Health is multi faceted. It is not just a physical thing, but also a mental, emotional and as well spiritual. Spirituality can be applied to multiple aspects of health. Overall purpose, optimism and faith can all play key roles in healing and staying healthy. Spirituality is not a narrow definition though and can be applied to a wealth of values and beliefs and world views. How those world views and beliefs are applied in daily life and struggle have critical aspects in overall health. Please also review AIHCP’s Spiritual Counseling Certification
The article, “Spirituality is a concept that means different things to different people. How would you describe spirituality, and how can it help an individual to become more in tune with their body?” by Dr Tracy Balboni takes a closer look at how spirituality plays a role in health and also in care of patients. She states,
“In healthy populations, communal forms of spirituality – as exemplified by regular religious service attendance – are associated with many improved health outcomes, including greater longevity, better mental health, less suicide, and reduced substance use. Among adolescents, being involved in spiritual communities is associated with better health outcomes, including less substance use and less risky health behaviors. ”
Spirituality and a healthy life style coincide. Many who do not have a faith or religion may seem skeptical but the reality is when one places merit in a higher system beyond oneself, then one can find a variety of physical, emotional and spiritual benefits. Those who belong to a religion, or aspire to a certain individual spiritual path all can find the same benefits for overall health. Even those who follow no creed or spirituality can find value if they place themselves under a code or meaning of life itself. However, in this blog, we will only deal with spirituality itself.
In defining spirituality, this blog defines it as a personal and individual journey of any type of faith or metaphysical belief. Those who are also religious and follow a code also have their own unique spirituality but are also religious in nature. Religious individuals may not be very spiritual but socially active in their church or community or they may be very spiritually privately and also very religious and faithful to an established dogmatic code. All of these religious and spiritual journeys while unique all aid in a better out look in life itself and can help with physical, mental and emotional help. Some individuals may be only spiritual or religious, while others may possess both, but ultimately, the tying to a higher belief system beyond oneself has multiple benefits.
Frankl, a holocaust survivor remarked that suffering without meaning is unbearable, but once meaning is given, suffering can transcend. In such a fallen world, meaning is given to suffering when one is spiritual or connects to a code higher than oneself. Erick Erickson also emphasized the importance of spiritual development as a step in life as well its importance with dying. Those dying who attribute to a higher end than themselves can find more meaning in their suffering, as well as can activate within the body, the ability to heal itself in some cases. Recovery itself has a greater ability to occur. This is not to dismiss true miracles, but there is a true mental connection between mind and body for those with positive mindsets and their ultimate recovery.
Spirituality and overall health are deeply connected not only when sick but throughout life itself. The connection to a higher code or higher being or deeper connection can be very beneficial for people on many fronts.
On the outset, a higher meaning in something, leads to a better out look on life. Behind life is meaning and that meaning can guide one spiritually in understanding reality. Greater happiness and peace can come to individuals who have a paradigm structure of existence. Although those paradigms can be challenged when disaster strikes and cause world view challenges, many fall back on their faith, beliefs, or spirituality and find solace. Hence, spirituality is able to help individuals be more happy with life itself due to an overall direction and understanding of it, as well as a system to deal with stressors and problems.
For many, this spirituality enhances social connections and helps one improve existing relationships. Spirituality helps one see the needs of others and enhances compassion and gratitude in life. It helps prevent selfishness and self absorption and focuses on creating an overall balance in life. This naturally leads to a multitude of life long benefits.
The immune system is strengthened when one exists in a positive mindset. While multiple factors play into health, one aspect is spirituality. The body is better able to function when in higher spirits and able to recover and heal. Meditation and mindfulness are all spiritual practices that can ease the body and allow the immune system to function without additional strain and also release the necessary hormones for self healing.
Spirituality can also help prevent possible depression. With deeper connections in life, one is more attune with self and balanced. Hence spirituality can help prevent or minimize depression. It can also help one who is experiencing depression. Again many factors come into play, but the positive nature of spiritual life can be critical to mental health.
Obviously spiritual people or individuals at least connected to a higher code than themselves have a unique way to view the world and understand it. The importance is not so much whether the world view is correct or incorrect but that the person believes it. This belief has potential to unlock various healing abilities in the body as well as help the person face everyday problems. Everyone experiences stress but how one deals and copes with stress is key. Spiritual individuals have a better success rate of dealing with stress due to world view and belief. This in turn leads to a calmer life that does not activate the body’s stress response. With the body not in fight or flight mode or experiencing chronic stress, there are better healthy outcomes in regards to sleep, heart health, and blood pressure. Stress kills but spirituality can limit the dangerous effects of unneeded stress.
While there are numerous factors to health itself, one cannot dismiss the importance of spirituality and merely toss it to the side. Life meaning is key to direction in life and maintaining an overall balance in life itself. Connection to something more than oneself and its benefits are no secret. For the most part, a healthy spiritual life or connection to something bigger than oneself is essential for a better world view and healthier physical, mental and emotional life.
Please also review AIHCP’s Spiritual Counseling Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Spiritual Counseling.
AIHCP also offers a Christian Counseling Certification.
For those who accept an afterlife, there is definitely a spirituality with dying. A spirituality that acknowledges there is more than the material and the necessity of preparing oneself for something greater.
The article, “The spirituality of dying” by Rebecca Abbott also looks at the spirituality and grace of dying in peace. She states,
“According to Hampton, spirituality does not simply refer to religion or faith, but encompasses the “meaning, purpose and connectedness in people’s lives – connectedness with themselves, others, creativity, nature and some sense of something beyond themselves, something bigger.”
A sense of peace is important for any home. Spirituality in the home is also key to a peaceful place. Finding and creating a spiritual place can be as simple as reconnecting with nature with various plants, or peaceful lighting, but can also involve a sanctum. You can create a room dedicated to God with icons, statues, or other religious artifacts according to your faith. You can also just keep it simple with a place to prayer with various religious books, including the Bible.
The article, “Influencers And Entrepreneurs Share How To Establish A Spiritual Space In Your Home” by Amanda Lauren lists way business individuals utilize spirituality in their life and find a spot in their home for spiritual thought. The article states,
Connecting to your highest self feels good, it also has other benefits. Meditation and mindfulness for example can boost your business.Those who have integrated spirituality into their daily routines often practice at homes in spaces they have established for this purpose. Design ultimately takes on a greater meaning beyond aesthetics in these rooms.
Good article on how Christians can grow their faith. Faith is important in anyone’s life and nurturing in is critical element in spiritual life. Please also review our Spiritual Counseling Certification by clicking here
The article, 5 Ways Christians Can Grow Their Faith, by Frank Viola states,
“In an increasingly unsettled world, it’s important to find anchors in life to help us weather any challenges and times of emotional turmoil. It’s in times of great difficulty that many turn to their faith for extra guidance. Spending more time in the presence of God, or simply communicating with God, can reveal meaning and light in even the darkest of circumstances.”
A good article about spiritual empathy and moving beyond our own pains and worries and encompassing others.
The article, “‘Spiritual Empathy.’ Empathy As A Way of Life… Empathy As A Way Of Being…”, by Jenny Florence states,
“True empathy is a state of being. When we live empathically we can relate with our full experience of life at a level of mindful and conscious awareness. Awareness of ourselves, awareness of others, and awareness of a greater universal intelligence of which we are an integral and dynamic part.”
If you are interested in learning more also about the Spiritual Counseling Program at AIHCP, then please review our program. The program consists of independent study courses that lead to certification in Spiritual Counseling for qualified professionals. If you would like to see this program matches your academic and professional needs, then please review it here at Spiritual Counseling Certification
In the meantime, please review our site and our various programs for certification to learn more about AIHCP and the many opportunities for working professionals.
When one reviews the nature of spirituality, many reflect on the personal and individualistic nature of it. One mentally sees a cloistered nun, or a desert monk praying alone. Or one considers a guru praying in a temple meditating upon theological ideals.
Spirituality is the personal aspect of religion. It can and does exist apart from organized religion which represents a more social nature of religion. Hence it is possible for someone to be very
However, I would conclude that by the very nature of humanity, there is a social need that binds people together. This is where one’s spirituality flows into the community and shares itself for the betterment of others.
In this way organized religion binds people together while spirituality individually feeds the soul. A person who only goes to church every Sunday but has no prayer life is barren while a person who spiritually nourishes his soul but never shares his inner light misses the entire point of human charity.
From this conclusion, I would contend a private spiritual life is essential as well as a spiritual social life. Does organized religion provide that outlet for spirituality? To some it would, while others may simply contend, various acts of charity and interaction with the community would suffice.
Some religions find less need and emphasis for social gathering and binding dogmatic creeds, while other religions find social interconnection and universal dogmatic agreement to be essential.
In the end, what form of spirituality do you embrace and how do you share it with the world?
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