We all, universally, want to wake up each day with a sense of purpose. We want to know that we have a direction in life and have a reason for living. Even on our laziest of days, we as humans need to feel connected to something. That “something” is a vague, mysterious, and questionable entity for some. For others that “something” is a clear connection to something more, something greater, and something bigger. Nevertheless, all of us are spiritual beings, despite personal beliefs and values.
I understand this may be a controversial topic. I want to assure you I am not here to preach about any particular beliefs and I am not here to change anyones beliefs. I am here to tell you how you are a spiritual being, to provide guidance on how to interact with that aspect of yourself, and how to strengthen your spiritual relatedness.
According to the American Psychological Association spiritual struggles are related to increased emotional problems, poor health, and even death. This research suggests that spirituality is associated with a person being well-rounded and wholly healthy. In other words spirituality is vital to wellness. The National Wellness Institute cites that spirituality is having a belief system, values, and an idea about the world and how you are connected to the world. Spirituality is important for self-esteem, self-control, and a sense of direction. If you struggle with self-esteem, relationships, health, happiness, and you feel disconnected and searching for meaning, then evaluating your spiritual strength may help guide you to improved wellness.
Vicktor Frankl, a pioneer in the field of psychology, used personal and scientific research methods to conclude that the meaning of life is found in every moment of every day. The beliefs a person has will impact not only how they feel and how they behave, but also the outcome. Having a greater sense of self and purpose is related to increased positive outcome and mood. Some psychologists posit this spiritual connectedness is the primary motivation for living. We cannot survive, at least survive in wellness and happiness, without a spiritual connection.
Connecting with your spiritual self takes concentrated effort. Despite your beliefs and understanding of the world, anyone can connect to this aspect of self.
- Accept you are a spiritual person. This means you are connected to others and you are connected to this world. You are a contributing citizen. Your presence on Earth is special to someone. You make a difference in someones life. You have the power to change someones day with a simple gesture or exchange.
- Read, seek, and gain understanding. The best way to connect to your spiritual self is to educate yourself. Spend time reading journals, magazines, books, or blogs that are related to your idea of the world. If your spiritual belief includes religion read and understand the practices, traditions, and history of your religion. Gaining this information helps you connect to your beliefs.
- Reading and gaining education will challenge your beliefs. Having our beliefs challenged helps us grasp a better understanding. Research suggests that challenging beliefs can help strengthen the belief.
- Engage with others that share your belief. There is power in fellowship. The spiritual dynamic of wellness involves feeling connected. The best way to feel connected is to associate with others that have similar beliefs and ideas about the world with you. This is not bad. Connection with others is a primary psychological need, it is needed for self-esteem, and it is needed to strengthen sense of self. Think of it this way, a connection with others that agree with you makes you feel validates, valued, right, and appreciated.
Your spiritual being is a part of you, and just like any other parts of you, it needs to be strengthened. You work out regularly to become physically stronger, you spend time with loved ones to improve relationships, and you practice professional skills to better your career. The same is required for spiritual growth. To find wellness, happiness, and purpose in life you cannot neglect your spiritual self.
- Daily read, pray, mediate, or spend time in religious practices. Despite your personal beliefs, spending quiet time alone with your beliefs in practice will grow your spiritual awareness.
- Eliminate all distractions. Turn off cellphone, music, computer, and TV. Spend time alone reflecting on your thoughts about yourself, the world, and your hopes and dreams. Picture your ideal world, your Higher Power, or a beautiful and peaceful place. Spend time and focus on this image. Reflect on how people live or the order of things while focusing on this vision. This will help you identify your thoughts and beliefs about your spiritual being.
- Journaling during this quiet time will help identify beliefs and thoughts as they relate to your beliefs. Not sure how to journal, just write. Grab a paper and a pen and start writing. Write any random thought as it comes to your mind. The more you do this, the better you will get.
Your spiritual muscle will grow as your spend more time in thought and mediation. This daily practice will allow your beliefs to develop and become stronger. As you become more connected to your spiritual self you will find a sense of purpose. Finding purpose makes each day easier and more fun.
It is easy to get started. Schedule 15 minutes tonight before you go to bed, or wake up 15 minutes early tomorrow morning, find a quiet spot alone with pen and paper, and let your spirit connect with this beautiful world. You will find your day is a lot brighter!