Those who maintain good spiritual health have found that it transcends the physical and mental part of one’s well-being. Without it, the body and mind are in a state of imbalance which can negatively affect all aspects of one’s being. It can be a challenge to achieve in this fast-paced world, but with a little bit of discipline, it is both achievable and sustainable.
What are the Characteristics of Spiritual Health?
If you are both an empathetic and compassionate person, you are well on your way to spiritual health. To truly care for others, both human and animal, you appreciate and respect life and therefore have an overall giving, loving personality. This is a crucial part of a healthy spirit. Doing good deeds will help to feed your spirit and mind. Volunteering at your local animal shelter, or reading to young children at the library, visiting nursing homes, and being attentive to those in need whom you encounter are just a few ways to develop these deeply spiritual characteristics. You will find some audio program with positive affirmations to help reinforce your spiritual goals at this link: (http://www.jonathanparker.org/catalog/spiritual-growth-enlightenment/additional-programs-enlightenment/paths-spiritual-mastery-aud)
How to Attain Spiritual Health
1. Resistance to Negative External Forces
You have no doubt heard the expression, “the tension in the room was so thick, you could cut it with a knife.” This is an indication of the fact that the energy we and others emanate can have a significant effect on how we think and feel. Negative forces often come in the guise of others who engage in negative emotions and behaviors that can affect your well-being. Being around those who are negative, perhaps miserable with their own lives, and who have a constant negative vibe can only serve to bring you down after enough exposure. There are those, as well, who are malicious in their efforts to bring you down through actions or hurtful words.
It is important to do all you can to remove yourself from these negative influences brought on by others. Through constant exposure, it will become increasingly difficult to maintain a feeling of calm and serenity. Regardless of who these people are, it is imperative that you limit contact as much as possible.
2. Exposure to Positive Outside Forces
This is something that varies with each person. For some, religion is a critical part of their lives. Attending church, mosque, or temple brings them together with others who share their beliefs and helps to bring enlightenment into their lives.
Others who do not have religious affiliations yet who consider themselves spiritual may simply want to surround themselves with others who are generally cheerful and positive. These people may come from all walks of life but share a common bond of charity or causes. Being involved in these types of activities can only strengthen your inner spirit and participating with other like-minding people can be a mutually inspiring experience.
3. Changing Negative Internal Forces
It has often been said that we are our own worst enemy. We often criticize ourselves more harshly than others would and make ourselves believe others think the worst of us when they really don’t. In fact, nearly everyone has an inner critic that undermines their best intentions. It is vital to work on turning this negative self-talk into self-praise and appreciation.
While we all do things on occasion we’re not proud of, it is important to learn and grow from that experience, not by putting ourselves down but instead by telling ourselves what we can do to move forward in a positive way. Focusing on the negative only intensifies anxiety and a feeling of self-loathing. For one thing what is done is done and can’t be changed, but we can keep ourselves positively directed to improving our present and future.
There is another form of negative thinking that can be even more destructive to your spiritual health. Holding a grudge, feeling hatred or disdain for others only breeds more of the same and can often lead to very negative and serious actions. This is perhaps more damaging than any other negative influence.
For many, forgiveness not only brings about inner peace, acceptance, and tolerance, but it can also lead to deep healing and inner calm. One of the most profound audio programs I have ever authored is titled “Deep Forgiveness.” You will find it at this link: (http://www.jonathanparker.org/catalog/spiritual-growth-enlightenment/deep-forgiveness-6-cds).
Whatever works for you, don’t let someone else dictate your feelings or how you think about yourself. To do so dis-empowers you and empowers them with what is rightfully yours. At best, what others say and think is only their opinion, and you don’t need to elevate their opinion as being more valid than the opinions you choose to hold for yourself. Value yourself. What others think of you is their business. Remember that you are in control. Don’t turn that control over to others who do not have your best interests in mind.
4. Meditation for Connecting and Healing the Mind and Body
Meditation helps to relieve stress and to bring one to a closer relationship with their higher power, whatever that may be for them. Whether your higher power comes from within or God, meditation is a way to center both body and mind and to experience a sense of oneness with your spiritual self.
By imagining yourself in a beautiful and serene place, visualizing it in your mind, you can push away negative thoughts and the stress of the day. There are many different meditation techniques, so find out which one works best for you and stick with it. With meditation, controlled breathing is essential for achieving that spiritual health you are striving for. You will find numerous other articles I have written on the subject of meditation at this link: (http://www.jonathanparker.org/jonathans-blog)
5. Exercise for a Healthy Body
With all the talk of spiritual health, it can be easy to overlook the physical needs of your body. Your body is not meant to be sedentary. Your muscles and other inner workings need to be challenged to build strength and flexibility. Exercise helps you to maintain a healthy body weight and keeps your vital organs working more efficiently. Just a walk a day can make a dramatic difference in your overall health. Find what works best for you and commit to a plan to engage in it several times a week.
6. Nutrition and Good Eating Habits
Regardless of how much or how often you exercise, bad eating habits can derail your best efforts. It can make you sluggish and adversely affect your overall health as well as your mental clarity. Foods that are heavily processed or crammed with sugars and fats should be eaten in great moderation, if at all. Fresh organic fruits, vegetables, and other products need to be your foundation to ensuring your physical and mental well-being.
Bringing your body and mind into alignment is the way to becoming a truly spiritual being. You will find yourself less stressed and much happier. You will be able to handle strife with more calm and resolve. Others will feel your positive aura and benefit by being with you, too.