Being well is something we all want, but wellness might sometimes seem pervasive. To help organize this easily, you can think of several pillars of wellness. We all are pretty quick to think about physical wellness, which is critical for keeping our bodies healthy. But do you ever think about spiritual wellness?
What is “Spiritual Wellness”?
Spiritual wellness is an ongoing development and fine tuning of beliefs, principles, or values that give meaning and purpose to your life. By becoming more spiritually alive, you may find yourself more readily experiencing greater joy, compassion for self and others, appreciation for life, and deep connection in relationships.
Spiritual wellness contributes to physical health too, allowing for more balance within the entire continuum of mind-body-spirit. Research shows spiritual practices can decrease stress, boost the immune system, and improve quality of life.
How Could You Deepen Your Spirituality?
There is no one size fits all path to becoming a more spiritual person. There are many possible avenues to explore, and your preferences may change as you develop practices and transform aspects of your life.
Some examples include participating in transcendental experiences, service to others, spiritual meditation, mystical spirituality, mind-body practices, lucid dreaming, connecting with God, art-based activities, mindfulness exercises, journaling, and being in nature.
And of course, psychedelic experiences which have been integral to spiritual practices in some Indigenous cultures for thousands of years. The very fabric of their lives, from birth to death, is based around rituals and ceremonies with plant teachers.
In modern-day research, psychedelics were shown to reliably induce mystical experiences and increase spirituality. The effects were stronger even when compared to other types of religious or spiritual experiences participants reported on.1
But with any inspiring experience, whether one induced by a substance or other means, it’s the how we make meaning of it and take into our life that really matters. Integration is key to taking those next steps to solidify and transmute the full bounty of what the experience had to offer.
Here is where spiritual practices can be very helpful. There are many ways to develop an understanding and interconnectedness to something beyond yourself. When we feel connected to the life force, we are more likely to feel attuned to our highest calling and spiritual path on earth.
But whatever your belief systems or religious orientation, the important thing is to find something that resonates with you – music, movement, and meditation (The 3 M’s) can all bring a deeper sense of internal connection.
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Call to Action – Deepen Your Spirituality
May your journey into the depths of your soul be always unfolding with new understandings and deep healing wisdom! Here are a few suggestions to deepen spirituality:
Write down how you feed your desire for spiritual wellness currently and pick a new practice from the example list above. Reflect on what you would do specifically to take action for this new practice.
For example, if you chose lucid dreaming, plan to journal every dream, this will help connect your unconscious to your conscious mind. If you chose participating in a religious faith, research a podcast that matches your values and delivers a message related to God.
If you choose a meditation, research different websites to see what retreats or local offerings could be best for you. Talk to friends about their experiences. You can learn about what has worked for them, and at the same time deepen your understanding of their set of beliefs and values.
Spiritual exploration can be one of the most meaningful parts of life, and the process of opening yourself up to another realm of being. Expanding your spirit on the continuum of who you are and how you see yourself can be a compass for following your heart and values.
- Yaden, D. B., Le Nguyen, K. D., Kern, M. L., Belser, A. B., Eichstaedt, J. C., Iwry, J., … & Newberg, A. B. (2017). Of roots and fruits: A comparison of psychedelic and nonpsychedelic mystical experiences. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 57(4), 338-353. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022167816674625