The notion of “spirituality” might sound too flimsy for serious scientific research. But that very attitude has led many people to ignore the subject for far too long, especially at the cost to those who have suffered in many ways, including traumas that can even have begun at the time of conception. Many people have some form of awakening and long to fill some void that has become a part of their lives and seek out ways to change their life patterns. A growing body of evidence suggests that a spiritual outlook can be a major asset in coping with life and life traumas that happen in our day to day lives. Many integrated health programs have found that both spirituality and religion provide some of the key elements, along with having a strong social support group, the opportunity to infer meaning, and a focus on empathy, that are invaluable in a life transition.
Spirituality is defined as an “attempt to seek meaning, purpose, and a direction of life in relation to a higher power, universal spirit, or God. Spirituality reflects a search for the sacred.” The ability to help others is itself a sign of recovery from traumas, and spirituality’s focus on forgiveness and empathy can help victims or those who feel victimized reach the stage of conscious spiritual self with one.
Empathy also leads to social comparisons and recognition that even a seriously traumatic event could have been worse. We all experience empathy. Empathy is also the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. So for this so many people struggle with how to cope with another’s experiences and emotions not to mention cope with our own pain and joy at times. Many though are able to sympathize and give great advice but not ever able to follow their own advice. On another end of a spectrum one can psychologically identify with what the person is experiencing and even take the feelings, thoughts and attitudes of the person and their situation. It is important to understand when those feelings are not yours so as not to take on those emotions, but still allow yourself to help others in need. Some choose to seek ways to benefit our lives and some will brush it off as a miracle that there are people worse off than oneself, and some will view it as grateful that one made it out alive of any given circumstance.
There is a growing need to take charge and empower oneself. There are many ways to take control. It may seem daunting yet it can be simple. Some take control by eating clean or by finding ways to create stress reduction in their life through movement and grounding. Grounding movement such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or simply walking can help you align your energy and shift your perspective. Walking is a great way to release and connect with oneself. Other ways to get in touch with one self is relaxing with binaural beats. The most effective way to help your body is to HYDRATE, there are many ways to keep oneself hydrated, but the best way is to drink plenty of water. Making affirmations to make healthier choices is another. It is importing to let go or lessen judgment of yourself. Something we teach on a regular basis and share at Serenity Grove Wellness Center is to remember meditation is not something you achieve, it’s something you do. Remember practice makes perfect.
There is a growing need for support for so many. Many individuals are awakening. A growing number of people are becoming aware that there is more, but what is more? Some may even have undergone some form of trauma and need answers or that can make sense of what’s happening to them and help put the world back together. Take for instance religion. Religion has served this purpose around the world and for thousands of years. There are regions in the world where religion is prevalent, and other parts of the world where people aren’t very religious so they don’t turn to religion unless something really bad happens and all other avenues fail. There is a growing need to be a part of a secular and spiritual following and to find ways to practice it. Eastern practices such as Reiki, yoga, mindfulness, and transcendental meditation have become a part of our growing need to find evidence and value in spirituality for one’s self spiritually.
Many people do not know where to “fit in” or can successfully find a spiritual path due to not knowing where to look and find it, which creates a certain circumstance. People lose faith and feel as if God has abandoned them or that they have nowhere to turn. It is important for light workers of the world to keep designing spiritual programs, but not as therapy. These programs should offer a place for one to find religious or spiritual perspectives that they can approach. In this manner individuals become part of a community that allows them to grow and recognize the importance of having spirituality and/or religion in their lives.
Spirituality is the way you find meaning, hope, comfort and inner peace in your life. Many people find spirituality through exploring different methods. Whether you find it through music, art, or a connection with nature. Others may even find it in their values and principles and seek out ways to enhance them. It is important to seek it. We each need to seek it in our own ways, remembering that the only way that is going to feel right will be individual to you. No two people will do it the same, but there are communities out there that will think like you do and share a similar belief as you.
No one really knows for sure how spirituality is related to health. However, it seems the body, mind, and spirit is connected. The health of any one of these elements seems to affect the health of the others. Research shows that things such as positive beliefs will comfort, and the strength gained from finding peace in oneself through spiritual practices can increasingly contribute and create a sense of well-being. Improving your spiritual health may not cure an illness, but it can help you feel better, help you to cope, and may even prevent some health problems.
If you want to improve your spiritual health, you must remember that everyone is different, so what works for others may not work for you. Take time to identify the things in your life that give you a sense of inner peace, comfort, strength, love and connection. Set aside time every day to do the things that help you spiritually. These may include doing community service or volunteer work, praying, meditating, singing devotional songs, reading inspiration books, taking nature walks, having quiet time for thinking, doing yoga playing a sport or attending religious services, along with finding the community that you feel accepted into.
Rev. Heather DeLusso