Spirituality has different meanings to different people. Some view spirituality as a way to connect to a higher power or something greater than themselves. Others view spirituality as a way to identify and fulfill purpose in life or find deeper meaning. No matter how you choose to experience spirituality, regular spiritual practice may be helpful as part of your self-care routine. Just as we need to take care of our physical bodies, mental health, and relationships, practicing some form of spirituality may result in increased overall wellbeing.
Before we continue the topic of spirituality, I wanted to clarify the difference between spirituality and religion. It is possible to be spiritual while not being religious and vice versa. Religion is often used as a way to enhance an individual’s spirituality through community, texts, organization, and set practices. Some may choose to subscribe to a certain religion, perhaps due to cultural influence or expectations, while not considering themselves to be spiritual. Following a particular religion is not necessary to experience spirituality within one’s life. Spirituality is a personal journey.
So how does one practice spirituality? The good news is that there are many ways to practice spirituality and there’s not necessarily a wrong or right way. For some, spiritual practices may include engaging in prayer to a higher power and reading sacred texts. For others, spending time in nature can be seen as a spiritual experience or taking time to ponder life’s mysteries and questions. No matter how you practice spirituality, the ultimate goal is that it feels good and right to you. Here are some suggestions that you could try to enhance your spirituality:
- Participate in volunteer work, serve others, or support a cause that is important to you.
- Appreciate art that you feel is impactful to you, such as music, films, literature, paintings, etc.
- Set aside time during the day for thought and reflection.
- Pray to a higher power or deity.
- Spend time in nature and practice being mindful of the world around you.
- Practice meditation. There are many ways to practice meditation, but the most important thing is that you are focusing on the present moment without judgement.
- Spend time identifying morals and values and then live by them.
- Recognize the things that give meaning to your life.
- Connect with others who share similar beliefs.
- Practice gratitude. This can be done through prayer, journaling, or verbal expression to another person.
There have been many benefits associated with spirituality. Those who regularly practice spirituality have been found to be better at coping with stress and enhancing positive feelings. Spirituality may aide in coping with depression and anxiety as we are reminded that there is something greater than ourselves that we can turn to. As mentioned above, spirituality can be a great way to find community and support that can be relied on during times of need. In my own life, I have found spiritual practice to be uplifting and has fostered joy in my life. I would encourage you to try out some of the suggestions above and determine which ones resonate with you.