Spiritual wellness is a term with many different meanings
For some people, it means having faith in God. For others, it may mean living a life of service to help others, making the world better than it was before, caring for our community and the environment. The truth is that spiritual wellness can be defined any way you want to define it. In this post, we will explore what spiritual wellness means and how we can strive to strengthen it daily so that we can understand all of its benefits.
All of us could look at our spiritual wellness and check in with ourselves when needed. To get a sense of our personal understanding of what it is that brings our soul nourishment and validity. As well as realizing spiritual growth is something that could sometimes feel draining, overwhelming, and misunderstood.
Spiritual practices have been proven to provide benefits to our overall health (Puchalski, 2001). The more these practices are consistently engaged, the more they will make you feel refreshed, restored, grounded, energized, and aligned.
What is Spiritual Wellness
Spiritual wellness can be defined in the way it best resonates with you. Your definition of it can morph and change as you grow through life. Or it can stay the same. Try out and assess different definitions of it. For some, spiritual well-being refers to an individual’s connection with oneself or the divine. It could also mean feeling at peace by having a sense of purpose that has been granted through faith.
To others, it might feel like being connected to nature while experiencing moments that are transcendent or deeply meaningful without any religious connections involved. These are types of experiences that would provide feelings of wholeness and balance from within. Type of experiences like Satori or Kensho.
What is a Satori moment?
Satori is a Japanese term in Zen Buddhist teachings that can be translated as “enlightenment” or “awakening.” The word’s meaning is often described as a “moment of sudden enlightenment”, or a flash of insight that brings about understanding or wisdom about the true nature of life.
What is a Kensho moment?
Kensho is derived from the word Satori. It refers to an experience that arises from temporary growing pain. This can happen suddenly or slowly but comes from a place of pain and becomes enlightening. Where Satori comes from a place of insight or an “a-ha” type of moment. These can both come during meditation but not always and usually brings about understanding or knowledge of the true nature of life.
A deeper symbolic answer is that Kensho is often described as “the birth of insight”. Birth is painful. So is a Kensho moment. It turns out that both terms, Kensho and Satori are used in Japanese, though not restricted to Zen Buddhism, and typically refer to a sudden flash of insight or understanding related to meditation, simple daily activities, or even in sleep.
All Spiritual Experiences can Aid in Self-Healing
Creating a sense of spiritual well-being has been linked to a person’s mental and physical health, reduced depression, increased feelings of self-worth, and less anxiety (Stuckey, 2010). Assessing your spiritual experiences is wise if you are looking to make a major life change such as quitting alcohol or substance abuse. We highly recommend checking out this great film, Crazy Wise. The film explores mental illness and its similarities with the traditional wisdom of spiritual experiences in indigenous cultures. So what should we be focusing on to enhance our spiritual health?
Why is Spiritual Wellness Important
Spiritual wellness has been valued since ancient times as we can all see with the ancient texts. This is because it can help many things. Spiritual well-being aids in feeling at peace by having a sense of purpose which has been granted through faith in something greater. Creating a sense of spiritual well-being has been linked to lower rates of depression and more positive moods due to reduced stress levels as well as improved immune functioning.
What Can We Do To Strengthen Your Spirituality
There are many things we can do on our own or with others to encourage exploring our spirituality.
Meditation can help reduce stress and anxiety, increase self-esteem, decrease depression symptoms, lower blood pressure levels, and produce a general sense of well-being. At the beginning of the day is great to set some time aside for a fresh mindset as you go about your day and any stress you may encounter. At the end of the day, it’s important to mentally prepare for sleep by winding down and deep breathing.
Be of Service
Do something kind for someone else, even if it’s just a smile or compliment to show that we care about one another and the world around us.
Writing in your journal is an opportunity for you to explore what’s deep within or simply document goals that have been accomplished during the day. Writing down things in your life you are grateful for is beneficial to your perspective on the day. You may choose to do this by writing about your spiritual life, exploring curiosities, or how you are impacted in other areas of your life such as relationships, work performance, etc.
Writing is helpful when feeling anxious about something that is not happening yet (e.g., traveling on an airplane). Many people find relief in writing what they are thinking or feeling down. When they capture it on paper, they have clarity when things happen because then worrying will seem like less of an issue than anticipated leading up to the event.
Show yourself love and compassion
This can lead to a greater understanding of one’s own worldview, which is a key part of spiritual growth and wellness. Being kind to yourself and forgiving past mistakes: Be grateful today that you are alive. Grateful for the water you drink, the shower you took, the internet access you have.
Try to find humor in everything life presents to you
Life is meant to be imperfect. We are built to move through struggles and hardships. The more we relax and take whatever comes our way with less resistance, the more things seem to get better and feel aligned.
Read self-help books or listen to podcasts
It can help so much when we hear from authors who have faced similar situations or share your own story with other people on platforms like blogging in order to give back what you have gained!
Focus on what’s important
And what needs immediate attention so that you can be present in a way that brings joy rather than overwhelms.
Find a mentor
When you’re feeling emotional or struggling with something that’s going on in your life, take a moment for self-care by talking about what’s happening. Taking some time out for an activity with a friend helps boost energy levels and get out of your own way. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. These activities (as simple as a phone call with a friend) can be done any time during the day or night to help reduce stress and anxiety before it gets too high. Techniques are utilized when necessary until those feelings fade away or self-regulate.
Dr. Bill Hettler lists 7 more ideas that allow us to strengthen our spirituality in an interdependent model for the Six Dimensions of Wellness:
- Find a spiritual community that you can connect with. Check out our community, we’d love to have you join us!
- Spend time in nature, whether it’s by going on hikes or sitting outside and enjoying the weather.
- Practice gratitude every day – write down three things that you’re grateful for and read them before bed.
- Read affirmations, inspirational quotes, or scriptures each day to remind yourself of how strong you are and to keep going.
- Embrace a willing and open mind about different ideas, religions, and beliefs so that you can learn more about what they have to offer. Accepting new ideas into your worldviews will lead to a greater understanding of one’s own life.
- Pray for guidance and forgiveness from any wrongdoings you may have committed during the day. Or any resentments you may hold.
- Make amends with anyone you’ve had an argument with recently. Apologize for what happened and make plans to get together again soon. Try out the REACH forgiveness method, developed by Dr. Evertt Worthington.
What are some benefits spirituality brings
There are many ways having a strong spirituality can benefit someone’s daily life. Some including these common ones – increased ability to deal with negative emotions; higher level of happiness from practicing gratitude which has been proven to lower stress levels; increased sense of self-worth and a higher level of happiness (Puchalski, 2001).
Many people find the practice of spirituality an important part of living their best life. This is because it brings about so many benefits. Including emotional stability, less stress from practicing gratitude, and strengthening relationships with oneself and others. Taking time for ourselves to be aware of these ideas regularly can help us strengthen our spirituality.
The benefits of spiritual wellness are many. Some including an increased sense of purpose and more productivity at work, etc. Spiritual wellness builds confidence which leads to healthier decisions about life such as financial stability. It also leads to strengthening our relationships with ourselves. As well as with other people and improves emotional stability so live your best life!
With a spiritual approach and the right tools to retrain your brain – You have the power to transform your life and habits significantly. Satori Way is here to help set the stage with what is right for you, join us as a free member, and check out our 5-day course here!
Stuckey, H. L., & Nobel, J. (2010). The connection between art, healing, and public health: a review of current literature. American journal of public health, 100(2), 254–263. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2008.156497
Puchalski C. M. (2001). The role of spirituality in health care. Proceedings (Baylor University. Medical Center), 14(4), 352–357. https://doi.org/10.1080/08998280.2001.11927788