Part 8 Practical Wellness: Spirituality
The spiritual dimension is your center, your commitment to your value system. It draws upon the sources that inspire and uplift you and tie you to timeless truths of humanity.
Why is spirituality important for wellness?
Wellness is defined today in the dimensions of mind, body, and spirit. We cannot have total wellness if we ignore any one of these dimensions. The spiritual dimension is often seen as the most personal dimension of wellness as it largely about your connection to something greater than yourself and a moral code and belief system that provide you with a sense of meaning and purpose in life.
Spiritual wellness is often an unseen force yet those who have a strong sense of who they are and who they want to become find it easier to make decisions or choices and find internal support and greater resilience during times of change and uncertainty. A strong sense of spiritual wellness can also provide great reassurance and even healing through physical and mental ailments.
“Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear almost any ‘how'”
– Viktor E. Frankl – Man’s Search for Meaning
What is spirituality?
Spirituality means different things to different people and for some, it may be synonymous with a religion but for many others it is not. What spirituality means to you is very much a personal matter. It refers to that innermost core identity and your own unique values and beliefs that provide you with a sense of who you are, where you came from, where you are going and how you might get there.
While different individuals may have different views of what spirituality is, it is generally considered to be the search for meaning and purpose in human existence. According to wellness specialist Emily Smith, ‘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.’
Meaning and Purpose
To make your spiritual dimension of wellness practical you could simply think of it as your overall sense of meaning and purpose. Without a strong meaning or purpose to life you can become ‘lost at sea’ and feel disillusioned with life or even become depressed. However, when life has meaning then hardships can be seen as challenges to help you grow, good times can be celebrated with greater satisfaction and the mundane elements of life can take on new significance.
Making peace with the mundane
The reality is that a lot of your personal wellness is quite often built upon a series of mundane activities! Brushing your teeth morning and night may not be the most exciting activity, especially after you have done it 10,000 times, but it is excellent for oral health! The same is true for many areas of wellness. Regular mundane activities like walking 10,000 steps per day, drinking 2 litres of clean water everyday or going to bed on time to get your restorative 8 hours sleep may lack hype and excitement but they are fantastic activities to keep you well.
Having a clear meaning and purpose can be the difference that makes the difference, helping you to make peace with the mundane, more resilient in times of adversity and resolute on your path to individual wellness.
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