Enhancing spiritual wellness during the pandemic
“Remember, we are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Stephen Covey, American educator and author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
When facing a personal or human crisis, we turn to the spiritual dimension of wellness for comfort, support and coping strategies. We are looking for something to help us put our fears into perspective and to give us strength to face the day. The current pandemic and emerging new ways of living have caused us to re-think and solidify many of our beliefs. Developing and improving your spiritual life can help you get through the darker times and move into a level of peace and wellbeing.
There are three general aspects to a person, the mind, body, and spirit. However, in holistic wellness, it is helpful to think of the spirit as underlying the physical, emotional, intellectual, vocational, environmental, and social aspects of a human being. Spiritual wellness is intertwined with and affects all dimensions of wellness.
Why is this dimension important?
Spirituality is linked to better overall mental and physical health. Spiritual people are happier and have greater mental strength when facing the challenges of life. The people who continually strive to improve the spiritual dimension of wellness manage stress better. Higher levels of spirituality seemed to safeguard the effects of adverse life events (i.e., loss, major change) and were linked to lower anxiety and fear. Spirituality gives more significant meaning and purpose to our lives, leading to more intentional living. Spiritual practices are strongly associated with positive health and wellbeing outcomes.
Spiritual people are more positive and optimistic in their lives, qualities that develop when fostering the spiritual dimension. The following are common characteristics of people who exhibit spiritual wellness are:
- Spiritual people are gracious. Expressing gratitude is linked to uplifting feelings such as optimism, generosity with time and resources, and increased energy. “It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.” Eckhart Tolle, spiritual teacher and author of The Power of Now.
- Spiritual people thrive and have positive relationships, meaning, and purpose in life, and higher self-esteem.
- Spiritual people self-actualize. Striving toward personal growth, fulfillment, and a better life is a fundamental concept of spirituality.
- Spiritual people are compassionate. They feel empathy toward others and support others as a part of their spiritual path. Compassion is one of the most robust outcomes of living a spiritual life.
- Spiritual people take time to appreciate life experiences. Spiritual people reflect on daily activities and moments and are more conscious of the value of life.