Spirituality and Mental Health

Spirituality and Mental Health“The spiritual dimension is your center, your commitment to your value system. It draws upon the sources that inspire and uplift you and tie you to timeless truths of humanity.”
– Stephen Covey

Wellness, simplified: 
Wellness includes having a good mental health, high life satisfaction, and a sense of meaning or purpose and emerges from one’s thoughts, actions, and experiences. Today, it is mainly looked at through three dimensions – mind, body and spirit. While we pay enough attention to our physical and mental wellness, most of us, have conveniently side-lined our spiritual well-being.

Spirituality and Spiritual Well-being:
Spiritual well-being is about wholeness, encompassing all the dimensions of life. A spiritually well person is content with life, maintains a control and balance of life, builds positive relationships with others, has a feeling of purpose and meaning, experiences a connection with a power greater than himself, etc. An important benefit of being spiritually well is the ability to accept and grow from the challenges and changes in life.

Spirituality refers to the core dimension of you, your innermost self, with whom you identify, which guides you throughout your past, present and future, and which traces your path from your source to your destination. It is the essence of a human being. Spiritual wellness means the ability to experience and integrate meaning and purpose in life. It focuses on our inner life and its relationship with the wider world. It is enhanced through one’s connectedness with self, others, nature, or a power greater than oneself. For some, spirituality may be synonymous with religion although it is not its only focus. You can incorporate spiritual wellness as an integral part of your daily life irrespective of your ideas and beliefs about God.

Meditation as a means to spiritual well-being:
An important aspect of spirituality is incorporating the habit of meditation. Meditation refers to a physiological state of reduced metabolic activity, thereby eliciting physical and mental relaxation, and enhancing psychological balance and emotional stability. It evokes a sense of calm, controlled thought and concentration. The essence of meditation is to perceive the body, mind and feelings non-critically. It may provide a comprehensive and integrative approach to healing. The practice of meditation has been found helpful in dealing with problems of anxiety, depression, and psychological distress. The minds of the modern generation have become more chaotic and restless, thus making the practice of meditation an essential part of our daily life.

What can you do for your spiritual well-being?
Along with meditation, spiritual wellness requires you to make some small changes in your lifestyle. Inculcating these into your lifestyle can definitely enable you to experience wellness, regardless of whether you meditate or not. Besides, these are habits that will help you become more humane as you progress. These include:
• Taking out time for yourself.
• Doing things that give you joy.
• Practicing forgiveness, compassion and empathy.
• Recognizing, acknowledging and embracing your dark side.
• Knowing that no one is perfect and everyone has their own set of flaws.
While these are general tips for developing a spiritual lifestyle, you can have a more personalized set of guidelines by putting a thought into what you find comfort in, your coping strategies, moments in your life when you felt the most contented and why, etc.

The importance of spirituality is known to most of us. But how many of us actually take the efforts to include it as an integral part of our lives? Spiritual well-being is as essential as physical and mental well-being. These are not any hardcore changes that need to be made. Some minute, healthy habits is all it takes to become spiritually well. It is time we inculcate them and experience LIFE in its best form!

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