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Achieving Spiritual Health
Spiritual health is a commonly overlooked aspect of wellness and healing. However, in reality this is the ultimate goal of holistic medicine and creates a higher awareness of the divine spirit referred to by all religions. It doesn’t matter what name you give it. What matters is that you become aware of and attuned to His guidance in all areas of your daily life. Doing so will reduce your fear and give you a greater ability to love yourself and others unconditionally. It will help you reconnect with your special talents and gifts so you can use them to fulfill your life purpose.
Consciously aware of the role spirit plays in your life, being spiritually healthy means being intimately connected to your spouse, partner, family, friends and community, resulting in social health as well. Spiritual and social health are intertwined, because our committed relationships provide us with the greatest opportunities for spiritual growth and learning how to receive and give unconditional love.
Adhering to spiritual and religious traditions, working with spiritual advisors, and support groups are common ways to build spiritual and social health, as are the opportunities we have through our friendships, marriages, intimate relationships, and parenting. A variety of self-care practices, including prayer, meditation, gratitude, and spending time in nature, can further enhance your awareness as a spiritual, socially-connected being, and are recommended by traditional and holistic healers.
The five most important rituals for creating spiritual health are: prayer, meditation, gratitude, forgiveness, spending time in nature, near fire and water.
Prayer: Prayer is the most common form of spiritual practice practiced by most Americans, and people who do not pray report a greater sense of well-being than those who do not. Harvard researcher and mind/body medicine expert Herbert Benson, MD, author of The Relaxation Response, has found that regular prayer or the repetition of spiritual phrases such as “Shalom” or “Hail Mary” induces relaxation and reduces stress.
There are many effective ways to pray for yourself and others. Many people benefit greatly from using prayer from their religious upbringing. Others make prayer a time of personal conversation with God, expressing their needs or concerns and asking for divine intervention. Others believe that a walk in a place of natural beauty is a form of prayerful worship.
Just take the time to be thankful and give thanks for whatever you want. Giving thanks for what you need is more effective than asking for what you want, God knows what you need and has already sent it to you – so giving thanks acknowledges what you haven’t seen yet. Choose the form of prayer that feels most comfortable to you and then establish a regular routine of repeating your prayers daily.
Meditation: Meditation has been scientifically researched and proven to have physical benefits for decades. In addition to its physical benefits, which include stress-relief, improved immune and cardiovascular function, relaxation and pain reduction, regular meditation practice can lead to new insights into life’s problems (often healing past emotional trauma), increased creativity. , motivation, greater empathy for others, and a greater connection with one’s own inner guidance.
There are many types of meditation techniques to choose from, and just like prayer, choosing the one you are most comfortable with will provide the most benefit.
Meditation can be done while sitting, lying down or walking or jogging. Some people also prefer to sing or chant words or phrases that have spiritual significance to them. What all meditation techniques have in common is conscious breathing (see above) and focusing on what is happening in each present moment, until the mind is empty of thoughts, judgments, and worries of the past and future.
An easy way to meditate is to sit comfortably with your eyes closed while paying attention to your breathing. Observe yourself as you inhale and exhale, allowing whatever thoughts you need to move forward. At the beginning of your practice you will find your mind wandering. Each time this happens, gently refocus on your breath. To improve your concentration, you can silently repeat a word or mantra, such as love, peace, or Jesus.
Eventually, you will experience a long period of peace between each thought, although this may take months. Be patient and don’t force it. Sit for 10 to 20 minutes once or twice a day, but if you find yourself too distracted or pressed for time, end your session instead of sitting uncomfortably. With commitment and consistent practice, the benefits of meditation will become apparent to you, and you will realize that your efforts are worth it.
Gratitude: Dr. Robert Anderson describes gratitude as a great attitude. “Gratitude creates a sense of happiness and self-acceptance and is an attitude that anyone can choose, just as we can choose to see ourselves as half full or half empty” Dr. Anderson says. “Being grateful for what you have, instead of worrying about what you don’t have, enables you to let go of negative thoughts and attitudes more easily. This can be difficult at times, especially if you feel a lot of fear or anger, but if you are willing to let go of these painful feelings Making the effort and choosing to be grateful can have positive benefits.”
One way to cultivate a sense of gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal, as described above. One form of this technique is to close your eyes before going to sleep and mentally review your day, take a list of all the things you have experienced, for which you feel grateful, silently thanking them. “By making gratitude a regular part of your daily experience, you set the stage for living a life more deeply connected to spirit, says Dr. Anderson, and in the process, your life will be transformed into an increasingly joyful adventure.”
Forgiveness: Forgiveness is power and empowerment. Forgiveness is the act of clearing your mental field. Forgiveness removes false beliefs and elevates you to a higher vibration. Forgiveness is a shift in perception, which removes the barrier to who you really are and awareness of the presence of love.
Humans have the power to judge each experience as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. When you claim something is ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’, you cut yourself off from the opportunity to transform that experience, claim it as good, and use that good in your ever upward spiral of becoming who you really are. are
stop now Consider the poignancy of this truth. When you are unwilling to forgive you are halting your ever upward movement in the energetic flow of the universe – the glorious upward spiral of who you really are. Who You Are A loving, caring being – a human experiencing a spiritual being and a spiritual being experiencing a human being.
Many people mistakenly believe that if they forgive the ‘wrong’ they let the other person(s) off the hook. However, this is a misconception. Buddhists know that universal laws work in spirals of energy.
This spiral of energy moves in a circular motion – what goes around comes around. Buddhists call this phenomenon karma. So whether or not you have forgiven the seemingly ‘unforgivable’ act, now only you are suffering. The aggressor may not know that he/she has done ‘wrong’, or if he/she knows, does not believe his/her behavior was ‘wrong’. And you keep drinking the poison of anger and resentment expecting him/her to die. Allow the universal laws to govern the karma she/he has created for herself.
You can simply remove the negative charge, change your perception and recognize the good self that is always present in your life experiences.
Spending time in nature: The most visible manifestation of the soul is nature, where we fully meet and interact with the primal energies of life in the form of earth, water, fire and air.
A walk in the park or a hike through the woods are easy and practical ways to reconnect with nature and the earth, as are gardening, biking in the country, and camping and boating trips. By making a habit of spending regular time outdoors in natural surroundings, you enable yourself to better appreciate the rhythms of life, including your own.
We must recognize that cities and other industrial areas can prevent us from living a balanced life. Spending time in nature helps restore that balance, deepening our relationship with spirit.
Spending time near water can also be a spiritually healthy experience, as water has a high concentration of negative ions, which can contribute to feelings of well-being. Swimming in oceans, lakes or rivers is a great way to tap into this life-enhancing energy. Soaking in mineral hot springs can provide therapeutic benefits for various ailments.
A fire around a campsite or in front of a fireplace can also have health benefits, according to Leonard Orr, who has found that fire clears the bio-energy field of negative energy and can be a powerful aid in healing physical ailments. Orr recommends that people who want to experience such benefits spend a few hours each day before a fire. Fire is also an important element of the vision quests undertaken by Native Americans to connect with the Great Spirit and discover their life’s purpose.
Of all the elements of nature, perhaps the closest expression of spirit is air. Clean, fresh air is essential to health on all levels, and practicing conscious breathing as described above is a powerful method for restoring energy and making us more aware of the power of the spirit.
Regular contact with each of these four elements can help you become more aware of how the loving intelligence of soul sustains the world, and help you more deeply recognize your place in it.
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