Spiritual wellness is a term that I'm still getting used to. I'd heard the term “wellness” before and assumed it only referred to physical, mental, and emotional well-being. But I never believed that wellness could include our spiritual side, since, let's face it, what is spiritual wellbeing and how does one become spiritually fit in the first place?
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Many people believe that yoga or guided meditation might help them achieve spiritual wellness. In fact, I agree with your viewpoint and have experimented with both, with varying outcomes!
I used to be that guy in the back of the Bikram Yoga studio who couldn't stand the heat and wouldn't take his shirt off (so I laid on my back for an hour and a half). And I was that guy in guided meditation class who would always drift asleep and snort when he awoke, ashamed and feeling like he was wasting his time (and my small donation).
Since then, though, I've developed a new perspective on spiritual wellness. And it happened out of nowhere.
I received my training as a hospital chaplain at a Veterans' hospital, where the vets' freedom of religion and freedom from religion are protected by very rigorous laws. The government is so afraid of evangelizing (and rightly so) that I was afraid to even mention the name of Jesus (I am a Christian) unless a patient brought him up first for fear of being fired!
So, in many situations, as their chaplain, I had to learn to interact with patients from a spiritual perspective that essentially excluded what I called “spiritual” at the time (my faith). So, to begin, I needed to understand what spirituality is.
A seasoned chaplain working out of the VA in Portland, OR, gave me this definition of spirituality: “Spirituality is the way individuals seek and express meaning and purpose, and the way they feel linked to something larger than themselves.” What gives us meaning and purpose, in other words? What do we feel a sense of connection to, and how do we make that connection?
Learning an entirely new perspective on spirituality and then engaging people in conversation about it had a profound impact on my life. What gives me meaning and purpose? I began to ponder all the time. To what do I feel a sense of belonging? What's more, how am I connecting?
I'd never given those questions much thought beforeever! Now all I had to do was think about those questions and invite others to think about them as well.
And I discovered that everyone connects in their own unique way, and that they connect to a vast array of things. When they hear or play music, some people say it makes them feel connected and hopeful. Others said their family and friends provided them with meaning and optimism. Others, meanwhile, felt connected and hopeful as a result of their faith in God.
So I came to realize that spiritual wellbeing, or being spiritually fit, simply means that we keep in front of us people, places, and things that offer us meaning and hope, as well as help us feel connected to something larger than ourselves.
Working hard to maintain those relationships can bring a lot of satisfaction in life to someone who loves their family and gets a sense of significance and hope from being linked to them.
Making time and space for the creative and life-giving effort of painting can help someone achieve spiritual wholeness.
Spiritual wellbeing is important since it, like eating and sleeping well, exercising, and performing meaningful work, contributes to a balanced and well-rounded life.
How do I maintain my spiritual condition?
Spiritual wellbeing can be reached in a variety of ways, both physically and intellectually, because it involves one's values, beliefs, and purpose.
What does it mean to be considered spiritual?
Spirituality is defined as the awareness of a feeling, sense, or belief that there is something more to being human than sensory experience, and that the greater total of which we are a part is cosmic or divine in nature.
What does the Bible say about being spiritually fit?
It's the most common New Year's resolve made by Americans year after year: to get in shape. Don't believe that reality goes unnoticed by business owners. Today, physical fitness is a multibillion-dollar industry. Unfortunately, studies show that by the second week of February, 80% of all New Year's resolutionsincluding all fitness goalshave failed.
This number made me think about believers' spiritual fitness efforts. I used to proclaim as a teen and a new Christian that I was going to “It's time to turn over a new leaf.” Every year around the time my church held weeklong revival services, this would happen. One of those families was mine “I could count on hearing numerous impassioned sermons about true Christian living whenever the doors were open. Normally, I would answer during one of the invitation times “rededicate” my life, promising God and the church that from that point on, I would try harder to be a better and bolder Christian. Unfortunately, most of my attempts to improve my spiritual fitness failed as soon as a New Year's resolve. They failed because I was attempting to grow in faith in my own time and strength. It took me much longer than I'd like to admityearsto realize that spiritual fitness is just as much a work of God's grace in me as conversion. As a result, Paul's remarks regarding spiritual health in 2 Corinthians 1213 always hold my complete attention. Paul presents at least four thoughts concerning spiritual fitness in these chapters.
Use God's grace to help you overcome your weaknesses. In an overall fitness program, effective physical training targets areas that need to be strengthened. Improving spiritual fitness also necessitates a candid examination of flaws. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:7 that he had sinned “He was plagued by a “thorn in the flesh.” Bible scholars have debated what Paul was referring about for centuries. Whatever it was, he pleaded to God to take it away. Perhaps he thought to himself, “If I were free of this weakness, I could accomplish so much more for Christ.” Paul, on the other hand, required a more thorough application of God's grace. Grace alone would suffice. Furthermore, God's grace would show that God's power for Christian living and service was perfected best in the areas where the believer's greatest weaknesses were.
Check your heart on a regular basis. Physically, the heart is a muscle. A fantastic muscle. It was acknowledged as the central organ of human life even by the ancients. According to Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the source of life.” The heart is frequently described in Scripture as the spiritual core of life, which is not surprising. As a result, Paul asked the Corinthians to check if Christ was ruling on the throne of their hearts on a regular basis. If they were true Christians, Christ should have lived in them, and their lives should bear witness to His dominion. Today's believers are in the same boat. Being spiritually fit means having a heart that is ruled by Jesus.
To please and respect Christ, live your life. Paul assured the believers in Corinth that he prayed for them in 2 Corinthians 13:7 “I'm not doing anything improper.” He went on to say that his motivation for praying was not so that he could look better in God's eyes, but so that they may have a better life “Do the right thing.” People are motivated to get physically healthy for a variety of reasons. However, there is only one explanation for remaining spiritually fit: it is the proper thing to do; it pleases and honors Christ our Lord.
Accept the truth. Paul penned, “We can't do anything against the truth; we can only do things for it” (2 Cor. 13:8). The truth is the truth, whether we're talking about physical or spiritual fitness. The truth will not go away no matter how much we attempt to avoid it. We can try to conceal it, but it will eventually surface. We can try to fudge it, twist it, or deny it, but in the end, the truth triumphs. This is why, to those who trusted in Him, Jesus declared, “If you stick to my teachings, you will truly be my disciples. You will come to understand the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32). Accepting Christ's truth frees us to grow in faith and service to Him.
What we have is a daily reprieve based on our spiritual condition?
According to the website of Alcoholics Anonymous, “We haven't been healed of our alcoholism. What we truly have is a daily reprieve conditional on our spiritual condition being maintained.” We allow our ideas and behaviors to be guided by our own conception of a power bigger than ourselves rather than our own selfish and imperfect decision-making through this spiritual connection. Every morning, we pray and meditate, requesting that our thoughts be transformed “Free of self-pity, deception, or self-seeking motivations.” This daily relief in addiction treatment can often take the form of holistic therapy, like as meditation or yoga.
How do you awaken spiritually?
Be aware of and deliberate about what you believe. Recognize the energy you're putting out into not simply your world, but the globe at large. Also, be truthful. Are your beliefs assisting you in your spiritual development? A spiritual awakening frequently necessitates the renunciation of long-held beliefs. But here's the thing about waking up: you have to realize you've been asleep first.
How does spirituality affect your life?
- When you're sick, it can help you find inner strength and speed up your recovery.
Talking with a religious or spiritual leader might provide persons with mental illnesses a sense of hope. Some mental diseases might be viewed as moments when people doubt their own worth or purpose in a negative manner. Incorporating spirituality into the therapy of mental health issues can be incredibly beneficial.
Type 2 diabetes affects approximately 25.8 million people in the United States, or 8.3 percent of the population.
1 Non-Hispanic Blacks aged 20 and up account for 4.9 million (18.7%) of the total. 1 Complications of type 2 diabetes, such as cerebrovascular illness, renal failure, and amputations, are substantially more common among African Americans than in non-Hispanic Whites.1
With proper diabetic self-care, these problems can be decreased or avoided. Diabetes therapy relies heavily on self-care knowledge, skills, and activities. The intricacy of sustaining and managing daily self-care activities, such as exercise, food change, and medication adherence, makes diabetic self-care difficult. The American Association of Diabetes Educators2 lists seven diabetes self-care behaviors: being active (physical activity and exercise); eating healthy (diet composition and caloric content); taking medications; monitoring (e.g., blood glucose, weight, blood pressure); problem solving, particularly for blood glucose (high and low levels, sick days); reducing risks (to reduce diabetes complications; smoking cessation); and healthy coping (psychosocial adaptation). These behaviors have been recognized as measurable results of effective diabetes education and should be practiced at both the individual and population level to accomplish the targeted outcomes of diabetes complications prevention and physical and psychological well-being.
Spiritual and religious beliefs and activities can either help people cope with a chronic illness by providing support, confidence, and hope, or they might obstruct successful coping by causing them to ignore self-care activities in favor of prayer and/or meditation.
3 While there is evidence of a link between spirituality and hypertension self-management4, few research have looked at the impact of spirituality on diabetes self-management.
5 As a result, less is known about how spiritual beliefs and practices, as well as social support, influence diabetic self-care among African American adults. 6 Spirituality is an important source of emotional support; God is perceived as central in providing strength to deal with daily challenges; God is frequently called upon for help in controlling diabetes; and a strong belief in God, prayer, meditation, and support from church members were all sources of support in previous studies concerning spirituality, religion, and diabetes in African Americans. 3, 5, and 8 Religion and spirituality were linked to better glycemic control in Black women with type 2 diabetes in one study,9 while religion and spirituality were linked to a lower likelihood of lifelong smoking among African Americans in another. 10
Because of the foregoing findings and a gap in the literature, we decided to look into the possibilities of incorporating spiritual and religious views into diabetic self-management. Spiritual views encompass a connection to a higher being as well as an existential outlook on life, death, and the nature of reality. 11 Religious practices/rituals such as prayer or meditation, as well as interaction with religious community members, are examples of religious beliefs. While spiritual and religious views have a lot in common, the authors decided to look into both of them because they are commonly brought up when dealing with disease. It's also necessary to look into both of these concepts because some people consider themselves spiritual but don't necessarily believe in religion. While religious beliefs and practices are more easily measured, the authors intended to look at the larger context of people's belief systems, specifically their perspectives on life's meaning, disease, and existential concerns. 13 The Systems of Belief Inventory (SBI) was chosen to measure these constructs due to the requirement to examine both spiritual and religious beliefs and practices in the process of coping with an illness.
The researchers wanted to see if there was a link between (a) spiritual and religious beliefs and practices and social support, and (b) diabetic self-care activities in African Americans with type 2 diabetes. Because African Americans have numerous diabetes inequities, this is an essential topic (i.e., highest rates of diabetes, diabetes complications, and diabetes-related mortality rates). 14
Because little is known about how spiritual and religious beliefs and practices affect diabetes self-care in African American adults, this study looked at the relationship between spirituality, religion, and diabetes self-care activities in this population, such as diet, physical activity, blood glucose self-testing, and foot care behaviors. Because some evidence suggests a link between spirituality and religion and lifetime smoking in African Americans10, a negative link between spirituality and religion and smoking was hypothesized. It was expected, in particular, that those who scored higher on spiritual and religious beliefs and practices, as well as social support, would engage in more diabetes self-care activities and smoke less.