Exploring your spirituality by taking the path less traveled can lead to better personal relationships, enhanced stress management skills, and most importantly, a clearer life purpose.
When first implementing stress relief tools, most people are likely to explore those that are tangible such as exercising or eating healthy first. But, that’s not to say that the intangible tools such as spirituality are any less valuable.
What Is Spirituality?
Spirituality has many definitions, but at its core, its purpose is to give your life context.
Spirituality isn’t connected to a specific belief system or worship, but rather, is based on your connection with yourself and others, the development of your personal value system, and your search for meaning in life.
The beauty of spirituality is that it’s different for everyone. For many, it takes the form of religious observance, prayer, meditation or a belief in a higher power. For others, it can be found in nature, music, art or a secular community.
Spirituality And Stress Relief
Deep-rooted spirituality has innumerable health benefits including, the ability to relieve stress. It can also:
- Connect to the world. The more you feel you have a purpose in the world, the less solitary you may feel — even when you’re alone. This can lead to a valuable inner peace during difficult times.
- Release control. When you feel part of a greater whole, you may realize that you aren’t responsible for everything that happens in life. You can share the burden of tough times as well as the joys of life’s blessings with those around you.
- Feel a sense of purpose. Cultivating your spirituality may help uncover what’s most meaningful in your life. By clarifying what’s most important, you can focus less on the unimportant things and eliminate stress.
- Lead a healthier life. People who consider themselves spiritual may be better able to cope with stress and may experience health benefits.
- Expand your support network. Whether you find spirituality in a church, mosque or synagogue, in your family, or in nature walks with a friend, this sharing of spiritual expression can help build relationships.
Spirituality And You
Uncovering your spirituality takes some self-discovery, and usually begins with defining what experiences and values mean most to you. If you’re just beginning your quest, you may benefit from asking yourself the following:
- What are your important relationships?
- What do you value most in your life?
- What people give you a sense of community?
- What inspires you and gives you hope?
- What brings you joy?
- What are your proudest achievements?
The answers to such questions can help you identify the most important people and experiences in your life. With this information, you can focus your search for spirituality on the relationships and activities in life that have helped define you as a person and those that continue to inspire your personal growth.
Cultivating your spirituality requires self-reflection and getting in touch with your inner self. Here are a few tips that may help you on your path:
- Keep a journal to help you express your feelings and record your progress.
- Seek out a trusted adviser or friend who can help you discover what’s important to you in life. Others may have insights that you haven’t yet discovered.Try prayer, meditation, mindfulness and relaxation techniques to help focus your thoughts and find peace of mind.
- Read inspirational stories or essays to help you evaluate different philosophies of life.
- Talk to others whose spiritual lives you admire. Ask questions to learn how they found their way to a fulfilling spiritual life.
Your relationships with others will also help nurture your spirituality. Be sure to foster relationships with the people who are important to you. These intimate bonds can lead to a deepened sense of understanding your place in life and in the greater good.
- Make relationships with friends and family a priority. Give more than you receive.
- See the good in people and in yourself. Accept others as they are, without judgment.
- Contribute to your community by volunteering.
Spiritual Way Of Life
Remaining connected to your inner spirit and the lives of those around you can enhance your quality of life, both mentally and physically. Your personal concept of spirituality may change with your age and life experiences, but it always forms the basis of your well-being, helps you cope with stress, and affirms your life’s purpose.
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