How to cultivate spiritual health
Michelle Velan, Wondersource Founder
Spiritual health is often overlooked, but according to McKinsey, it is as important as physical and mental health and it is all deeply interconnected. Studies suggest that people who have regular spiritual practices tend to live longer and recover faster from illness and surgery. There are so many benefits to spirituality and risks to a lack of it. Grant Gardone, bestselling author wholeheartedly agrees:
“When I started working on my spiritually that’s when everything changed. All the expansion, the confidence, getting out in the world, better communicating, I started getting more certainty about who I am, what I am, where I am going and why I’m here. If you don’t figure out those things out, no amount of money will fill you up.”
So, what can we do to improve our spiritual health?
According to author, investor, James Altucher, to keep your spiritual body healthy, don’t time travel. “Don’t worry about the future or ruminate in the past. All your money and relationship problems, your insecurities and worries about tomorrow — they don’t exist. Your mind makes them up because your spiritual body isn’t healthy. Embrace the present moment and connect with everything that is right now.”
If you want to cultivate more spirituality in your life and you’re not sure where to start, try any of the following:
- Make a choice to become more spiritual. Motives lead to action.
- Reflect and define your values. It’s important to know who you want to be and what you stand for in order to make sure your actions are aligned.
- Practice gratitude. Start and end each day with 3-5 things you’re grateful for. Ideally, make them different and be sure to include things about yourself. For example, maybe you’re grateful for your sense of humour, the way you show up for people, your ability to stick with your goals, the self-compassion you’re developing or your commitment to improve your wellbeing. There are countless things about yourself to be grateful for.
- Put yourself on a positive information diet.
- Don’t be afraid of good. We often busy ourselves with dramas without pausing to reflect and appreciate that good is enriching and normal.
- Spend more time doing things you enjoy. Make feeling good and enjoying your life a goal. No matter what’s happened in the past, no matter where you’re at, give yourself permission to forgive yourself, commit to doing better and then let go and move on with gratitude for the lesson and joy in your heart. You are inherently worthy and deserving of good things.
- Cultivate a compassionate inner voice. Talk to yourself like you’re talking to a child that you’re responsible for nurturing and cherishing. The better we feel, the easier it becomes to connect to the beautiful, nourishing guidance within.
- Work with an energy healer or spiritual coach. Recognise the life force within you. Move stagnant energy out so you are more present and available to listen to your inner guidance and receive healing and wellbeing.
- Consistently read a spiritual text. Pick one that speaks to you: for those who would like an easier start, try the Greatest Salesman in the World or Journey Back to the Heart by Melody Beattie. Commit to reading ten minutes every day. It will help you feel grounded, inspired and the effect is both immediate and cumulative.
- Observe your thoughts. Listen and discern. We hear so much of our own thoughts that often our intuition or the Voice of the Universe or Spirit is distant and muffled. Listen to good ideas, ideas that benefit you and others, and elevate and nurture them.
- Look for miracles and the good. Stay hopeful, longer than feels comfortable. Recognise negative talk, label it and talk back to it with more empowering talk.
- Let go of strong opinions, judgements and assumptions. Heavily weighted opinions, judgements and assumptions wear us down. Simply surrender one, let it go. You alone know which of your opinions, your assumptions, is a burden to you and the world. Let it go. And then, another.
- Meditate or practice conscious breathing. Both are free and help to clear the mind, calm stress and create wholeness. Try breathing in for four, holding for seven and letting go for eight. Repeat for 5-10 rounds.
- Walk. Go for a daily walk in nature. Take the time to look around and see what is around you with a 30-minute daily walk, no matter the weather. Nature helps us to reduce our stress levels and at the same time become more connected to our authentic selves and intuition.
- Do something nice for someone else every day. Volunteer, connect with your community, reach out to a friend in need, hold the door for a stranger or offer to help a neighbour. We find our own spirituality in our connection to others. There is always something we can do for another and our motives lead us to action, a spiritual life, and a connection.
- Talk to a coach or therapist. Coaches and therapists can help us develop self-awareness, uncover blind spots and sabotaging behaviours and help us reduce stress.
- Do nothing. Take time out of your schedule where instead of doing something you just be. Without any end goal. We are not meant to be “doing” at all times. And, when we find moments of stillness – whether that’s lying down without closing your eyes, sitting on a park bench or just sitting still – we might find it a challenge at first but the more we get into the routine of doing nothing, the easier it will become for us to quickly see the benefits of a quieter mind, feeling lighter, happier and more creative.