1. Find your ‘why’ in life
Finding a meaning and purpose may well be the most powerful thing you can do for your overall wellness. However, this may well be a lifelong process and an evolution so don’t expect this to figure this out for good overnight!
Without a clear ‘why’ behind what you do in life your motivation will be unreliable but when you have that clarity of why you are doing what you are doing then your intrinsic motivation will be there to help you carry on, even when things get tough.
2. Questions are the answer
Making time for self reflection is a great way to build self awareness and improve your spiritual wellness. Take time (or make time) out for yourself to ponder and reflect on your inner world.
Ask your self questions like:
* What gives my life meaning and purpose?
* Who do I want to become?
* What difference do I want to make?
* What do I value most in life and why?
* Do I feel clearly guided by my core values?
* What gives me hope?
The answers are less important than the inquiry itself. Self reflection as a practice may even be one of the most important things you can do for yourself!
Inner strength and conviction come as we gain a clearer understanding of who we really are and who we are not. Personal satisfaction soars when you live life to your design rather than allowing others to design it for you.
3. Meditate or practice mindfulness
Mediation, practicing mindfulness or any other method that helps you return to the present moment over and over are great practices for spiritual wellness.
A meditation practice is really about training yourself to focus. The Buddha said that the thoughts of an untamed mind are like drunken monkeys all clamoring for your attention. Until you train them they will keep pestering you whilst distracting you from what is really important in your life.
With practice anyone can tame their drunken monkeys and learn to control their focus and deepen relaxation. The benefits associated with meditation and mindfulness are particularly effective at helping to improve mental health and wellbeing whilst reducing stress.
When you pay attention to the present moment and do what is right, right now, you will create a better tomorrow and your dreams of yesterday will be fond ones to remember.
If you are new to meditation you can learn more about it in our Practical Wellness Relaxation section.
4. Increase Self-Compassion
“Self-compassion is like a muscle. The more we practice flexing it, especially when life doesn’t go exactly according to plan (a frequent scenario for most of us), the stronger and more resilient our compassion muscle becomes.” – Sharon Salzberg
Life was never meant to be easy and everything worthwhile is uphill so if you don’t learn how to be kind to yourself then hard times and difficult periods can make you too hard and lacking in compassion for self and others. Left unchecked this can lead to negative self talk and a negative perception of self.
There is now adequate research that shows a positive correlation between mental wellbeing and self compassion so to practice self compassion monitor your inner dialogue or self-talk.
When you catch yourself being overly critical or judgemental change how and what you speak to yourself. Instead of criticising yourself harshly for something you did or didn’t do cultivate self compassion use positive psychology to turn your inner critic into your inner coach.
Remember the intention of the inner voice is to help you do better next time so first focus on several things you did well and only then choose one specific thing you can do better next time and commit to that – then return to the present moment.
5. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water
We are living in an age where many people have become disillusioned with or have lost interest in the traditional religion that they grew up with.
If you no longer feel drawn to, or part of, an established religion and no longer participate in the practices and disciplines of that religion that is totally ok. However, rather than simply rejecting the religion outright are there any elements of that religious practice that you could perhaps keep for your ongoing wellness.
For example prayer can become self affirmations that promote health and wellbeing; meditation can become a way to still the mind and find insights; and instead of going to a religious gathering you could find a group with common interests such as singing, dancing or hiking in nature.