- Spirituality varies from person to person; however, it is essentially the practice of finding peace and purpose in life.
- It also involves evaluating and creating one’s identity—their purpose, experiences, and connections.
- Many benefits come with tapping into your spiritual self; first, it can help you to cope during stressful times, especially if you practice meditation.
- Also, engaging in spiritual practices can help you manage harmful effects of depression and improve your connections with those around you.
- Furthermore, your spirituality can motivate you to achieve your goals and enhance your appreciation for life.
This last month was particularly difficult for me. My car broke down on me three times, my apartment was overrun by 40,000 bees (no exaggeration here), my boyfriend and I broke up, and an old friend from school passed away. It felt like my life was falling apart, one thing after another.
At first, I was nothing but angry. Then, I was nothing but sad. I went back and forth between these two emotions, until my sister Kourtney sent me a perfectly-timed text: Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we respond to it—a famous quote by Charles Swindoll. It was then that I tapped into my spirituality. I thought about how insignificant car trouble is in the grand scheme of things. I realized that the bee situation was laughable (now that it was resolved). And I focused on how my relationship was beautiful, a learning experience. Practices like mindfulness, journaling, and mere pondering helped me tap into my spirituality and live better.
What Is Spirituality?
The meaning and role of spirituality often vary on an individual basis. That said, if we’re looking for a comprehensive or overarching definition, spirituality is practicing peace and purpose. It involves looking at the big picture of life and considering one’s identity: their purpose, their experiences, and their connection with the world around them. Here are several questions one might pose to explore their spirituality:
- What kind of person am I? Am I good?
- What is my purpose in life?
- What do I want to be remembered for?
- Does everything happen for a reason?
- How can I live my best life?
Some may discover that their spirituality is largely linked with their religious beliefs. For example, these individuals might identify their purpose or mission in life as living by God’s word. They might also find comfort in praying or going to their church during tough times. Others might have no religious inclinations. These individuals might find a greater connection and meaning in nature, art, or their relationships. In the face of adversity, they might find comfort and healing in thinking about the scale of the universe—in that they are but one person among 7.7 billion people on earth—or in putting this energy into creating something beautiful.
Why Is Spirituality Important? What Are the Benefits?
As with most things, we want to know why something is good and how it benefits us. So, here are 5 benefits of engaging with your spirituality:
1. It can help you cope during stressful times.
As we mentioned above, spirituality is helpful during difficult or stressful times. When you’re feeling stressed at work, in your relationships, or at home, tuning into your spiritual self can help you put your stress into perspective and focus on the positive. Next time your stress levels rise, engage in a spiritual practice of your choosing. You can try meditating, taking a walk in nature, or journaling.
2. It can alleviate symptoms of depression.
Depression is characterized by despair, hopelessness, and a disconnect from one’s everyday. This condition often requires professional treatment, such as therapy or medication or both, but spirituality can also play a significant role in alleviating the harmful effects of depression. Mindfulness, yoga, and prayer (if you’re religious) in specific are often effective.
3. It can improve your connections with others.
In most cases, our relationships are more important to our overall health and wellbeing than we realize. On that note, research has shown that people with stronger spiritual inclinations had stronger connections in their relationships with others. You can utilize any of the above practices to tap into your spirituality and improve these connections.
4. It can serve as a motivator.
Spiritual individuals also often have bigger goals and stay motivated to achieve these goals. Why? Because spirituality requires us to turn in, focus on our morals, and proactively try to become our very best person.
5. It can create a greater appreciation for life.
The very function of spirituality is to practice peace and purpose in life. It only makes sense that spiritual practices can enhance our gratitude and appreciation for life. This goes for when life is going “our way” and when it isn’t.
Long story short, spirituality can prove important to your health, your happiness, and the overall direction of your life. It can help you cope when times are tough, manage symptoms of mental illnesses like depression, improve the strength of your relationships, reach your goals, and appreciate life even when it’s hard.