Depending on your beliefs, this may seem like a silly topic to you, but spirituality is actually considered by psychologist to be one of the central indicators of overall wellness. Spirituality is the term used to describe anything you associate with meaning in your life. Regardless of your opinion about religion or the existence of a deity, it’s important to be in touch with your personal sense of purpose. What do you value? What do you feel a sense of conviction about? If you feel unsure about your beliefs, then here are a few steps you can take to discern them.
Discern your values
- 1Take time to look back over your life and notice patterns. Are there recurrent themes or causes you tend to gravitate toward? What were you doing in life at the times in which you felt the most fulfilled or satisfied with what you were doing?
- 2Slow down. Often tools like yoga or meditation are helpful to give you a structured way to slow down and take focus off the normal hustle and bustle of your day. Find strategic ways to shut out the noise and allow time to dwell on deeper issues. What’s meaningful to you? What do you wish you could prioritize more?
- 3Verbalize your journey. Whether you have close friends, a spouse you talk with, or you write your thoughts in a journal, be sure to verbalize your conclusions. Take them out of the recesses of your mind and bring them to the forefront in a tangible way. Be specific about making them a more prevalent part of your life.
Maybe you fall into an entirely different camp. You hold to a firm religious belief system, but over the years you have lost touch with the traditions and truths once important to you. If this is the case, then I would encourage you go back to those roots and reconnect with them. If you were raised Catholic and miss the beauty and richness of it then make a point of going back to mass on Sundays. If you claim to be Buddhist but haven’t made any conscious choices in that direction then start reincorporating it in a more tangible way.
Make it a part of your routine
Wherever you fall on the spiritual spectrum it’s important you stay in touch with those things. Spirituality gives us a sense of connection to a greater purpose. Without that then we’re likely to wake up most days feeling unattached and dissatisfied with life in general. Beyond the more ethereal side, take time to think about modern issues that are important to you. Maybe you are a staunch environmentalist, but your day to day life doesn’t reflect that conviction. Maybe you love being outdoors and feel a strong connection with nature, but you live in an apartment and rarely set foot on grass.
Most of us have strong feelings about something and finding ways to invest in those will contribute to an overall life of wellness. Finding a non-profit to donate or volunteer with could be an excellent way to make your beliefs a practical part of your life. Organizations like Compassion International offer the opportunity to sponsor a child living in poverty and even exchange letters with them regularly. I can’t tell you exactly how to connect to the inner part of your soul, but I can tell you that your wellness will suffer if those pieces are left unkempt. So don’t make this the step that you ignore entirely.