Spirituality is often difficult to explain because it’s experienced differently by different people. There is no wrong way to experience spirituality. In general, it’s a feeling of connection to something bigger than ourselves that’s related to a search for meaning and purpose in life.
For some, spirituality might be connected to an organized religion such as Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, or Sikhism. Some people find meaning and purpose through their experiences with nature, art, or other people—others may feel a personal connection to God or a higher power.
The Health Benefits of Spirituality
Spirituality can have a positive impact on health and wellness in several ways:
- Lower stress levels, which in turn can help you avoid conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease and strengthen your immune system
- A greater sense of connection to others that lowers the risk of depression
- Better brain health as we age
Strategies for Each Part of Your Day
It’s healthy and important to establish a daily flow to your spirituality. What this looks like will be different for each person, but here are some basic suggestions to help you make spirituality part of your day:
In the Morning
Some of us wake up with aches and pains, or anxiety about the demands of our day. Starting your day already anxious is unhealthy for you, your housemates, and your co-workers.
Deep breathing upon waking can help relieve tightness and tension throughout the body or make a good morning even better. Proper deep breathing involves belly breaths:
- First, inhale slowly until the stomach is distended outward.
- Then, pause and hold this breath for a second or two.
- Finally, exhale slowly, as the belly moves in towards the spine.
Let your breathing be a cleansing of your body and mind. As you breathe, allow your inner self to align with your spiritual foundation, which will sustain you through the day and into the evening. Your goal is to find a place of calm within yourself.
Purposeful breathing and centering yourself will set the tone for your day: positive, confident, optimistic, hope-filled, and joyful. It will give you the ability to see the best in yourself and in others.
Throughout the Day
Make time throughout the day to retreat to a quiet place with a companion or co-worker who also embraces spirituality. Keep silence or have light conversation. Let gentleness, goodness, and gratitude inform your thoughts and conversation. Whether in silence or conversation, practice the art of listening. Listen to yourself. Listen to others. Depending upon your beliefs, listen to God or a higher power.
Many daily activities involve waiting in lines. We often joke about always getting into the longest line at the store, but rather than rushing to leave, consider lingering in line. Choose the longest line purposefully, silence your phone, and use deep breaths to settle your heart and mind. The goal is not to escape your surroundings but rather to heighten awareness. This practice builds patience and empathy.
Remind yourself to be thankful for this moment that helps you halt your frantic dashing. Appreciate others around you and exchange smiles when appropriate. See hurts and joys. Be present for others in a spiritual way. If prayer is part of your spirituality, pray silently for those around you. Take care of your business joyfully.
Leave refreshed and thankful.
In the Evening
When the day is done, retire to your special place—either an actual location or one created in your mind. Take several deep breaths and review the day. Let go of negative vibes. Rejoice in the positive. In this place, with your spirituality, there is refreshment, renewal, and resilience and you will enter sleep calm and rested.
In summary, live with your spirituality. Embrace its positive and creative energies, allowing a healthy rhythm and balance to flow within you every day.