Spiritual Wellness: Journey to a healthier you & getting to know yourself better
Would you like to explore your life’s meaning and purpose? Well, you came right on time, Sire!
The article is about exploring the meaning of Spiritual Wellness and how you can improve it to develop a balanced life. Before diving into the topics, I have one question I’d like to ask you:
What comes close to defining ’Spiritual Wellness’ in your life?
Health and Happiness?
Awareness and peace of mind?
Work you do and salary you make?
Place of Worship?
I’m sure many of us have different ideologies or philosophies when it comes to answering these questions and while you ponder, here’s an interesting fact: India is a land of Spiritual Knowledge where 1000s of foreigners travel from across the country every year to spend some time in peace and tranquillity. Many famous personalities like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg came to India in search of the inspiration to start their company and make it better. They visited the Kainchi Dham ashram in Uttarakhand, a place known for its spiritual powers, where they spent a good amount of time seeking their purpose of life and its meaning. Yet our society is unaware of its values and practices as half the population blindly follows old belief systems and customs in religion.
While religion is an important part of Spirituality that aims at making a person pious and a good citizen, as time passes by, every religion is degenerating.
Remember how Aamir Khan’s character in PK was duped by the so-called ‘Spiritual Guru’ a.k.a Dhongi baba, who used Religion, Fear of God and the Helplessness of people, to extort money and the way he politicised religion by creating hate sentiments in people? Even, in reality, we see ordinary people engaging in irrelevant practices such as wiping themselves with a hunter, rolling down the floor and pouring milk on a stone while many humans die of hunger.
I know what you’re thinking:
Don’t worry, we won’t charge you for this ‘Muft ka Gyaan’ but we do ask you to invest some time in this article for a better understanding of what we mean by Spiritual Wellness and how it can help you recognise your highest potential.
Spiritual Wellness: What Are Your Meaning and Purpose?
Spiritual wellness is being connected to something greater than yourself and having a set of values, principles, morals and beliefs that provide a sense of purpose and meaning to life, then using those principles to guide your actions.
Having a spiritual element in your life may even help you heal when suffering from a physical or mental condition.
Here are few characteristics of a person who is Spiritually Well, such as,
Views things holistically rather than in parts.
Takes time to reflect on the meaning of events in life.
Have a clear sense of right and wrong, and act in accordance.
Have the ability to explain why you believe what you believe.
Caring and acting for the welfare of others and the environment.
Being able to practice forgiveness and compassion in life.
Religion can be a way to practice spirituality but can’t be considered Spirituality.
When we strengthen our spiritual wellness, we strengthen our relationships with others around us, breathe positivity into the spaces we occupy, impact our lives in a way that supports our life purpose and values, are mindful and at peace as we connect with others and are more likely to practice self-compassion, confidence, and resilience.
Personal Spirituality: Developing Inner Resources
Personal Spirituality is your individual journey towards finding peace in everything that you do, experiencing life in a meaningful manner, falling in love with your true and real ‘Self’ and practising self-compassion. It allows you to place focus on the inward experience, rather than chasing externally-based beliefs. Eat, Pray, Love talks about a beautiful journey of Liz (Julia Roberts), who battles depression after having unsuccessful relationships and decides to travel for a year to seek a deeper purpose. Though a journey to different places can change your mood temporarily, a journey to transformation begins within you. Here are some ways you can develop inner resources through such activities as yoga, meditation, introspection, physical intimacy, exercise, singing, and laughter.
Importance of forming a Community in Spiritual Wellness
A community can be described as “any group of people that are bound by common interests and purposes involved in social/economic interactions”. With a community approach, interconnected relationships between community members are important. Spiritual communities have one and only one purpose, to feel spiritually connected to others who share a common goal or mission, find acceptance, safety, unconditional love and solace in each others’ journey.
Here are 8 habits which can be practiced daily to attain Spiritual Wellness
Explore your spiritual core. Ask yourself and write your response in a Purpose Journal:
Who am I?
What is my purpose?
What do I value most?
What motivates me to wake up every day and give my best?
What inspires me to continue moving down the road despite feeling hopeless?
(Read further to understand how journaling can help improve spiritual wellness)
Look for deeper meaning: Look for deeper meaning in your life and analyze occurring patterns to envision yourself having more control over your destiny. Being aware of this can help you achieve a happy and healthy life.
Yoga: is a physical technique that can help improve your spiritual wellness by reducing emotional and physical strains on your mind and body. Yoga is taught at all different levels and can help lower stress, boost the immune system, and lower blood pressure as well as reduce anxiety, depression, fatigue, and insomnia.
Write Affirmation: helps you to rewire negative thoughts
Meditation:According to Forbes, “mindfulness meditation decreases activity in the default mode network (DMN), the brain network responsible for mind-wandering and self-referential thoughts — a.k.a., ‘monkey mind.’ Meditation does not mean sitting under a tree for hours together like how some guru did and I know nobody has that kind of time either. Just spending a little time before you go to bed or just after waking up will do.
I know how getting into meditation can be tough at first. When I tried to get into the habit of it, as I closed my eyes and allowed my mind to wander, random things would come into my mind- Did Mumma make karele ki sabzi again today? Or incidents that I had completely forgotten. On some days, I would straight up close my eyes and go to sleep. But, during lockdown last year, I did develop a habit of meditating as soon as I woke up and trust me on this, I felt so calm and relaxed throughout the day.
Volunteering and Mentoring: A big part of finding your inner peace and improving your spiritual wellness involves activities that benefit others which include volunteering and mentoring. They help increase your empathy and can make you more respectful towards others in the community. It makes you feel good about yourself- that you are helping improve someone else’s life. Giving to and helping others selflessly will give rise to a new positive outlook of life and you will feel more optimistic towards it which in turn boosts your spiritual wellness.
Journaling: is an intuitive activity because it requires one to tune into their feelings. Explore your spiritual core. Ask yourself: Who am I? What is my purpose? What do I value most? Mindful Journaling increases self-awareness, self-understanding, and self-compassion and encourages spiritual growth and integration. Set a regular time of day to write.
These are some of the ways that can improve not only your spiritual wellness but other aspects as well. There are several retreats and workshops organised specifically for these activities which have proven to yield a significant result in people’s lives. Retreats and workshops don't need to be the only way you can practice yoga or meditate.
We believe that doing any of the above-mentioned activities can really help you understand yourself better with which comes a better understanding of your life, its meaning and purpose. Worried that amidst your busy schedule, you might not have time to do any of these activities? Daro Mat, we got you!
These activities can be included in your everyday lifestyle easily. Spending just 5 minutes a day is enough. For example, maintaining a physical wellness journal does not only get you into the habit of journaling but will help you keep track of any physical activity, like yoga, that you might be doing at that moment. You will also be able to document your meditation routine.
Now, it is up to you- do you want to get scammed by Dhongi babas and spend thousands together to end up in some resort doing pranayama that you could have googled and done at home or do you want to make your lifestyle a little better by spending a little time every day practicing the above-mentioned activities?