Every human has a spiritual center and a need for spiritual belonging. You don’t have to be a member of any religion to be spiritual. In addition, you don’t need to have experience meditating to tap into your spiritual side. Today, let’s take a look at how you can practice spirituality for beginners and why you should do so in the first place.
What Is Spirituality?
Spirituality means many different things to different people. But in a nutshell, spirituality is the innate human sense of being connected to the universe and others on a macro scale. Spirituality can be defined as a feeling in which the person feels like part of a whole. Moreover, spiritual wellness entails a deep feeling of purpose in life that stems from your personal morals and values.
Spirituality can also be defined as a mindset. A spiritual mindset puts one’s perspective in a new position, focusing less on themselves as individuals and more on how they fit into the wider universe.
In any case, spirituality is not the same thing as religion. Religion, or a religious instinct/feeling, is about belonging to a community that follows specific spiritual practices or ideas. While there can be many benefits to belonging to such a community, you can be spiritual without being religious and vice versa.
Need an example? Imagine taking a hike to a beautiful nature scene and looking out over a splendorous landscape. If you feel a sense of wonder or awe come over you, that’s spirituality.
Or maybe you like to practice yoga. When you are very calm and centered in the space between poses, you likely experience a spiritual sensation. You feel at peace with yourself, the wider world, in your place within it.
Does Everyone Have a Spiritual Side?
Yes, although not everyone fosters their spiritual side or is in touch with their spiritual energies. Many anthropologists see spirituality as a core part of the human experience. We all have an innate desire to understand our place in the universe and want to know whether there’s something “more” to life than our conscious experiences.
That said, you don’t necessarily have to practice spirituality, nor do you have to make it a cornerstone of your daily routine. But this may be a wise idea. Spirituality is a cornerstone of overall health and wellness. Generally, spiritual people are happier and more content than people not in touch with spirituality.
If you think you are not spiritual, it might just mean you don’t have the tools or experience to tap into those helpful feelings quite yet.
What Are the Benefits of Practicing Spirituality for Beginners?
When you practice spirituality, you’ll likely find that you gain long-term benefits that improve the wellness of your life all around.
Better Mental and Emotional Health
For starters, spirituality is directly tied to your mental and emotional health. Spiritually balanced, engaged individuals tend to have better emotional and mental health across the board. Why? It’s partially related to the benefits described below.
But it’s also because feeling spiritual is correlated with feeling at peace and calm. You might also find that your mental and emotional health rises when you get in touch with your spiritual energy. Remember, spirituality is a cornerstone element of holistic wellness. When you improve one aspect of wellness, you improve them all.
Here’s another example. When you are hungry or not taking care of your body, it’s tough to feel mentally and emotionally healthy. But as soon as you eat a great meal, odds are you feel much better! The same principle applies to spiritual health.
Easier Time Dealing with Challenges
Next, if you practice spirituality regularly, you may find that you have a much easier time dealing with intense challenges. Most people have problems to overcome each day. But spirituality gives you the mental fortitude and centeredness necessary to overcome these challenges.
Say that you lost your job, have relationship trouble, or were injured in an accident. Spiritual people can better withstand those challenges and come out the other side resolved to keep enjoying life and do better than before.
Renewed Sense of Purpose and Self
Spirituality gives most people a renewed sense of purpose and self. Those who are spiritual have a better understanding of where they are in the universe and who they are as people. This, in turn, allows them to make better decisions regarding:
- Career choices
- Goals in life
Imagine that you feel constantly envious of others and their lives. If you practice spirituality, you could find contentment within yourself and realize the excellent aspects of your life you’ve been avoiding so far. Alternatively, you might get better in touch with yourself and realize what you want to do with your career or personal pursuits.
How To Cultivate Spirituality for Beginners
How can you cultivate inner spirituality if you don’t have any experience? There are lots of ways you can foster your own spirituality, even as a beginner. Here are some methods to try whenever you feel comfortable doing so.
Treat Your Journey as Personal
Firstly, never get caught up in the idea that you have to practice spirituality the same way as someone else. In addition, you don’t have to foster inner spirituality by following the guidelines or recommendations of any established church or religion.
Instead, think of your spiritual journey as innately personal. Everyone has a different connection to the natural world and the energies of the universe. That means that no one can tell you the best way to be spiritual for your unique needs.
- Think about the activities you enjoy or might enjoy in the future. For example, do you think you would find meditation or yoga intriguing or enjoyable? If you do, consider adding these to your daily routine.
- Consider what kind of connection you want to have with your spirituality. Do you appreciate an individualized, free-form approach? Are you curious about community-based approaches? Answering this question can help you determine what type of path might be best for you.
Bottom line: thinking of your spiritual journey as personal will help you find the right techniques or strategies to practice for long-term improvements and benefits.
Journaling is very useful for many people, including those looking to cultivate spiritual energy. When you journal, you get out your emotions and inner thoughts and put them on the page. This is proven to have significant mental health benefits, especially if you have things you need to get off your chest.
For example, did you have a bad day at work? Instead of venting to someone else or bottling those feelings up, you can empty them in your journal and feel the weight of those feelings leave you almost immediately.
Journaling is also great for organizing your thoughts, figuring out what you really want, and understanding yourself deeper than ever before. Perhaps best of all, journaling is something you can do every day with minimal effort. Just put a journal on the nightstand by your bed and get into the habit of writing before you sleep each evening.
Practice Meditation (and Yoga)
Many individuals find tying physical activities to their search for spiritual meaning very effective. Spiritual meditation, on a basic level, involves focusing on your breath and allowing your mind to wander. As you improve at meditation, you’ll achieve clarity and calm as you’ve never experienced before.
Yoga is similar to meditation and is often practiced by meditation fans. This form of physical exercise increases your core body strength and your flexibility, providing a small cardio workout while you get in tune with your body and focus on your breath like you would with meditation.
Either of these efforts can be of great assistance in fostering spirituality. If you think it would be interesting, check out some of our yoga guides or try practicing yoga or meditation first thing in the morning to start your day off right.
Tap Into Your Creative Side
Not everyone can be an artist, but everyone has a creative side they can tap into for personal enjoyment and spiritual fulfillment. You can be creative by playing music, writing fiction, drawing or painting, or doing anything else creative you can think of.
Creativity is another inherent part of holistic wellness since it helps to trigger the parts of our brains that connect with spiritual energies. Indeed, many people who have creative hobbies find that they feel most spiritual or in tune with themselves when they create.
Again, you don’t have to make creativity a cornerstone of your life, nor do you need to pursue a career as a creator or artist. But scribbling or writing for a few hours each week could do wonders for your spirituality and make you feel better about yourself and your talents simultaneously.
Who knows? Maybe you’ll find that you’re better at creative art than you think and open up a side gig or career opportunity in the process!
Foster Spirituality Every Day
Most importantly, if you want to foster spirituality as a beginner, you must practice it daily. Whether that means meditating daily, writing in your journal daily, or simply practicing gratitude daily, consistency is key to building any long-term habit.
The more you practice spirituality, the easier it will become and the faster you’ll feel the benefits in terms of mental and emotional health. If you only try to get in touch with your spiritual side once in a while, you’ll find that it feels out of reach or foreign to you when you do eventually touch it.
What Are Common Spirituality Mistakes To Avoid?
While there are smart ways to practice spirituality, there are also mistakes you should try to avoid, especially as a beginner. These are:
- Assuming that spirituality is not within you at all times. Spirituality isn’t something you can get from the outside world. It resides within you as a human. It is personal, individualized energy that no one can take, nor can it be swapped out for energy elsewhere. Therefore, remember that your spirituality is rooted in your personal truth and experiences.
- Dismissing previous or historical spiritual traditions. Many humans have spent their entire lives finding ways to connect spiritually to the universe at large. Don’t dismiss their efforts or advice. You might find that the efforts of religious individuals, spiritual monks, and everyone in between are helpful on your personal spiritual journey.
- Mixing up legitimate or authentic spirituality for materialism. Some people believe that special crystals and other objects are beneficial. There’s nothing wrong with that, but don’t let these ideas hold you back from tapping into your spiritual side. All you need is yourself and a willingness to reach out and feel the spiritual energy already within you. Don’t fall into the trap of spending more and more money in a quest for enlightenment.
At the end of the day, spirituality is a personal journey you can choose to undertake at any time. But once you start on that path, odds are you’ll find the mental and emotional wellness benefits to be too effective to ignore. Ignoring your spiritual side means ignoring a key aspect of holistic wellness.
That’s where 1AND1 Life comes in. With our detailed resources, you can learn how to practice yoga or meditation, how to foster spirituality in other ways, and more.
What role do religion and spirituality play in mental health? | APA.org
The Mental Health Benefits of Religion & Spirituality | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness