In order to approach spiritual health, we must analyze five clusters of information: its definition, components, indications, characteristics, and the contrasts between spiritual health and spirituality, according to our research. The following is a breakdown of each cluster:
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Spiritual health, according to existent literature, is a relationship with God (a superior existence), oneself, others, and nature (3, 8). Similarly, our participants' responses revealed four sorts of spiritual health connections, namely, human connection with God, himself, others, and nature. Spiritual health, according to the participants, comprises those parts of health or human existence that cannot be described by physical, mental, or social factors. The definition of spiritual health includes the absence of spiritual ailments.
A suitable human connection with oneself, others, and the environment, according to our participants, reflects mental and social well and is thus not exclusive to spiritual health. In response to the assertion that spiritual health is the absence of spiritual afflictions, it should be noted that these afflictions must be specified properly. Furthermore, we must build methods to identify spiritual ailments and then evaluate which ailments, and to what extent, the absence of certain ailments would signify spiritual health, which is a challenging task.
Our findings reveal that spiritual health is determined by the components of connection with oneself, God (transcendent reality), society (others), and nature, which are all in conformity with the literature (9, 10).
Spirituality, according to studies, is a way of communicating with oneself, others, nature, and everything sacred (holy entities) (11, 12).
It appears that spiritual health indicators can be explored in four domains: human connection with God, himself, others, and nature.
As previously said, human connection with oneself, others, and the environment is not limited to spiritual health; so, the above-mentioned components and indications can be found in the domains of mental and social health as well.
Spiritual health and spirituality appear to be distinct concepts, however they do share certain similarities and overlap.
Spiritual health has a number of definitions and features (15). Spirituality has varied meanings in different cultures (16), which is consistent with our findings, which revealed varying definitions and criteria for spiritual health based on individuals' beliefs and worldviews.
Spiritual health integrates people's physical, mental, and social components, according to a study of the literature (21). Furthermore, some health models regard spiritual health as the focal point or the most important feature of all other dimensions of health, emphasizing the significance of spiritual health (1).
Spiritual health, according to our participants' comments, covers other dimensions of health and is more significant than its other components.
However, we must examine the type of study when interpreting the results, because cross-sectional studies can only evaluate the correlation between two variables, not the causal relationship.
There are two types of spiritual health: religious and existential. Religious health concerns people's perceptions of their health in relation to a higher power, whereas existential health concerns people's socio-mental preoccupations and interactions with themselves, society, and nature (5). Religious well-being, which refers to a relationship with God or a higher entity, and existential well-being, which is concerned with the meaning and purpose of life, are two aspects of spiritual well-being (22).
As a result, it's reasonable to assume that spiritual health has two dimensions: religious health, which is shaped by a relationship with God or a supreme power (a transcendent and holy existence), and existential health, which is shaped by a human's relationship with himself, others, and nature, as well as the meaning and purpose of life.
People who have superior spiritual health are more likely to choose a healthy lifestyle (17). A spiritually healthy lifestyle is one of the most important characteristics (4). Similarly, spiritual health can be seen in an individual's behavior.
Spirituality is a fluid state that may be cultivated, its identities and patterns can shift, and it can be visible or hidden (23). Spiritual health, according to the participants in our survey, is dynamic, meaning it can improve or deteriorate.
Finally, the current research confirmed four categories of human connection in the definition of spiritual health: human connection with God, himself, others, and nature. The majority of the experts who took part in the current study agreed that human connection with God is the most significant portion of the definition of spiritual health, as well as the most important component and indicator of spiritual health. Other research, on the other hand, were unable to demonstrate that one component was superior to the others. Spiritual health does not need a person to be connected to himself, others, or nature; these aspects of spiritual health can also be found in mental and social health. Although we uncovered a variety of spiritual health definitions, we believe that they may differ depending on one's views and viewpoints. It is advised that more longitudinal research be undertaken by multidisciplinary collaboration involving mental health doctors, social health specialists, and religion scholars to provide more accurate reasons for spiritual health. More precise research on spiritual health and its causal relationship with physical, mental, and social health would arise from such investigations.
What does Bible says about spiritual health?
You will not be healthy if you eat well and exercise every day. It may make you look and feel better, but eating and exercise, according to Dr. Bill Hettler (co-founder of the National Wellness Institute) and his six aspects of wellness, barely scratch the surface of what comprehensive health entails.
Let's start with the two dimensions we're most familiar with: physical and spiritual well-being. These aspects are frequently linked, which is understandable given how intertwined they are. According to Romans 12:1, “…present your bodies to God as a holy and acceptable living sacrifice, which is your spiritual worship.” Then, according to 1 Corinthians 6:20, “Because you were purchased with a price, praise God in your body and spirit, which are God's. These and other passages remind us that our physical experience is linked to our spiritual testimony. Investing in your physical health, or not, has a direct impact on your spiritual health, and vice versa.
Let's take a look at physical health on its own. The human body's principal function is to offer a home for the Holy Spirit. As a result, we must remember to take good care of our bodies, because taking care of your body is also taking care of the God within you.
Furthermore, we must remember that when God made us, he reflected himself in us (Genesis 1:27). This is something he hasn't done with any other species, and it emphasizes how valuable we are. In fact, God values us so much that he says in 1 Corinthians 3:17, “If anybody defiles God's temple, God will destroy him…” As managers of a physical temple that God has entrusted to us, we must take care to treat it as God, the owner, would.
Maintaining our physical health has the added benefit of doubling our potential to honor God. How? Because we worship him both physically and spiritually. Were we not created to proclaim God's praise (Isaiah 43:20)? Our bodies are the outward representation of our spiritual experience. The National Wellness Institute (NWI) recommends that we protect our physical health by doing the following: “…a mix of excellent exercise and eating habits,” “medical self-care and proper use of a medical system,” and “medical self-care and suitable use of a medical system,” “…keep track of your vital signs and recognize your body's warning signs.”
Spiritual well-being is difficult to assess. The NWI, on the other hand, proposes that “When your behaviors become more consistent with your beliefs and ideals, you'll know you're growing spiritually…” This is eerily similar to David's path. He was a man after God's own heart, but he struggled with spiritual disease on several occasions. The outline of Proverbs 6:16-19 can be found in Proverbs 6:16-19 “Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers are six things the Lord despises, and seven are an abomination to him.” Despite the fact that David accomplished nearly everything on this list, he declared the Lord before he died “redeemed my soul in the midst of affliction” (I Kings 1:29). How could David be so certain of his salvation? Because he made an investment in his spiritual well-being.
As we can see from most of Psalms, David was serious about his relationship with God. His drive for spiritual recovery benefited not only him, but the entire country. Maintaining continual dialogue with God, as David demonstrated, is a crucial aspect of our spiritual health. In Luke 18:1-8, Jesus teaches, “Men should always pray and never give up.” This draws us closer to God and increases our desire for him, keeping us in shape for our spiritual path.
The significance of self-investment is a recurring subject in maintaining excellent physical and spiritual health. This is true in each of the six domains of well-being. The goal is to find a harmonious balance among these six areas so that we might live prosperously as God intended.
In the next two segments, I'm excited to discuss the last four elements of wellness with you.
What is spiritual health and why is it important?
Our yearning for higher significance in life is acknowledged by spiritual wellness. We feel more connected to not only a higher power, but also to individuals around us, when we are spiritually healthy. When it comes to making daily decisions, we have more clarity, and our actions are more aligned with our beliefs and values.
We think that your overall health necessitates not only physical but also mental and spiritual treatment. Spiritual well-being has several advantages, ranging from more empathetic relationships to a greater sense of inner calm, but how do we achieve it?
What are 4 examples of spiritual health?
The qualities that are most important to you are your own values. Consider what you admire about yourself and the individuals you admire.
List your top five values, along with why they are important to you and how you implement them into your life. Kindness, honesty, security, ambition, and community may be important to one person. It might be cheerfulness, empathy, loyalty, adventure, and learning for another.
Start a Yoga Practice
You can attempt a variety of yoga activities, but the majority of them incorporate breathing exercises, meditation, and physical activity.
Yoga is a tried-and-true method of improving your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Yoga can improve your strength and flexibility while also reducing tension, despair, and anxiety symptoms.
Meditating, like yoga, has physical, emotional, and spiritual health benefits. Meditating for as little as five minutes a day can help with stress, sadness, and anxiety symptoms, as well as promote mindfulness and possibly alleviate physical ailments such as headaches, high blood pressure, and sleeplessness.
A guided meditation software like Calm or Headspace, both of which have free trials, can be beneficial.
Keep a Journal
Create a specific type of notebook, such as a thankfulness journal, or write whatever you're feeling at the time.
Journaling can aid in the processing of emotions, increasing self-awareness, achieving goals, and reducing anxiety and depression symptoms. Journaling is cathartic and allows you to reflect on your life events and feelings in a private, nonjudgmental environment.
Try Googling “journaling prompts for spiritual growth” to get started. Journaling prompts are questions or activities that you can use as thought openers to help you become more self-aware. According to research, concentrating on appreciation can help you:
When you're attentive, you concentrate on the current moment rather than the past or future. Breathing exercises, praying, or repeating a mantra are all options. Mindfulness has physical, mental, and spiritual advantages that are similar to yoga, meditation, and journaling.
Spend Time in Nature
Spending time in nature, whether hiking, walking, kayaking, or biking, can improve your spiritual health. Nature can help you relax, be happier, improve your attention, strengthen your immune system, and even boost your creativity.
How much time do you spend on your phone, at your computer, or watching TV? There are a slew of mental health benefits to going on a digital detox, like being able to focus on the present without being distracted and falling asleep more easily at night if you don't use technology immediately before bed.
Try disconnecting from electronics for a day or simply a few hours to focus on yourself and interact with friends, family, and your partner.
Step Away From Social Media
It may be beneficial to take a vacation from social media if you find yourself feeling sad, angry, resentful, jealous, or any other negative emotions after browsing through your Instagram account.
While social media can be a useful tool for keeping in touch with friends and family and for making new connections, it can also be a source of social comparison for many people. Keep in mind that social media is nothing more than a highlight reel of other people's life.
Volunteer in Your Community
Find a cause that you care about and ways to contribute. For example, you could foster a puppy or cat, volunteer at a food bank, or mentor or tutor a kid.
Joining a volunteer organization can help you grow your community and meet people who share your interests. Volunteering benefits others and gives you a sense of accomplishment.
Do a Good Deed
Even modest gestures, such as paying for the person in line behind you's coffee, can raise your mood.
Consider how you may support a friend, family member, coworker, or someone else in your life with tiny deeds. You may volunteer at a local retirement home, clean up a park, write a letter of gratitude to a loved one, or donate to a non-profit that shares your interests and values.
Discover activities that you enjoy, such as painting, athletics, cooking, gardening, photography, or working out.
Hobbies provide you with delight as well as a sense of purpose. Here are some things to think about if you're not sure what you want to do for a hobby:
Some hobbies can be done alone, while others can be done with friends and family or to meet new people.
After you've tried a few of these 12 activities, figure out which ones work best for you and include them into your daily, weekly, or monthly routine. The more constant you are with your spiritual endeavors, just like with exercising or eating a nutritious diet as part of preventive care, the more positive outcomes you'll see.
What is spiritual health according to who?
Spiritual health is a state of being in which a person is able to deal with day-to-day living in a way that allows them to realize their full potential, find meaning and purpose in life, and find enjoyment from within.
It was thought that an operational definition should be developed based on the above-mentioned definition in order to make it compatible with the creation of a personality framework. The three (3) parts of the proposed definition are as follows: “The three (3) domains of the operational definition presented below are “realization of one's full potential,” “meaning and purpose of life,” and “happiness from within.”
Food and fitness are two topics that a lot of people are interested in these days. Our meals in America are extremely unhealthy, and our lifestyles are too sedentary. A growing number of people are overweight, out of shape, and in poor physical and mental health (the two are linked!).
Take a look at these important Bible scriptures about eating and fitness. (Bill Gaultiere's original post)
“Dear buddy, I wish for your good health and that everything goes well for you, even as your soul progresses” (3 John 1:2).
“The LORD will always lead you, watering your life when it is dry and keeping you healthy. You'll be like a well-watered garden, like a spring that never runs dry” (Isaiah 58:11, NLT).
“Do you realize that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit resides within you? God will punish anyone who destroys God's temple, because God's temple is sacrosanct, and you are that temple” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).
“Do you realize that your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit, whom you have received from God and who is within you? You were not born free; you were purchased for a price. As a result, with your body, honor God” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
“When you go out to dinner with a powerful person, remember to keep your manners: don't eat with your mouth open, and don't converse with your mouth full. And don't overeat; keep your appetite in check.” (MSG, Proverbs 23:1-3)
“Do not be concerned about anything; instead, present your requests to God through prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving. In Christ Jesus, the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds” (Philippians 4:6-7).
“Don't be concerned about your life, what you'll eat or drink, or your body, what you'll put on. Isn't life more valuable than food and the body more valuable than clothing? Take a look at the birds of the air; they don't sow, reap, or store food in barns, but your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren't you far more precious than they are? Who among you can add a single hour to his life by worrying?” (Matthew 6:25-27).
“But Daniel vowed not to pollute himself with the royal food and wine, and he sought permission from the chief official to do so… ‘Please put your staff to the test for 10 days: just give us veggies to eat and water to drink.' Then compare our appearance to that of the young men who consume royal cuisine, and treat your staff accordingly.' They appeared healthier and more nourished at the end of the 10 days than any of the young men who ate the royal diet” (Daniel 1:8, 12,13,15).
“I moved to a different village. “As they walked along the street…” (See Luke 9:56-57a.)
“While strolling in the countryside, Jesus appeared to two of them in a distinct guise” (Mark 16:12).
“Remember that everyone runs in a race, but only one person receives the prize. You must also sprint in a way that ensures your victory. All athletes maintain a high level of self-control. They do it to win a prize that will vanish, while we do it for a prize that will last forever. As a result, I run directly to the goal, each stride deliberate. I'm not like a boxer who throws too many punches. I treat my body like an athlete, training it to accomplish what it's supposed to do. Otherwise, I'm afraid I'll be disqualified after preaching to others” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27, NLT).
“Daily spiritual exercise is required no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gym are beneficial, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit today and for the rest of your life.” MSG (1 Timothy 4:7b-8).
“‘I can do anything,' says the narrator, but not everything is beneficial. ‘Anything is permitted for me,' I say, but I'm not going to be ruled by anything… As a result, respect God with your body.” (See 1 Corinthians 6:12 and 20b).
“The route to life is a disciplined life; if you reject correction, you'll be lost forever” (Proverbs 10:17, MSG).
“He who works his land will have plenty of food, while he who pursues illusions will be lacking in judgment” (Proverbs 12:11).
“All hard effort pays off, but idle talk only leads to poverty” (Proverbs 14:23).
“Don't become drunk by drinking too much wine, and don't get fat by eating too much food. Drunks and gluttons will wind up in a coma and clad in rags on skid row.” (MSG, Proverbs 23:20-21)
“Two can defend themselves, even if one is overpowering. A three-stranded cable is not easily broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12).
“Search me, O God, and see what is in my heart; test me and see what is in my mind. Look into my heart to see whether there is any offensive path in me, and lead me on the road that is everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).
“As a result, confess your sins to one another and pray for each other's healing. A decent man's prayer is powerful and effective” (James 5:16, NIV).
“We will grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ, by speaking the truth in love. As each portion fulfills its task, the whole body, connected and kept together by every supporting ligament, expands and builds itself up in love from him” (Ephesians 4:15-16).
“To summarize, friends, I believe you will be best served by occupying your brains and concentrating on things that are truthful, noble, reputable, authentic, persuasive, and gracious – the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse” (Philippians 4:8, MSG).
“When you've developed a strong desire for God, you've been blessed. Matthew 5:6, MSG) says, “He's food and drink in the nicest dinner you'll ever consume.”
“People require more than just nourishment to live; they must consume every word of God” (Matthew 4:4b, NLT).
“Don't make a show out of it when you exercise some appetite-suppressing discipline to help you focus more on God. It may make you a minor celebrity, but it will not make you a saint. Act normal outwardly if you'go into training' inside. Brush your teeth, shampoo and comb your hair, and wash your face. God does not necessitate the use of attention-getting methods. He won't ignore what you're accomplishing, and he'll reward you handsomely” (Matthew 6:16-18, MSG).
“We implore you, brothers and sisters, to warn the lethargic. Those who are afraid should be encouraged. Take special care of people who are vulnerable. Always be patient with others.” (1 Thessalonians 5:14, New Living Translation).
“Each person should put his or her own deeds to the test. Then he can be proud of himself rather than comparing himself to others” (Galatians 6:4).
“A windfall at the start is no guarantee of good fortune in the end” (Proverbs 20:21, MSG).
“Meanwhile, friends, patiently await the arrival of the Master. Farmers do this all the time, patiently waiting for their prized crops to mature while the rain does its slow but steady work” (James 5:7, MSG).
How do I become spiritually healthy?
Religion brings spirituality to some people, but it does not bring spirituality to others. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to spiritual well-being. Here are a few ideas to get you started if you're not sure where to start.
According to a Gallup poll, 43% of Americans claim to be members of a church or other religious organization. These houses of worship provide a variety of opportunities for those living with mental illnesses to connect with others in their communities.
Reconnect with someone or an organization that shares your ideas and thoughts, whether online, over the phone, or in person. Find ways to connect with like-minded people in your religion community who can support and encourage you by reaching out to a pastor or spiritual leader.
“Many people's support mechanisms were taken away from them during the pandemicchurch, volunteering, support groups,” Wester added. “It was especially difficult for individuals who were already dealing with mental health concerns.” I advise people to reconnect with their religion group as soon as they are physically secure to do so.”
It's fine if you don't have a faith community. Finding a cause that resonates to you and giving back is another way to feel connected to your spirituality and faith. Working in a food pantry, becoming a mentor or tutor, or fostering an animal are all options. As a result, your community will develop and you will be able to meet individuals who share your interests. It will offer you a sense of purpose and thankfulness to serve others.
You don't have to be a yogi to benefit from the practice's spiritual benefits. Yoga is suitable for people of all ages and abilities. It can improve your mind and spirit, as well as strengthen and stretch your body, by lowering stress, depression, and anxiety symptoms.
You don't have to be an expert meditator like you don't have to be an experienced yoga practitioner. Because it takes so little time, meditation is one of the easiest disciplines to keep. “Some people believe you must sit and be silent, but this is not the case,” Wester explained. “You can walk while meditating, paying attention to the sensations of your feet on the ground and the intricacies of your surroundings. Simply slowing down your body can help you calm down your mind.”
Even five minutes of meditation can help you reduce stress, despair, and worry while also increasing your mindfulness. There are numerous fantastic guided meditation applications, such as Calm or Balance, if you need help.
Writing can help you process your emotions, raise your awareness, and provide a nonjudgmental space for you to express your feelings in the present. Start a daily thankfulness notebook with prompts or write down your anxieties and fears.
Spending time in nature, whether you live in the mountains, the desert, or near the ocean, can improve your spiritual health. You can't seem to get away from your phone, your day, and your problems. Even a few minutes spent watching the birds, trees swinging in the breeze, or crashing waves on the shoreline can be relaxing.
Find activities that you enjoy, such as knitting, coloring, cooking, sports, or working out. Focusing on things you enjoy might help you regain a feeling of purpose and stay present in the moment, even if only for a short time.
If you're having trouble connecting with your spiritual side or your mental health, get help from someone who is specially trained or someone you trust.
“Chaplains are specifically equipped to deal with religious issues in a clinical setting,” Wester added. They can assist validate your feelings without sweeping them under the rug. They can help you get back on track spiritually.”
What are the benefits of spiritual health?
Spirituality can help people cope with physical or mental pain as well as other life challenges by promoting tight family and friendship relationships. It can also provide people with a strong sense of belonging, especially if they are a part of a spiritual group or community. Gathering with like-minded people on a regular basis can help reduce feelings of isolation, which many older folks experience. Spiritual individuals, according to studies, have a more positive outlook and live happier, more productive lives.
What are 5 examples of spiritual health?
Finding meaning and purpose in life may be a lifelong process that changes over time as a result of unique circumstances, personal experiences, and global events. A person's level of spiritual wellness, like the other dimensions of wellness, varies throughout their life. It's common to feel a range of emotions on the route to spiritual healing, both positive and negative (hope, forgiveness, acceptance, joy) (doubt, fear, disappointment, conflict).
Spiritual wellbeing has the power to make our decisions and choices easier, to center us during times of change, and to provide us with the resiliency to face hardship with grace and inner peace. Having a spiritual component in our lives may even assist us in healing whether we are afflicted with a physical or mental ailment.
Take a moment to measure your spiritual well-being by answering the following questions.
- Do I make an effort to broaden my understanding of various ethnic, racial, and religious groups?
Practice Spiritual Wellness
When it comes to spiritual wellness, it's vital to identify the strategy and approach that works best for you; unlike the other dimensions of wellness, there is no “one size fits all” solution.
- Volunteering in your community, spending time in nature, and appreciating music and the arts are all good things to do.
In future articles regarding spiritual wellness, we'll look at ways to figure out what your meaning or purpose is, as well as activities that can help you maintain or improve your spiritual wellness.