Why is spiritual health important? Spiritual health builds a balance and connection between the physical, psychological, and social aspects of human existence within and across systems. If you’ve ever been around someone who has a peaceful, magnetic presence; you may be sensing their spiritual wellness.
When people feel they are missing something, they may look to bring spirituality into their lives in whatever form speaks to them. Many people seek spiritual health as a way to have a transcendent experience, achieve self-actualization, or to build a more purposeful life. There are many benefits to spiritual health, including an increased sense of calm, feeling more connected and grounded, and better ability to process emotions. We cannot have full health and wellness by focusing on our physical and mental health alone: spiritual health is the third part of the equation.
5 reasons spiritual health is important
Plenty of people make it through their lives without thinking much about spirituality or their connection to the universal energy all around us. But what more could they have accomplished had they worked on their spiritual growth? Would they have gained a sense of inner peace? Felt a deeper connection to their community? Here are 5 reasons spiritual health is important.
1. Spiritual health affects our overall health
Work all you want on your physical and emotional well-being, but when we ignore our spiritual health, we cannot be the healthiest version of ourselves because we are whole beings. Spiritual health is an important part of overall health; when we have a healthy spiritual life it can contribute to overall wellness, including physical health and mental wellbeing. Most researchers agree that people who incorporate spiritual practices into their lives have better health outcomes; spiritual wellness may even help you live longer.
Spirituality means different things to different people, but we all benefit from connecting to universal energy in our own ways. Taking up spiritual practices such as meditation, mindfulness, or prayer can help us feel better, may help us heal faster, and generally become a more centered, balanced version of ourselves. In addition, many faiths and spiritual practices encourage people to treat their body with kindness and avoid unhealthy behaviors, leading to healthier choices.
2. Spiritual health makes us more resilient
There is a connection between spirituality and resilience. A spiritually healthy person may be more resilient than someone without spirituality in their life. Spirituality provides a framework that guides people through life’s challenges. Spiritual wellness gives us the strength and the coping mechanisms to deal with everything that life throws at us and, in turn, we recover from these difficult experiences more quickly.
Studies have found that spirituality, religiousness, and personal belief systems are associated with increased levels of happiness, well-being, and life satisfaction; all factors that increase our resilience. Other benefits of spiritual health that lead to resilience are finding meaning in life, providing peace about what happens after we die, and building community.
3. Spiritual health helps us cultivate compassion
Compassion is connected to spirituality because people experiencing spiritual wellness tend to be more grounded and have a deeper connection with people, their community, and the environment.
Many spiritual traditions have a long history of using contemplative practices to increase compassion and empathy. When we become healthier spiritually, it is easier to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and feel compassion for their pain because we have put in the work on inward-looking reflection. We may also be more able to forgive those who have wronged us. When we feel compassion, it can lead us to help alleviate the suffering of others; improving those individual’s lives and our communities as a whole.
4. Spiritual health speaks to a human desire for deeper meaning in life
As humans, it is easy to become unmoored, wandering through life aimlessly from our jobs to home and back again. Working on our connection to a higher power or the universal energy around us is a way to increase the meaning in our lives. When we have spiritual health, we understand our own purpose more clearly and take actions that are consistent with our beliefs and values. Life takes on meaning when our choices and actions serve a higher purpose. For some, that sense of purpose comes from a belief in serving a god-like creator. For others, finding a passion or something they feel deeply invested in provides that sense of purpose. Going on a spiritual journey is one of the best ways to find your purpose and deeper meaning in life.
5. Spiritual health can improve mental health
Let’s be honest; modern life is hectic and leaves most of us with very little time to relax, let alone pause for reflection. Adult life is so much about to-do lists and responsibilities, leaving our minds buzzing morning, noon, and night. When we make space to focus on inward reflection – like so many spiritual practices encourage – we remember what makes us feel happy and what truly matters. As we regain our inner purpose, we increase our sense of hope and peace. Spirituality also improves our sense of connection to a force bigger than ourselves – which can ease our day-to-day worries. In addition, many spiritual practices encourage healthy practices for the mind and body, which can help improve mental health and emotional wellbeing.
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