Spiritual well-being is possibly the most abstract of the other five dimensions of wellness and is possibly also the most challenging to define, develop, and maintain. But is also an important aspect that should not be underestimated. For starters, we can say is the maturation of higher consciousness that’s been developed through three factors: an insightful and nurturing relationship with oneself and others, a strong personal value system, and the fulfillment of a meaningful purpose in one’s life.
As important, even crucial as it is, the spiritual aspect of our lives is often neglected. To have optimal wellness we need to integrate, balance, and find harmony between the mind, body, spirit, and emotions - not just mind, body and emotions - as we often have heard. When one aspect of our being is denied, all parts suffer.
So why has the concept of human spirituality been neglected and ignored in virtually all aspects of society - including healthcare? Is there a cultural bias against human spirituality? The answer appears to be an unequivocal yes! And can be mostly traced back to one man, René Descartes. In Descartes thinking, who was a humanistic and subjective philosopher, a typical human being is a self-based purely rational and reliant on his own power - and does not believe in the superhuman principles – is always separated from his metaphysical roots. The more he is able to master the nature, the more normal and ideal he would be.
Two practices that are often associated with spirituality are prayer and meditation. While these concepts have common characteristics, they can also be considered separately. Spiritual wellness doesn’t necessarily reflect religious beliefs, although for people of a religious faith it is obviously a central feature. Each person’s spirituality is greatly impacted by the community they are a part of and their relationships. We mean a positive engagement with others, self and our environment to be spiritually healthy.
There are several signs that indicate when someone has achieved an ideal level of spiritual health, these include reflecting on the meaning of life and developing a purpose in life. People, who have achieved this level of well-being, can explain their beliefs clearly, they follow a set of morals, and they show compassion for other human beings, animals, and the environment. They tend to practice self-acceptance and forgiveness. Overall, spiritually healthy people deal with situations in a positive manner; in other words, people can become more resilient by properly addressing their spiritual health.
- Be clear about your spiritual needs and desires, and don’t rush. Your mind has to be calm in order to heal and free the body.
- Aim to improve your self-awareness and visualization skills. With time you may find yourself being present and in peace.
- Set an intention and experience the connection to a greater power than oneself through a guided meditation plan.
- Make some time to practice mindful meditation on your own. Openly ask yourself questions and investigate what you’re feeling to align to a higher meaning and to find your purpose.
- Trust and live your life based on hope when all around you appears to be going wrong. Having faith is knowing that help is on the way.
- Don’t worry about coming up with a perfect plan. It’s all about making a sincere effort to understand and develop yourself, using the knowledge that you already have and being open to explore and learn more on the spiritual health aspect.
It is well known that spirituality enhances the sense of belongingness among people so that there is the natural tendency, to be honest, and to take care of each other. It all comes back to the main concept of spiritual wellness, which draws on the ethics, values, motivation, work and life balance.