Spiritual Dimension of Health and Wellness: Hope, Faith, and Love
Recently, we’ve been exploring the 12 aspects of a balanced life. Now it’s time to dive deeper into the spiritual dimension of health and wellness and discover why it’s important for a balanced life.
The spiritual dimension of health and wellness can be hard to define and describe, but it’s not difficult to feel and live. In fact, many people take it for granted and don’t think much about it. Sometimes it just exists within us. However, it’s an integral component of health and wellness for every human being.
Let’s briefly review the 12 aspects of a well-balanced and healthy life before we move on:
- Health & Self Care
- Occupational Skills
What is the Spiritual Dimension of Health and Wellness?
There are many components of spirituality that make up a set of guiding beliefs, principles, and values that give you direction in life. Your spirituality encompasses a high degree of commitment to your individual belief system that provides you with a sense of purpose and meaning in life.
That seems like a lot of words to define something that we can’t see or touch — but it influences every aspect of our lives. It impacts the decisions we make, the people we associate with, the things we consider important in life, the way we view life, and so much more.
While we all have a spiritual belief system, we may not all have one that contributes to our overall health and wellness. A person who has purpose in life and a positive belief system — one that includes appropriate moral and ethical values — is said to be healthier and happier than those who do not.
Just to clarify, your spiritual dimension of health and wellness is your spirituality — your unique and individual belief system that guides you through life. Your spiritual beliefs often support your emotional self care.
Spirituality vs Religion
Religion is a specific set of organized beliefs and practices, usually shared by a community or group. Spirituality is more of an individual practice and has to do with having a sense of peace, purpose, and meaning in life. It also relates to the process of developing beliefs around the meaning of life and connection with others.
While spirituality is often associated with a religious belief system, it does not have to be the same. Your religious belief system often helps guide you to find your purpose in life and develop your spirituality. But some people create their own purpose in life that’s not associated with a religious belief system.
There are three major differences that make it a bit easier to understand:
- Individual vs Group Beliefs
- Progression of Beliefs
- Spirituality has No Rules
Your set of spiritual beliefs are very individual and unique. Your spiritual belief system usually evolves over time and changes with experience. And your spirituality has no rules compared to the ideologies of organized religion.
Why is Spiritual Health Important?
There are so many reasons why spiritual health and wellness is important. You need a healthy spiritual belief system because it impacts your whole life.
Consider these aspects of life that are impacted by your spirituality:
- Hope, Faith, and Love
- Purpose and Meaning of Life
- Relationships and Connectivity with People
- Clarity about Everyday Choices and Decisions
- Consistent Beliefs and Values
- Belief in a Higher Power or Spiritual Community
- How You Cope with Physical and Emotional Pain
- Coping Skills for Life Stressors
- Sense of Community
- Relationship with Your Highest Self
A healthy spiritual belief system gives you a sense of peace, wholeness and balance in the physical, emotional, mental, and social health aspects of your life.
Who would have ever thought your spiritual dimension of health and wellness would impact even your physical health, right?
Spirituality can help restore your hope, optimism, and outlook on life. It helps you search for and develop a deeper meaning in life.
The spiritual dimension of health and wellness helps you learn to appreciate the importance of love, charity, purpose, principles, ethics, and integrity in your life.
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Stoney Brook University and the National Wellness Institute developed this Fact Sheet about The Six Dimensions of Wellness Model. It’s an excellent resource about the dimensions of wellness, but I particularly liked their perspective on the spiritual dimension of health and wellness. They believe you know you are becoming spiritually healthy when you live by these tenets:
- It is better to ponder the meaning of life for ourselves and to be tolerant of the beliefs of others than to close our minds and become intolerant.
- It is better to live each day in a way that is consistent with our values and beliefs than to do otherwise and feel untrue to ourselves.
Those are pretty deep thoughts… it took me several readings to comprehend and process the depth of the concepts! But once I did, I thought they were brilliant!
How Do You Develop Emotionally Healthy Spirituality?
The key to happiness, success, and a balanced life is clearly the development of an emotionally healthy spirituality that will guide you through the ongoing process of finding your purpose and meaning in life.
As you seek your spiritual identity, consider these 7 valuable ways to develop your spirituality:
1. Some people come from families who have a strong sense of spirituality and healthy values about life. Generations often pass down their spiritual beliefs from one generation to the next.
2. Since spiritual traditions may involve organized religion or groups, some people develop their spirituality by being part of such a group where they have an important source of social support that includes like-minded people.
3. Many people find that their spirituality is developed, influenced, and/or strengthened as they pass through the many struggles and challenges in life.
4. Meditations, chants, and prayers are another way to develop your spirituality. You can also read uplifting books about spirituality, forgiveness, positivity, and a healthy mindset.
5. Learning the simple practice of Zen will help you ease stress, feel happier, reconnect with your gratitude, and develop greater self-awareness. All of these practices will help you develop your spirituality.
6. Getting outside and developing an appreciation for nature will also help you develop your spirituality.
7. Learning the many benefits of mindfulness — mind, body, and soul — and staying present in the moment to develop an appreciation of the many gifts that surround you in life.
Your spirituality will change and develop through life with your experiences and knowledge. It may occur naturally or you may specifically seek out changes.
Personally, I sought to make changes in my spiritual beliefs during my forties because of some unfortunate personal experiences. I sought to develop new perspectives about the realities of life by making some adjustments to my spiritual beliefs.
Always remember your unique spiritual dimension of health and wellness can be altered based on your values, needs, and perspectives.
Final Thoughts About the Spiritual Dimension of Health
As you have probably realized, spirituality is a broad concept with room for many perspectives and interpretations. There are no right or wrongs, but your spirituality will influence every aspect of your life.
Your spirituality includes a sense of connection to something bigger and higher than yourself — although it might not be identifiable to others — and involves an ongoing search for the meaning of life. Spirituality can change over time, depending on your perspectives and experiences in life.
If you have any doubts about your spiritual wellness, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I make time for relaxation in my day?
- Do I make time for meditation and/or prayer?
- Do I have a solid sense of hope, faith, and love?
- Are my relationships with family and friends happy, healthy, and positive?
- Do my values guide my decisions and actions?
- Do I have a well-defined sense of purpose and meaning?
- Do I feel in harmony with the world around me?
- Am I accepting of the views of others?
- Do I have clearly defined ideas of right and wrong and am I able to act accordingly?
Related Article: 21 Easy-Peasy Ways to Make Today a Great Day
In conclusion, your spiritual dimension of health and wellness is very important. It impacts your overall well-being and contributes to your physical, emotional, social, and mental health.
We should all make an effort to connect with our spiritual selves and explore ways to cultivate healthy spiritual beliefs about life. The spiritual dimension of health and wellness is an essential part of our overall wellness, happiness, and success in life.
Be sure to watch for more articles about living a balanced and happy life! I really appreciate your support and interest in my website!
Love to All! ~Susan
This was a great article. I really enjoyed how you tied everything together. Thank you for keeping it relevant and easy-to-read. Hope to see more in the future!
Thank you very much… appreciate the feedback! As you know, maintaining a website is very time consuming so positive feedback is much appreciated… xoxo:)