First, let’s start with understanding what spirituality means. In broad terms it means feeling a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves. Spirituality is a human experience that is experienced by us all, in different ways. Let’s also make it clear that spirituality is not necessarily religion.
One can be spiritual without an affiliation to a religious belief.
Today, let’s see how spirituality might help us in our journey to wellness.
People deal with dis-ease for a variety of reasons. The reason isn’t so important as realizing that the dis-ease is there and it is preventing us from moving forward. Many times our physical state of being unwell could mean we have lost touch with our connection to a higher meaning, to the Universe or to others. We may also be trying to disconnect ourselves from something that brings us some sort of pain so we do things that harm our bodies (overeat, too much sugar, lack of exercise, do elicit drugs).
Once we go deep into an addiction we lose our connection to our body. We stop hearing what our body is trying to tell us. This is dangerous if we are trying to be healthy with PCOS or other chronic conditions.
To reconnect with our bodies we need to slow down, be quiet and listen. Here are a few activities that can help you do this.
Yoga: This is a deep spiritual practice that has been around for 2,000 years. If you haven’t tried yoga you don’t know what you are missing. It’s not only the physical aspect that is soothing, but the movement and focus connects you to your breathe and your body. Anyone can begin this practice at any age. You will find your mind will clear and your body will become more flexible. You will also build strength, enhance cardiovascular health and create an overall sense of confidence and well-being. In the traditional sense, yoga prepares you for meditation.
Meditation or Prayer: This is an obvious choice, but many times we fail to do this regularly. A few moments every day will allow our mind to quiet down and focus on “being.” Simply close your eyes and if you are meditating, focus on your breathe as you take it in deep and release it from your body. If you are are praying, ask for guidance and then be quiet. Breathe in the answers that will come to you.
Journaling: This is one of my favorite ways to reconnect because it allows me to explore my feelings and how I see the world. Don’t be so concerned with what to write. Just allow the words to trickle out onto the paper. Write questions you need answered. Write what you are grateful for in your life. Write without preconceived notions of what will go onto the page. Reflecting back on your journal entries many times will show your spiritual growth and release of discomfort.
Tea ceremony: This is a new one for me but one that I find invigorating. I do this with matcha team, a delicate Japanese beverage with a bounty of antioxidants and good-for-you properties. You can go here to see how a traditional Japanese tea ceremony is performed. Modify this ceremony as you see fit, as I do. When I make the tea I slow down and pay attention to every detail. I feel the warmth of the water as it heats on the stove. I vigorously whip the matcha in my special mug, making sure to get the perfect froth. I carefully blend my sweetener (matcha can be bitter) and almond milk to make a comforting latte. I sit in a quiet place and hold the warm cup in my hands while I express gratitude for the tea and other blessings in my life. I feel peace. I feel calm. I continue this until the tea is gone. You can do something similar with your favorite loose or bagged tea.
Walk in Nature: A simple walk outside, in a natural surrounding can do wonders for your spirit. The key is to be away from the hum and buzz of city life. If you can, go somewhere that is quiet and offers elements of nature, such as greenery, water, a breeze, sand, blue skies. Don’t rush this time. Take 20-30 minutes to walk in this environment and soak up the energy around you. It’s there. You just need to slow down and feel it. Listen to the birds, the insects, the crashing waves, or the wind through the treetops. Focus on the here and now and breathe in gratitude and peace.
Music: Who doesn’t love music, right? Well, let me tell you, there are some major benefits to having a dose of music daily. Not only does it improve the mood, but it can reduce anxiety, depression, raise motivation, and oh yea, Dr. Mike Miller (University of Maryland School of Medicine) found that listening to music improved cardiovascular function. Who knew? The key is to listen to the music, not just hear it. There’s a big difference. Focus on the beat, the rhythm, the sound, the lyrics, the feeling it gives you, the vibration. In no time you will feel your spiritual self grooving to the beat.
There you have it. Some suggested ways to focus on your spirituality to improve overall well-being. Pick one (or more) and make it a daily habit. Your spirit will thank you. Namaste.
Corrie Ann Gray is a writer, researcher, coach, and cookie enthusiast who lives in Los Angeles, CA. She started the Clean Body Project to share all of her knowledge and resources with others who are interested in running their own experiment into clean holistic living. She is the CEO and founder of Gray Ink Media.