By Corey Lewis, CPT, CSCS
Wellness: it’s both a popular buzzword and a near-universal goal. But when people talk about being well or improving their wellness, what is it that they really mean? “Wellness” often refers to healthy habits like following a balanced eating plan and making time for regular exercise. But those concepts, while extremely important, are only two parts of a much bigger picture. If you’ve ever looked at a wellness wheel, for example, you’ve seen an equal emphasis on dimensions like social, emotional, and spiritual wellness. The first two ideas are easy enough to understand, but what is spiritual wellness? Does it mean you have to be religious to be happy and healthy? In this article, I’ll explain more about what spiritual wellness is, how it affects our lives, and how you can improve yours.
To begin, spiritual wellness doesn’t necessarily have to involve religion. That’s not to say it can’t, if belonging to a worship community or believing in a higher power is part of your identity. If church or temple is where you feel connected to something bigger than yourself, then it’s an important part of your journey. If not, that’s okay, too.
Regardless of what you believe, you can take care of your spirit, your soul—whatever you want to call it. You can set aside a few minutes each day to think about your hopes and dreams and what your life’s purpose is. What are your core beliefs and ethics? How are you currently living by them? What could you do to further reinforce their place in your life? Simply finding a quiet place to contemplate these “Big Questions” is an important part of taking care of yourself.
Prioritizing your spiritual wellness affects you in more ways than you probably realize. It helps you to tune in to your dreams and desires, which you can translate into actionable goals. It can lead you to feel a deeper sense of gratitude for your place in life and more optimism for the future. And it can help you to feel better about who you are and what you’re here to do. You can see how all of that positive energy can improve your happiness, your personal relationships, and even your career performance.
And there are even more benefits to developing your inner peace. Studies show that people who maintain a sense of positivity enjoy decreased levels of depression and anxiety. They’re also better prepared to deal with the stressful incidents life presents. And they even enjoy increased protection against certain medical issues, from the common cold to cardiovascular disease. With so much to gain, it’s easy to see why you’d want to make a few lifestyle changes to enhance your spiritual wellness.
That said, there’s more to changing your outlook than simply telling yourself you’re going to be happier. Let’s take a look at some simple self-care rituals that will help you connect to your beliefs and sense of purpose.
These days, it seems like everywhere you look, there’s someone telling you to remember to practice self-care. But they don’t always explain what it is or what it means for you.
Simply put, self-care is the act of doing something nice for yourself, like taking a long, hot bath or watching a funny movie. In our uber-busy society, it’s easy to write that off as lazy, self-indulgent, or superfluous, but it isn’t. Self-care is how we take care of our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. It doesn’t make you selfish or a procrastinator to carve out some time to take care of you. As a matter of fact, it’s a necessity.
So, are you ready to improve your spiritual wellness? Here are some easy self-care practices to help you get started.
Practicing yoga is an excellent way to reduce stress and to get more in touch with your spiritual side. It’s a way of caring for your mind, body, and soul all at once. If you’ve never tried yoga before, try a gentle vinyasa flow sequence designed for participants of all levels. It will help you feel more relaxed, centered, and purpose-driven. You’ll also enjoy its many other benefits, like lower blood pressure, decreased depression and anxiety, and better strength and flexibility.
Meditation is the art of training your brain to be calm and clear. It’s about taking a moment to take some deep, cleansing breaths and slow your thoughts. When your mind isn’t racing, it’s easier to reconnect to the things in your life that matter most. Meditation’s benefits also include better concentration, a lower stress level, and improved sleep.
If this is your first time meditating for , you might let a mindfulness app guide you through it. And if you’re into aromatherapy, try this amazing ELEMIS Quiet Mind Temple Balm for your pulse points while you meditate.
Are you enjoying the spiritual wellness benefits of both yoga and meditation? You may like mindfulness-based stress reduction, which combines elements of both.
Setting aside a few minutes of your day to record the things you’re thankful for is a wonderful way to care for your spiritual side. And it’s especially effective to keep a gratitude journal where you can write down your thoughts. When you take time to appreciate everything you have, you can think more deeply about what you’d like to give back to the world. And the health benefits of feeling gratitude are significant. So make it a daily habit to pause and give thanks for the blessings in your life.
There’s really no right or wrong when it comes to taking good care of your spiritual side. As long as you’re engaging in regular self-care, you’re doing right by yourself. So just remember how important it is to set aside some time just for you. With a clear mind and grateful heart, you can go more confidently toward your goals and ideals. Make your spiritual wellness a priority, and you’ll see that positive energy affecting every dimension of your life.