But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to remembrance, whatsoever, I have said unto you.
Peace I leave with you. My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubles, neither let it be afraid.
KJV Saint John Chapter 14 verses 26, 27
Our series on Wellness and Well-being continues this week with a focus on Spiritual wellness. Remember from previous discussions that the six components of Wellness and Well-being are: Physical wellness, Emotional wellness, Intellectual wellness, Spiritual wellness, Interpersonal and social wellness, Environmental or planetary wellness.
What is Spiritual Wellness?
"Being spiritually well includes both having a set of guiding beliefs, values, or principles that adds meaning to life and thinking beyond oneself" (Insel & Roth, 2002). Life is full of challenges. Your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual wellness is important for balance during life's challenging times. People may be conscious of spiritual wellness, but not know what spiritual wellness means. Without an understanding of spiritual wellness, a part of the life's overall balance is missing. Understanding spiritual wellness is necessary for the successful handling of life's many challenges.
Spiritual wellness requires a commitment by a person to undertake a journey for inner understanding; to answer questions of what is our purpose in life; and to answer "Who am I?" This journey may take shape through prayer, meditation, seminars, and interactions with others to understand one's journey.
True spirituality is a journey that does not occur instantaneously. Spirituality continuously evolves. On the journey of spirituality, a foundation of self-knowledge, acceptance and the adaptation of a belief system is forged. As this foundation builds and strengthens, the individual becomes healthy and balanced in their spirituality.
Spirituality plays a major part in our journey of self-discovery because of the relationship forged between self and our higher power. Spirituality helps us reach beyond the normal limitations of being human, and brings meaning to life and helps us understand death without purpose. Spiritual belief allows people to view the impossible as possible.
People who view their lives as full of purpose and meaning will meet the crises and work to resolve and continue forward in life. With spiritual health, people emanate happiness, hope and belief; such positive emotions have a healing impact to the body, mind and heart. These positive emanations help the other parts of self, mind, body, and emotions to flow together in harmonic balance.
Without spiritual wellness, when crises occur, the temptation exists to become depressed, defeatist. This emotional imbalance impacts overall balance causing the overall crisis to worsen. The crisis can become overwhelming and a person may give up, instead of pushing through and onward. A simple situation can quickly become a life-threatening crisis without hope for a positive outcome.
Many people beat incredible odds because of their positive attitudes and faith. People around them, including doctors, gave them little or no odds of wellness. Yet they get well and continue in life. Spiritual wellness is often the foundational reason given to explain people's ability to self-cure when all others have given up.
Why do we strive to find spiritual wellness?
When we are faced with ailments or illnesses, our bodies struggle to heal themselves. While in a weakened state, the human can feel tempted to think negative thoughts and make bad decisions if without a spiritual anchor. It is true that spirituality is not necessary to survive. But spiritual strength has been known to aid individuals in the fight against cancer and other very various deadly diseases. People who have a strong spiritual belief system have a perspective on life that others who do not believe, simply do not have.
Negativity, as with positivity, is a very powerful, suggestive thought or mindset. Negativity has been proven to have adverse effects on the body causing healing to slow down and in drastic incidences, clinical depression to develop. While, on the other hand, positivity paired with strong spiritual beliefs has performed amazing medical miracles. Positive thinking can allow for the weakened individual to continue on daily routines with a motivated outlook. This is why so many believe that mood plays a very important role in health and well-being, considering spirituality is a positive aspect of one's life.
As well as healing the body of illnesses, spirituality is closely linked with successful body conditioning. Surprised? I was. Exercise is more effective when a positive mental attitude is present. Secondly, negativity and stress has also been closely linked to the development of cortisol. As we know, cortisol hinders the breakdown of some fats in certain areas, namely around the mid-section.
A strong belief system can truly change a person's physical well-being drastically. When there is a strong spiritual belief, there is a stronger will to live, prosper and focus on life in general. Spirituality and health go hand in hand, proving that anything is possible with the right attitude and reverence for one who is more powerful than we, as humans, could ever be.
Insel & Roth, 2002
What Does Spiritual Wellness Mean?
By John M English
King James Bible
About the Author
I worked as a personal fitness trainer with the YMCA for many years. I have had the pleasure of working with many incredible individuals.
When my spouse of twenty years lost his battle with cancer in 2005, I had to stop training people so I could stay at home and take care of our three children. Now I train people from my home and operate an online marketing business.
I have a degree in Dietetics from Northern Illinois University and I am currently working on a degree in Marketing. I enjoy spending time with friends and family, and spoiling my adorable little grand daughter. In addition, I like to golf, swim, exercise, and riding my bicycle on the many beautiful nature trails here in Northern Illinois.
If you want to read more about Spiritual Wellness, go check out my Live Healthy website.