Wellness includes well-being of mind, body and spirit. These in turn include physical, mental, emotional, sexual, social and spiritual health. A person can not enjoy wellness if he ignores any one of these factors. It can be reasonably said that they form the blueprint for wellness.
Not much is talked about spiritual wellness or well-being, but there is no denying the fact that it plays an important role in a person’s wellness. One obvious reason why people don’t attach importance to spiritual health is because they often misunderstand it to mean religious belief. Spirituality is equated with traditional religions like Christianity, Hinduism or Buddhism. We live in a world where a number of religions co-exist. Every religion is based on the belief that there is a god, a super-natural power that controls our living and destiny. There are atheists who refuse to believe that a god or spiritual head, exists. Spirituality however, is beyond religious beliefs. Spirituality on the other hand is about relationships – relating with one’s self and others around. Of course, spirituality is a very personal matter as it involves one’s personal beliefs and values. Discovering the meaning of existence and the purpose of living forms the basis for spirituality. National Wellness Institute says spiritual wellness is based on the following:
1. It is better to ponder the meaning of life for ourselves than to close our minds and become intolerant
2. It is better to live each day in a way that is consistent with our values and beliefs than to do otherwise and feel untrue to ourselves
Attaining spiritual health
It is necessary to be aware of the meaning of your existence and also the purpose of your everyday living. This awareness forms the tenement on which your spiritual wellness is built upon. Silence will help to explore yourself. Spend some quiet moments in solitude and meditation every morning. Meditation, prayer, spiritual practices and beliefs may guide you in your spiritual health. Don’t shut your mind to these. Choose what makes you feel comfortable and at peace and practice the same daily. Yoga and meditation may allow you to experience the inner peace.
Since spirituality is all about relationships, love, care, concern, compassion, and forgiveness play an important role in enjoying spiritual health. Be aware of the events that happen around you in your everyday life. An accident you witness, a movie on television, a chat on internet, a news item on your morning newspaper – all of these could add a new meaning to your life. They could be an eye power in discovering the purpose of your living.
Have fun. Playing games helps you to laugh and interact with others. Join in the celebrations. Sing, dance and enjoy music. These help you to relax your mind and body and keep you away from the stressful living.
Avoid anything stressful. It may be a relationship that does not seem to help you, a food that you long for or a lifestyle that you dream of. If they are causing you stress, it would be better to avoid them rather than let them rule over you.
Physical health and spiritual health
A person’s belief system gives him a sense of well-being and hence spirituality is a key element to facilitate recovery of a patient from illness. Prof. Russel D’souza, president of the Global Psychiatric Initiative, says, “taking into account the medical history of a patient is not enough as their spiritual history or belief system is equally important in treatment and care”. The idea of recording spiritual histories came about when a survey in New South Wales in 2000 showed that 80% patients held their belief systems to be very important.
We may not think much about spiritual wellness, but it does play a significant role in our life. We cannot enjoy total wellness if we ignore spiritual health.