8 Ways to Improve Spiritual Health and Wellness
In the busyness of this fast-paced world, it can be easy to let our spiritual health sit by the wayside while we forge ahead through planning, competing, and doing. We can allow ourselves to get so caught up in our doing that we forget that we are human beings, not human doings. And in this constant striving and the hustle and bustle, we may lose touch with our inner knowing of the connection to something greater.
Whether you refer to this greater being as God, The Divine, The One, The Creator, or so on, remembering to connect to our spiritual anchor can significantly improve our Spiritual Health and Wellness. Below you’ll find 8 beautiful ways to strengthen Spiritual Health and Wellness that can bring us back to presence and allow for a deeper connection.
Connect with Nature
Connection with nature is a beautiful way to improve your spiritual health. Regular time spent in nature enhances emotional health. Many scientific studies prove that time spent in nature adds to your physical well-being.
Nature acts as a window into the Divine, and being in nature aids us in the remembering of our incredible connection to all things. Allow your body to come into contact with nature through grounding your bare feet to the Earth, or touching a tree or plant, or swimming in natural water sources.
Of course, a hike by a river or up a mountain is lovely. We can also find nature available to us right outside our homes, whether at a park or in our backyards. Make connecting with nature a part of your daily routine, commit to time in nature every day and watch as the benefits unfold in your spiritual life.
Breathing and Spirituality
Awareness of breath is a profound tool for increasing our spiritual well-being. The breath can act as an anchor, pulling us out of the trance of our ongoing thoughts and back into our presence. The breath is always available for us to return. And we don’t have to do anything; we simply need to remember to come home to our breath, in addition to using the natural breath as an anchor.
Breathwork is intentionally changing our breathing pattern to bring about increased calm, vitality, clarity, and energy. Through intentional, deep belly breathing, we can come out of fight or flight of the sympathetic nervous system and activate our parasympathetic nervous system, which controls our body’s rest and digest functions. From this place of internal calm, we can access our spiritual connection with greater ease.
One of my favorite simple breathwork practices is Alternate Nostril Pranayama. During alternate nostril pranayama, you alternate between breathing in and out of the left or right nostril for several minutes. This practice helps balance the body’s energy, increases focus and lessens anxiety and stress. A daily breathwork practice can be added to a meditation practice before yoga or called on throughout your day. With regular exercise, breathwork can lead to profound spiritual insights.
Keep a Spiritual Journal
Journaling is another excellent way to improve your spiritual health. Journaling opens up our subconscious minds to uncover our greatest dreams, areas that might need healing, and our connection to The Divine. Journaling gives us greater access to empathy and compassion. It can also give us greater insight into old blocks and patterns that may be holding us back. I love journaling as part of my daily spiritual practice. Each morning I free-write about my manifestations, desires, and insights into any old stress or wounding that may come up for me. I write out a daily gratitude list and affirmations that I carry with me throughout my day. This simple act may significantly deepen your connection with The Divine.
Keep your journal handy when you are just finished with a meditation practice, when you are in nature, or at the beginning and end of each day. There may be key insights you want to remember.
Meditate to Improve Spiritual Health
Meditation is probably the first way that many think of improving their spiritual wellness. Meditation has been used for thousands of years to connect with oneself and with the universe. Meditation allows space for acceptance and understanding of the self. And the more profound experience we have of ourselves, the more precise our path to our spiritual connection. Meditation also allows us to accept our thoughts and feelings. The more we work with our thoughts and feelings, the freer we become. Thinking happens without us trying to make anything happen. Thoughts are just like clouds passing in the sky. And the understanding of that can help us lessen the grip our thoughts can have on us. With that freedom, we have more room to connect deeper with our spirituality. To see the complex synchronicities and links that are present in our lives.
The beautiful thing about meditation is that it truly is available to begin wherever you are. You can start with a simple daily practice of 5 minutes a day. This sense of allowing what is to be and unfold naturally grows as your practice grows. As we continue with a mediation practice, the clarity and space that becomes naturally available make a deeper connection with the Divine more readily available. Meditation can also happen outside of formal practice. Informal meditation practice can take place at any moment when we can drop into our entire presence. And that presence of being can open us up to the feeling of connection with all beings.
For a free course in spiritual meditation and connection to the Divine, this one is very helpful.
Love and Spirituality
Love is a cornerstone of strengthening our spiritual health and well-being. We have all heard the saying that God Is Love. Unfortunately, many can forget love for all beings, especially when we are overworked and buying into old power structures and belief paradigms. The act of unconditionally loving ourselves and others is truly the path to freedom. The task is simple but not easy. It is a continual coming back to remembering love. Then love becomes less of an act and more of a state of being. You are not in love. You simply ARE love.
The first step to a practice of unconditional love is loving ourselves. I have previously spent many years in shame and blame for mistakes I have made. When I started to love those parts of me as essential and integral parts of my being, I really could open up to a more fulfilling spiritual life. Everyone has those parts we wish were different. Whether they are aspects of the physical body, “shouldas” and “couldas” we place on ourselves, or mistakes we hope would disappear. Our ego has a job to keep us safe and alive, which sometimes means striving towards some unattainable level of perfection and correction. However, the radical act of unconditional love of self sets us free.
To begin working with the unconditional love of self, set aside some time each day to honor and love every part of you, even those that you may not particularly like right now. When a thought of not-enough-ness comes knocking, bring awareness to it. It may feel cumbersome at first, but with regular practice, a heightened sense of love will wash over you. Love even the thought.
Remember, you are not a mistake. You are a beautiful divine soul.
With unconditional love for self comes unconditional love for others. Just as you are a soul worthy of love, so is every other being on Earth. Love for others enhances our spiritual health by removing the blocks that separate us as beings. With those blocks removed, we can see the golden thread connecting all of us, to each other, to the planet, and to The Creator.
One way I have found helpful to coming back to loving others is a simple practice of Metta. Metta is a Pali word. Pali is the Sanskrit language that the Buddha spoke. Metta translates to mean loving kindness and good-heartedness towards self and others. There are many Metta phrases to explore. Some include:
“May you be happy.”
“May you be healthy.”
“May you be free from pain.”
“May you be filled with lovingkindness.”
Feel free to use these or come up with a phrase that feels like an authentic expression of your love. The practice of Metta can be used formally as meditation or just as you go about your day interacting with other beings. You can practice these phrases silently while waiting in the checkout line at the grocery store. Imagine the peace that can come over you if you wish health, happiness, and love to all those you encounter! Metta can be mighty when interacting with those that we find difficult. Try a daily practice of offering unconditional love and lovingkindness to those you meet, and watch as your spiritual health transforms.
Yoga for Spirituality
Movement is an integral part of a solid spiritual practice. And yoga is a foundational practice for growth in spirituality and wellness. Through the connection of breath and movement, yoga unites the body, mind, and spirit. We can access greater confidence in our beings with continued practice. Yoga benefits our physical bodies. It aids in improving our focus, allowing us to be more present. With improved focus and concentration, we can easily find calm and joy in our lives. Yoga is a space to care for our physical being through the movement of our bodies while opening up our limitless connection to the Divine.
Be Intentional With Your Spiritual Practices
Setting intentions is immeasurably valuable to sticking with your spiritual practices and deepening those practices. To be intentional, we should first know our WHY? Why are you called to your spiritual practice, and why do you keep coming back? Why do you wish to connect with this place beyond yourself that is also inside of yourself? I love the saying, “We get good at anything we practice, whether we mean to or not.” So, what is your intention for your spiritual health? And is your intention backed by your regular, intentional action? Daily, you can decide to be intentional with how you spend your time and cultivate your spirituality.
Gratitude and Spirituality
A gratitude practice is, for many, the foundation of their spiritual health and wellness. We’ve all heard stories of very successful people who were still unhappy, addicted, overworked, and lacking in love. Could this be because they lacked gratitude? Gratitude is available to us no matter where we are on our journey. And no matter where we wish to go. A little appreciation can go a long way! With gratitude, you may soon find yourself simply amazed and overcome with gratitude for the abundance available to you in every moment.
Appreciation for this present moment, this circumstance, this lesson, can alter our perception of life and give us a path towards spiritual freedom.
There are many ways to increase our spiritual health and wellness. When used as a regular practice, these simple tools can transform our lives and open us to all that is possible. As you continue on your spiritual path, you may feel called to begin helping others on their own journeys. As we grow and shift, we seek more meaningful work and relationships. Perhaps you want to find your community of like-minded beings to share and grow alongside. If so, it might be that becoming a Spiritual Life Coach is part of your calling. Teaching and guiding others can significantly improve our spiritual health. Becoming a Spiritual Life Coach is a way to add value to the world through your work while still having lots of time for your own spiritual practice and doing what you truly love.
Awakened Academy has fostered spiritual health, wellness, and expansion for many students. If this resonates with you, download our brochure here to learn more about our offerings.
There is unlimited support and love from the Creator, holding us in each moment.
Written by Lindsey Akey