Spiritual Health Meaning (why does it Matter)

During my days at Theology School, I developed a deep interest in Christianity and Spiritual reflection. I was incredibly enthusiastic about delving more into the topic of spiritual health.

During my research, I visited my spiritual father, who broke down what spiritual health means; he also recommended that I read more about it in the Bible and on spiritual books like Mere Christianity book by C.S Lewis and The Power of Now (A Guide to spiritual enlightenment) by Eckhart Tolle.

A few days ago, I was interacting with a couple of my friends in a spiritual awakening forum when the question of Spiritual health arose. I was intrigued to have this discussion with them.

We were able to analyze the different topics about Spirituality comprehensively, and with the knowledge from my research, I could explain to them more about spiritual health. So, what is the meaning of spiritual health?

According to theologians, spiritual health definition can only be found by explaining what Spirituality is first. It comes down to one meaning: the ability to detach from what is physical and find a sacred purpose and meaning in life.

I encourage you to continue reading this article to learn more about Spirituality, Spiritual health, the differences between spiritual health and religion, how you can improve your spiritual health, why spiritual health matters, and other intriguing topics.

What is Spirituality?

Spiritual Health Meaning 
What is Spirituality? Image source: Pixabay

In Christianity, Spirituality means finding a sacred and greater purpose outside of yourself. In Galatians 3:11, the Bible advocates for Christians to keep their Spirituality intact by “living in the spirit” as opposed to “living in the flesh.”

According to Fr. Jordan Aumann; a theologian, the concept of Spirituality revolves around uniting personal religious experiences to divine revelations, which means bringing together scriptural teachings and experiences.

Spirituality meaning is defined by these five factors; meaning, value, connection (personal and with others), transcendence, and supreme being (God).

What is Spiritual health?

Theologians explain spiritual health as being in a state of peace and calmness which is attained by maintaining discipline and perfection in the holy way of life or the connection to a higher power.

According to medical researchers , spiritual health is seen as a crucial determinant of physical, mental, and overall health.

It is important to note that spiritual health can be measured in different categories such as; religion, individual/personal, and material/worldly-focused dimensions.

Religious Category: Spiritual health in this environment aims to define ones connection with the divine being and the fulfillment it gives them.

The strength of their relationship is attributed to habits such as their consistency in prayer, their interaction with other Christians, their scripture study habits, and faith integration in their daily activities, among other factors.

Individualistic category: This component defines spiritual health as the personal connection with oneself, which is determined by values such as self-awareness and awakening, moral virtues, finding the meaning of life, peace, balance, and attitude towards oneself.

Material-oriented category: Spiritual health in this element is viewed as the connection between oneself and the world (other human beings and nature).

It is highly characterized by how someone treats those around them and their approach to nature. It is in the details of how responsible they are towards other people and nature in terms of forgiveness, loving, caring, attitude, and such like behavior.

How is spiritual health different from religion?

According to Michèle M. Schlehofer, spiritual health entails the concept of a non-theistic divine power, while religion appears to be defined by personal beliefs, relations with the community, and organized practices driven by a supreme being/God.

Spiritual health’s main objective is to promote the quality of life by giving you a sense of purpose, peace, and meaning in life.

Religion, however, aims to drive a set of morally accepted values that lead to the primary goal of serving God and achieving liberation through salvation.

What are the aspects of spiritual health?

Spiritual health aspects include;

Meaning; This component of spiritual health focuses on deriving meaning and purpose out of life situations and finding your significance.

Value: This aspect comprises intrinsic habits, standards, and beliefs that add to life’s worth; these include; beauty, truth, thoughts, worth, and behaviors.

Connecting with God, oneself, and others: This aspect revolves around the relationships created with ourselves, other people, nature, and the Supreme being (God).

Transcendence: This aspect aims at acknowledging the experience of a connection beyond yourself, acceptance, and appreciation of it.

Becoming: This refers to the expansion of self to accommodate growth and a life that requires self-reflection, self-awareness, and openness to progress.

What are the benefits of having spiritual health?

Spiritual Health Meaning 
What are the benefits of having spiritual health? Image source: Pixabay

Research shows that Spiritual health highly contributes to one’s physical and mental health, among other benefits. Some of these include;

Peace and calmness: Spiritual health allows one to focus more on what brings them joy and hope, what they deeply care about, and what impact they can make within themselves and the world around them; in other words, it allows them to focus on what’s important and by filtering out the noise of the world, they can get to a zen place

Spiritual growth and clarity: Reading the scriptures and introspecting on what they mean to a person helps them to reflect on their focus towards the divine being and how to take care of their connection with God.

More meaningful life: Believing in a greater purpose beyond oneself while going through a difficult situation helps one to be less anxious about it, allowing one to face tribulations with strength and courage.

Connection to the community and nature: Connecting with people who have similar spiritual goals, you can learn from one another, and you can encourage each other, and make sound and healthy life choices. Interaction with the community sometimes reminds you of the good in the world and reminds you to be grateful.

Boosts physical health: Studies have proven that spiritual health contributes to the well-being of an individual and even the recovery period from an illness.

Having faith enables patients to reduce their stress levels that often trigger diseases, and this allows them to recover faster than patients with weaker or no confidence.

Healthier relationships: Spiritual health promotes more beneficial relationships by finding meaning in various connections, and applying spiritual values such as kindness and love creates a healthy environment for yourself and others.

How can you improve your spiritual health?

Create a theme guide: Creating a goal theme will help a person work on that value and strengthen it to the point of becoming a habit.

Some of the theme values one can work on include; practicing kindness, showing love, and forgiveness. Incorporating these in their daily life will help improve the quality of their spiritual health.

Journal: On those days when a person feels overwhelmed by life happenings, it is good practice to write down their thoughts as it will help them channel that energy out of their mind and help them focus on other joys of life.

This helps improve their tenacity when faced with difficult situations and also helps them to acknowledge the doings of God.

Interact with your community: Talking to other people with the same spiritual goals and practices helps one to find encouragement in times of despair and also may provide answers on the best ways to handle certain situations they might face.

Spend time in nature: Spending time in nature allows one to appreciate creation and can be therapeutic too. It also allows people to disconnect from the world’s noises and introspect and reflect on their purpose in life.

Volunteer in activities: Participating in voluntary activities brings back or strengthens a person’s sense of purpose. It also allows them to reconnect and give back to the community, and this way, they feel fulfilled and aligned with their purpose in life.

Read spiritual books and listen to spiritual podcasts: Spiritual health is not a destination but a journey that one should aim to progress every day. Spiritual podcasts and books are one way to advance one’s Spirituality and spiritual health.

Why is the concept of spiritual health important?

Spiritual Health Meaning 
Why is the concept of spiritual health important? Image source: Pixabay

Spiritual health is an essential practice for people looking to increase their quality of life. Some of the reasons why this is so are;

  1. A spiritual community offers support, comfort, and hope in times of hardships which can help one build strength to overcome them and guide you to making healthier life choices.
  2. Spiritual health has proven to be a foundation for strong relationships, giving someone a sense of belonging, peace, security, and a support system they can trust.
  3. A spiritually healthy person has a more enhanced immunity system and better coping mechanisms for pain, stress, and difficulties. Some of these benefits can be traced back to caring for and treating the body with kindness.
  4. It helps a person to gain clarity in life through introspection and focusing on improving oneself by recognizing experiences that make someone feel like a better person and bring peace and balance to their life.
  5. According to research conducted by Giancarlo Lucchetti on spiritual health and mortality rate, it was established that spiritually healthy people tend to live longer. This is because spiritual health practices allow one to take care of themselves, their bodies, and their mindset; for example, a spiritually healthy person is likely to have faith that their health will get better and actively work towards it, which might not be the case with a person who doesn’t believe in spiritual health.

How does our spiritual health affect our daily lives?

Spiritual health impacts our daily lives positively and in these ways;

  • Spiritual health promotes confidence of instinct as it helps you eliminate fear and uncertainty even in difficult situations, which promotes comfort within yourself and those around you.
  • It allows someone to have a practical understanding and a calm approach to situations in their workplace, school, and other environments, promoting peace.
  • Spiritual health leads to reduced levels of stress, anger, anxiety, and depression which leaves room for positive thoughts and approaches to circumstances and life in general
  • Spiritual health promotes peace by giving you a sense of inner strength, and it also increases one’s hope by worrying less, which attracts positive energy.

Examples of activities that improve your spiritual health

Meditation: Meditation is the practice of concentration and drawing your mind into the present moment, also known as mindfulness. Meditation is proven to bring clarity and calmness to thoughts and body, allowing someone to connect deeply with themselves.

Prayer and gratitude – Acknowledging what you have and having faith that you will receive what you don’t have activates positive energy, hope, and relaxation, which boosts spiritual wellness.

Yoga – Taking on a physical activity that allows one to practice grounding and connect with themselves reduces stress, anxiety, and blood pressure, improving your spiritual health.

Journaling allows people to reflect and reset by writing down and connecting with their thoughts. It is an effective way of venting to oneself and finding solutions to life challenges by analyzing one’s thoughts. It helps build resilience and the overall spiritual well-being of a person.

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