be incorporated into any and all spiritual lessons that you are seeking to understand. For example, one way to find spiritual wellness is by practicing empathy and compassion with your loved ones. Although you may be struggling, it is important to acknowledge that your loved ones may be struggling as well. Step outside your current situation and practice genuine empathy for your loved ones. In this situation, mindfulness can be achieved through active listening and engagement. Try to see the world through your loved ones’ eyes instead of unconsciously comparing their life to your situation or your past experiences. This is much easier said than done. Although spiritual wellness can be practiced through different elements like empathy, mindfulness makes it much more intentional.
Aside from empathy and compassion, try to foster forgiveness in yourself and others around you. Reflect on the connections that you share with others, especially with your close family or friends. Finding a sense of belongingness is essential to mental health recovery and is another key element of spiritual wellness. Lastly, try to dedicate your time volunteering and serving others to highlight your own understanding of connection. You matter, and spiritual wellness will help you believe it!
Spiritual wellness refers to a sense of understanding your values and self-worth in the world around you. Spirituality is a broad term that places emphasis on understanding the importance of the connections that we share with others and with our environment. In mental health recovery, spiritual wellness will help you to practice important virtues like compassion, forgiveness, empathy, and connection. Through mindful practices and reflection, you will find that spiritual wellness can be achieved through self-discovery. When you learn how to have compassion and forgiveness for yourself, you will be much more likely to express those feelings outwardly. This is an essential lesson learned in becoming spiritually well. SoCal Mental Health knows how important it is to value self-worth. Mental health illness can significantly affect the way we see ourselves and the world around us. We want to help you establish those connections again in a positive light. Call us at (949) 502-2041.