Summer is starting to wind down and you’re still looking for the perfect getaway. Perhaps you have no idea exactly what you're looking for, but just need a little rest and relaxation. Well if you’re short on cash as well as time, how about taking a mental vacation and going on a safari of the mind for a little soul searching?
Holistic health is about looking at all aspects of health including physical, emotional, spiritual and environmental. Sure, I go to the gym every week and watch what I eat, but last time I checked my spirituality was emaciated. Studies show that practicing spirituality lowers stress levels, improves feelings of connectedness, and increases overall well being -- thus greatly improving health.
I want to transition by saying that although spirituality for many people comes from their religion or relationship with a higher power, this does not necessarily have to be the path to your spirituality.
So what exactly is spirituality? Dr. Shah, professor of public health sciences at the University of Toronto, defines spirituality as “beliefs and values one holds concerning one's place in the universe and which reflect one's connections with a higher power and social and physical environments.”
So how do you assess your spiritual side? Take a minute and ask yourself: Do I feel I have a purpose or meaning in my life? Do I feel a sense of connectedness to people or the things that surround me? Am I happy with where I stand in this life? Am I able to let go, forgive and feel hope or do I find myself holding on to past events?
These are all deep and personal issues that can be addressed when considering your spiritual well being. Here are just a few suggestions on how to practice being a little more spiritual.
1) Be quiet. Take time for yourself every day, whether it’s ten minutes you set aside in your day, or squeezed in just before you go to sleep. Take time to quiet your mind, there are so many things running through it all day long! One of my favorite spiritual teachers, Eckhart Tolle, makes the point that oftentimes we are slaves to our minds, getting sucked into and controlled by our thoughts.