Spirituality is a broad concept and can be perceived differently from person-to-person. In general, spirituality is a sense of being connected to something bigger than ourselves. This does not always mean a formal connection through church or meditation. It is about feeling a sense of peace, love, strength, and connection.
This month, Dr. Gray and her team are focusing on the benefits of spirituality as part of their getting Back To The Basics 2022 series.
What is Spirituality?
Spirituality is a personal experience and everyone’s spiritual journey is unique to them. For Dr. Gray, spirituality is being outside. When outside, she tries to focus on how miraculous life is and expresses gratitude for what is. For others, common types of spirituality include:
- Community Service
- Spiritual Retreats
An important part about embracing spirituality means embracing what it means to be human. Important aspects in exploring spirituality are paying attention to how you feel in certain situations – doing so allows you to embrace the good and even the bad feelings. This also requires you to open up your heart so you can feel empathetic and help others.
Since there is no definitive way to experience spirituality, some signs can include:
- Asking deep questions about topics such as suffering or what happens after death
- Deepening connections with others
- Experiencing compassion, empathy, and connectedness
- Embracing feelings of awe and wonder
- Seeking happiness in ways beyond possessions and material things
- Pursuing the meaning and purpose in life
- Wanting to make the world a better place
Impact of Spirituality on Mental Health and Wellbeing
Pursuing a spiritual path can influence many of your daily decisions. Spirituality encourages stronger and more connected relationships with yourself, others, as well as the unknown. By giving you a sense of purpose while incorporating feelings of peace, spirituality can allow you to better deal with daily stressors and mental health.
Pursuing a spiritual path can improve both your mental and emotional wellbeing. Emotional health is about cultivating a positive state of mind. Positive emotional health can allow you to broaden your outlook on situations and deepen connections. This benefits your spiritual wellbeing by allowing for meaningful connections. As a result, you will begin to feel more positive emotions and deeper gratitude on your spiritual path
Additional ways spirituality supports your mental health include:
- Feelings of purpose, peace, hope, and meantine
- Better confidence, self-esteem, and self-control
- Greater ability to process life experiences
- Improved mental strength can support faster recovery
- Access to supportive, spiritual communities
- Better relationship with yourself results in better relationships with others
Gratitude and Mindfulness
When getting started on creating a spiritual path, mindfulness can be a great tool. Being more aware and mindful of what is happening in your body and mind during a present moment allows you to be more open and appreciative. This also encourages you to be less judgmental and explore new perspectives. As you focus more on present moments, you become more appreciative of each moment.
Being more mindful and open will allow you to experience more gratitude for yourself and others. Incorporating gratitude into your spirituality is a great way to not only maintain involvement with your spiritual community, but also reduce your stress and improve your physical health.
Encompassing mindfulness, gratitude, and mental and emotional health and wellbeing into your spirituality will allow you to better serve those around you. For Dr. Gray, part of her spirituality is writing down three things she is grateful for, or one thing and three reasons why. Small habits like this can make a big impact on you and your mental health. They also serve as a great reminder for what is important to you and what brings you happiness.
Did you miss last month’s blog that focused on the Impact of Giving and Contributions? Check it out here!