Spiritual Wellness: Your Meaning and Purpose
Spirituality is the term often used in regard to matters of faith, the human spirit, and beliefs about a higher power, or powers. While in the past spirituality was generally believed to be a personal matter, changes in cultural and societal norms have shifted this dynamic and the role of spirituality in overall physical and mental wellness is recognized in healthcare, education, and the workplace. In fact, organizations such as the Center for Disease Control and the American Cancer Society even recognize the role of spirituality in a wide range of areas, from treating cancer to overcoming tobacco dependence.
Developing one’s spirituality is thought to be a significant factor in achieving and maintaining physical, mental, and social wellness. Activities that can help you focus on your spiritual beliefs or relationships include:
- Attending houses of worship, monasteries, churches, synagogues, temples, or mosques
- Reading books, stories, articles, or blogs on spiritual beliefs
- Joining groups, whether in-person or online, where spirituality is discussed or practiced
- Being in nature, going on hikes in the mountains, a picnic at the lake, or to the beach
- Meditating or praying
- Writing, journaling, drawing, painting, or otherwise creating art
The ways in which you can develop or deepen your spiritual wellness are nearly endless and you may even find a combination of approaches works best for you. Regardless of how you connect to spiritual wellness, doing so may help you find meaning in your day to day activities and purpose for your life overall.
Meaning and Purpose
The belief in a meaning and purpose to life can be described as the way we make sense of the world and the significance we place on what happens in our lives. While the meaning that each of us ascribe to our lives is often varied and differs from one person to the next, research has found that generally having a belief that life has meaning is a significant factor in psychological wellbeing and one’s ability to overcome challenges and obstacles in life.
Believing in meaning beyond the day to day logistics of working, going to school, grocery shopping, and so forth helps you feel that there is a purpose to what you are doing and your life overall. Ascribing purpose to challenges and hardships that we encounter can help deal with such circumstances in a positive way.
Cultivating Meaning and Purpose
More and more research is finding that having meaning and purpose in life is closely linked to overall health and wellness and positive functioning. It is therefore important to cultivate meaning and purpose in your life. Below is a list of questions to ask yourself as you explore who you are and what you can do to feel that life has meaning and purpose. Many of these questions may seem to direct you into altruistic endeavors, and that’s because a big part of feeling that our lives having meaning and purpose comes down to being able to help others.
- What are my talents? What are my skills?
- What do I enjoy doing?
- What do I know or have that would be useful to others?
- How can I leave the world a better place?
- How can I inspire the people I care about to find meaning and purpose in their lives?
- What do others appreciate about me?
- What do I want to accomplish in life?
The meaning and purpose you believe in for your own life may change overtime or evolve with your other belief systems. It may be important to revisit these activities at different points in your life as you continue to develop your spiritual wellness. Consider talking to a counselor for guidance on Spiritual Wellness.