#DolphinsLiveWell: Spiritual Wellness

#DolphinsLiveWell: Spiritual Wellness

Maria C. Randazzo, STAFF WRITER

Spiritual wellness is a personal exploration that involves the values and beliefs that provide meaning in our lives.  While different individuals may have differing views on what spiritualism is, it is generally considered to be the search for meaning and purpose in human existence; striving for a state of harmony within oneself and others, while working to balance inner needs with the rest of the world.

The National Wellness Institute says spiritual wellness abides by the following tenets: 1) It’s better to ponder the meaning of life for ourselves and to be tolerant of the beliefs of others than to close our minds and become intolerant and 2) It’s better to live each day in a way that is consistent with our values and beliefs than to do otherwise and feel untrue to ourselves.

There are a multitude of factors that play a role in defining one’s spirituality. Religion can play a part in one’s spirituality, but there are also many different ways to explore and express spirituality depending on individuals’ personal beliefs, cultural contexts, and upbringings. These can include values, ethics, principles, and morals. Some of us gain spirituality by growing in our personal relationships with others, or through being at peace with nature. Spirituality allows us to find the inner calm and peace needed to get through whatever life brings, no matter what one’s beliefs are or where they may be on your spiritual journey.

The human spirit is the most neglected aspect of ourselves. Just as we exercise to condition our bodies, a healthy spirit is nurtured by purposeful practice. The spirit is the aspect of ourselves that can carry us through anything. If we take care of our spirit, we will be able to experience a sense of peace and purpose even when life deals us a severe blow. A strong spirit helps us to survive and thrive with grace, even in the face of difficulty.  A solid sense of spiritual wellness can strengthen and increase our resilience and our ability to “bounce back” from adversity.  

Do you engage in the process of spiritual wellness by making time for relaxation in your day and for meditation and/or prayer? Do your values guide your decisions and actions? Are you accepting of others’ views? And furthermore, how do we cultivate and sustain our spiritual wellness? How do we find the meaning in life and in connections to the world outside of ourselves?  

In his book, 7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness: Enriching Your Faith by Strengthening the Health of Your Soul, Joe Paprocki discusses this in terms of ignition spirituality. He believes that spiritual wellness is embedded in the concept of the magis or “more”, and that we are constantly seeking something more, something greater. To be spiritually alive means to cultivate a persistent awareness of “the more”, and to find this in your own sense of meaning and purpose. Spiritual wellness is discovering a sense of meaningfulness in your life and coming to know that you have a purpose to fulfill.

Adapted from http://www.unh.edu/health-services/ohep/spiritual-wellness