In today’s modern world, many people find peace and serenity in finding what is sacred in life. Spiritualism — a belief in what is sacred — is not a new concept. Spiritualism became popular in the 1800s as a way to find comfort in times of grief. What are the benefits of being a spiritual person, and how can it help you in your life?
What is spirituality?
Spirituality is anything that affects our human soul or spirit; it does not focus on material objects. Being spiritual is not inherently religious either. Although some people do seek spiritual comfort in religion, a person can be spiritual in non-religious ways, such as practicing yoga, meditation, personal reflection in writing, or finding comfort in nature.
What are the benefits of being a spiritual person?
The benefits of being a spiritual person are endless. However, here are a few great benefits that stand out more than most.
1. It’s good for your health. A recent study by the American Cancer Society states that patients with religious or spiritual practices have better health, more energy for daily tasks, and fewer symptoms during treatments. Patients with spiritual beliefs feel more purpose in life, as well as a connection to a higher power, which positively affects physical health. However, these benefits extend to anyone, regardless of health status.
2. Spirituality improves mental health. Famous psychoanalyst Carl Jung believed that religion was directly related to the psyche, and deeply rooted in the mind. By connecting to one’s own thoughts and feelings through spirituality, people are able to feel more hopeful and improve their self-esteem, which also improves mental health. Being spiritual also helps ward off depression. A study conducted by the American Journal of Psychology found that people with a spiritual practice of some kind reduced their depression by 75% over the ten-year study period.
3. Spiritual beliefs generate gratitude. Psychology Today states that gratitude increases positive feelings such as optimism and generosity, while also increasing energy. Spirituality encourages us to be positive, which in turn also helps mental health. One simple way to be more grateful in your life is to write what you are grateful for each day in a gratitude journal.
4. Spirituality makes us more compassionate. Living a spiritual life helps us be more compassionate and empathetic towards others. Spirituality increases pro-social emotions, which helps us connect to those around us in positive and loving ways.
5. Your children may benefit from a spiritual family practice. The Journal of Happiness Studies found that children who live in homes with spiritual practices (regardless of religion) develop better in-depth personal relationships and find value and meaning in their own lives as well as others. According to the study, this a predictor of future happiness as adults.
Being a spiritual person does not mean adhering to a strict religion to reap the benefits. As seen from the aforementioned studies, religion does not have to be the focus of spirituality. You can practice spirituality in many ways, and there is no right or wrong. Discover what works best for you and your family. Mediation, yoga, and writing in a gratitude journal are all simple ways to include spirituality in our lives to reap the benefits. As Pierre Teilhard de Chardin once said, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
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