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The Symbiotic Relationship Between Spirituality, Health & Wellness

Written by: Barbara Powell Love, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Barbara Powell Love

We live in a fast-paced world of technology. From the moment our eyes open in the morning, until we close them at night, we are bombarded by emails, voice mails, text messages, and news spots. Our society is inundated with attention-holding devices. We find ourselves in restaurants where each family member is consumed with something on their individual devices instead of simply enjoying each other’s presence. The overwhelm of everyday life is drowning in technology. Technology is great and I appreciate its perks, but the search for spirituality, health, and wellness is more essential than ever. While searching for physical and mental well-being, we often overlook the spiritual aspect of life. Life is like a roller-coaster these days and spirituality is the safety harness that keeps us grounded during the proverbial ride. We must learn how to strap in securely and enjoy the ride. In this article, I want to delve into the symbiotic relationship between spirituality, health, and wellness to explore how they connect and impact our busy lives.

Close-up photo of yellow flower with blur cross background

Understanding spirituality


In researching spirituality, I have come to appreciate that not only is it not easy to define, but it is also multifaceted. Spirituality encompasses our connection to, not only religion, but to nature, our physical and emotional health, our values, our sense of purpose, and even our appreciation of art. It is a deeply individualized and deeply personal experience. Just as we are all uniquely different, our experiences are also different. Spirituality involves our search for inner peace, the meaning of life, and even our sense of belonging to something greater than ourselves.


Health and spirituality


Prayer and meditation have been shown to reduce stress levels. Spirituality not only involves the practice of prayer and meditation, but also practicing mindfulness, relaxation, mental clarity, and just learning how to be still. Spirituality can provide a sense of purpose and meaning in life which I believe is crucial for mental well-being.


Some studies show that practicing spirituality even lowers the rate of anxiety and depression. It is said that spirituality is “the way individuals seek ultimate meaning, purpose, connection, value, or transcendence (Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, 2022).”


Spirituality can help us cope with the challenges of life and provide a space for understanding suffering and even finding strength through our struggles. I can certainly attest to this. It can be invaluable for churches and spiritual communities to foster support and encouragement during times of difficulty. Supporting overall mental, physical, and emotional health is invaluable. I find that practicing spirituality, and I’m not talking about religion, has encouraged me in my faith as well as promoting a healthier lifestyle. Spirituality encompasses reflections, mindfulness, being still, taking spiritual walks, getting regular exercise, making better food choices, and abstaining from any substances that can harm my body.


Immunity and spirituality


Spirituality plays an important role in our quality of life, our general well-being, and overall health. Our attitudes, beliefs, our emotions, and actions are influenced by our level of spirituality. I believe that our ability to cope with illnesses and other traumatic events in our lives is contingent upon our spiritual relationship. Practicing spirituality lends a boost to our immune system and allows us to better resist illnesses.


I have encountered people over the years who have been diagnosed with illnesses. One of these gentlemen had been told by his doctor in 1975 that there was no hope. He was given less than a year to live. He lived an additional thirty-seven years to the ripe old age of eighty-two. Some studies suggest spiritual practices can boost our immune system which potentially leads to better resistance to illness. It is also linked to pain tolerance and pain management improvement (Nicole Rura, The Harvard Gazette, 2022). Spirituality can be particularly beneficial for people who are dealing with chronic conditions. Prayer and meditation have been associated with lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease. There is an indication that some individuals with a strong sense of spirituality may live longer, potentially due to the stress-reducing and health-promoting effect of their spiritual practices and beliefs.


Wellness through holistic balance


To achieve holistic wellness, it is essential to recognize and nurture the connection between spirituality, health, and wellness. Allow me to share five simple steps to achieve balance in these areas:


Prayer and Meditation – Incorporating prayer and meditation into our daily routine helps to reduce stress and improve mental clarity. I believe that prayer is like a Wi-Fi connection between your mind and your body. The more often you connect with your spiritual side, the stronger you become. One of my favorite poems is “I met God in The Morning” by Ralph Spaulding Cushman. It reminds me to start my day with prayer and meditation. “So, I think I know the secret, learned through many a troubled way. If I seek Him in the morning, He will be with me through the day (adapted).”


Healthy Lifestyle – Embracing healthy lifestyle choices that include regular exercise, adequate sleep, and a balanced diet is an important means of supporting physical health. When you’re eating healthily, even your salad can be a spiritual experience. After all, it’s the closest thing to sunshine you can put in your body. Fill your plate with vibrant colorful fruits and vegetables and create a masterpiece of spiritual nourishment. Laugh at something. Laughter is the best medicine. So don’t forget to add some humor to your life daily. It does the body good!


Self-reflection – Taking time to explore our own spirituality and what it means to you can impact your overall well-being. A little self-reflection goes a long way. Use this time as an opportunity to connect with God, even when you’re stuck in traffic. Find some time to connect with nature. There is a spiritual connection between God and nature. I love playing soothing music during my time of reflection. It soothes my soul and makes my heart happy. Our mind is like a garden. Fill it with positivity, kindness, and love. Spiritual well-being starts with planting seeds of good thoughts. I learned that in sixth grade.


Community Engagement Connecting with your church or a community of like-minded people can cultivate your sense of support and belonging. Give someone a smile. Smiles are contagious and filled with positive energy. Surround yourself with people who radiate good energy. Your spiritual wellness gets a natural boost every time.


Disconnect from electronic devices and social media – Taking a conscious break from social media, electronic devices, and long hours scrolling on the internet can allow us to be present with those we love. This conscious break can relieve stress, allow us valuable rest of mind and body, more restful sleep, and deepen our relationships with God and family. Social media and the internet can be a learning experience in many cases; however, I believe that limiting social media can be vital to keeping family connected. Try planning set times to break away, not only for your mental health but also the mental health of your family. Between work and personal time on the internet, try setting boundaries as to when and how long to spend your valuable time.


Seek Professional Help – If you’re struggling with physical or mental health issues, it is essential to seek some professional assistance. A therapist or healthcare professional can provide needed support and guidance. There should be no embarrassment in seeking help. If you need it, get some.


In conclusion, I believe that spirituality, health, and wellness are interconnected facets of our lives. Nurturing our spirituality can improve both physical and mental health, thereby contributing to an overall sense of well-being. When we recognize the symbiotic relationship between these elements and incorporate spiritual practices into our lives, we can embark on a journey towards a healthier life and a more fulfilling existence. Just remember that your path to spirituality and overall wellness is deeply personal, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Simply embrace what resonates with you and find balance in your own unique way. Until next time. Make it a fabulous day on purpose!


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Barbara Powell Love Brainz Magazine
 

Barbara Powell Love, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Barbara Powell Love is currently the Office Manager for a small medical practice. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree concentrating in Business Development. Barbara is also the owner of Beebe Love's Beauty @www.beebelove.com, a blogging website to promote beauty, motivate, inform, provide mental stimulation, educate, inspire and encourage other women over 50 to embrace their inner beauty and pursue their dreams. Her blog focuses on personal development, leadership, and lifestyle. She encourages women to become Seasoned Beauties instead of becoming Senior Citizens.

 

References:

  • Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. (2022, July 12). Spirituality is linked with better outcomes and patient care. Retrieved from Harvard T.H. Chan, School of Public Health: www.hsph.harvard.edu

  • Nicole Rura, The Harvard Gazette. (2022, July 12). Spirituality is linked with better health outcomes and patient care. Cambridge, MA, USA: The Harvard Gazette.

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