Spiritual Wellness means making time to contemplating
The importance of hope
Spirituality is expressed in many forms, whether tied to a religion, a moral philosophy, or an inherent sense of connectedness with something greater than oneself. In any form, spirituality is always personal. The need for spiritual wellness is often downplayed as less important than emotional, physical, or social wellness, but vital to the overall wellness of every Service Member in the National Guard is a sense of hope and belonging – of purpose.
What does “Spiritual Wellness” mean?
- Spiritual Wellness means making time to contemplating your purpose in life and achieving greater mindfulness of your impact on the rest of the world:
Contemplating your purpose in life helps put you in touch with your potential to create, to affect change, and to proliferate good things in the world – like love, compassion, and peace. For Service members engaged in the protection of our Nation, connecting with a greater purpose strengthens morale and encourages unity.
Achieving greater mindfulness is necessary in order to locate yourself as a member of a global community. No man is an island, which means every person has significance and importance to others, including family members, friends, peers, your neighbors, and beyond. Spiritually well individuals sense their implicit connection to others within their sphere of influence and outside it.
- Spiritual Wellness means achieving harmony with one’s surroundings and balancing one’s personal needs with the needs of others:
Harmony with one’s surroundings is achieved when one’s actions and intentions align agreeably with the environment to the benefit of all within it. Considering the impact of your actions on your world can expand your perspective and inspire acts kindness, compassion, tolerance and altruism.
Balancing one’s personal needs with the needs of others is part of fostering healthy relationships. Spiritually well individuals consider the needs of others in relation to their own needs so that they are neither acting only in self-interest nor draining themselves for the sake of others. In other words, they transcend ego and act in universal interest.
- Spiritual Wellness means having personal values and beliefs and acting compassionately in accordance with those values:
Personal values and beliefs may change throughout the course of a lifetime, taking shape through the influence of relationships, events, and personal experiences. A spiritually well individual will take care to notice when their values shift, when to readjust them, and when to reassert their importance.
Acting compassionately is the physical expression of spiritual intention. Examples of compassionate action include prayer, efforts to find understanding in the midst of conflict, mentoring a peer, expressing love and affection, and other acts that cultivate mutual respect and nurture unity.
Signs of Spiritual Distress
- Loss of direction
- Sense of emptiness/feeling alone in the world
- Hopelessness and helplessness
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Self-destructive language
- Bitter or jaded outlook on life
- Fearfulness, dissociation
- Anger at God/higher power
Tips for Improving Spiritual Wellness.
- Find some “quiet time”. It’s easy to feel encumbered at the end of a long day, especially for Service members experiencing stressors related to deployment or managing the balance between military and civilian life. Fit some quiet time into your day to recharge your inner battery, where you can observe the present moment, pray, or read something uplifting.
- Say something. Preferably out loud. Many faiths believe you can shape your world by speaking aloud the world you want to manifest. In psychology, the same idea is behind the recitation of affirmations. For many religions it is achieved through prayer, chanting, liturgy, and singing among other audible modes of expression. Whatever you believe, speaking your intentions out loud can change your thoughts and ultimately affect your life.
- Ask the big questions. “What am I doing here?” “What does it all mean?” The quest for greater truth begins with big questions, and you’re not only allowed to ask, you’re allowed to answer. Contemplating the meaning of life and seeking your greater purpose teaches the importance of the present moment and opens you to the infinite possibilities that lie ahead for your life.
- Find out what you believe. Determining a set of values begins with discovering what’s important to you. Is tolerance important? Is it important to defend those who cannot defend themselves? Is love important above all things? Defining your values gives you a framework to live by – and it’s important to revisit them from time to time to see if they’ve changed.
- Be true to yourself. Living authentically can offer tremendous benefits. When you honor your true self, you are stronger in adversity, a better leader to your peers, and reap the added benefit of a clear conscience. Best of all, your confidence will rub off on your friends.
Spirituality is unique to each individual. Your “spirit” usually refers to the deepest part of you, the part that lets you make meaning of your world.
Your spirit provides you with the revealing sense of who you are, why you are here and what your purpose for living is. It is that innermost part of you that allows you to gain strength and hope.
Spiritual wellness may not be something that you think much of, yet its impact on your life is unavoidable. The basis of spirituality is discovering a sense of meaningfulness in your life and coming to know that you have a purpose to fulfi;l.
For some, spirituality may be equated with traditional religions such as Christianity, Hinduism or Buddhism. For others, it may mean growing in your personal relationships with others, or through being at peace with nature.
Assessing your Spiritual Health
Where are you at in your spiritual life? Take a moment to reflect…do you feel a sense of worth, hope, purpose, commitment or peace? Do you have a positive outlook on life? Or do you experience feelings of emptiness, anxiety, hopelessness, apathy or conflict? These may be signs of spiritual poverty in your life and may be the reason for unhappiness or dissatisfaction.
Spirituality and Wellness
Many wellness behaviours can benefit your spiritual health. Such behaviours include feeling connected with others, feeling part of a community, volunteering, having an optimistic attitude, contributing to society and self -love/care.
Here are some ways to help improve your spiritual health:
- Be quiet. Take time for yourself every day, even if it’s just before you go to sleep, or when you’re driving home.
- Be open. Spiritual experiences can happen anywhere at any time.
- Practice being non-judgmental and having an open mind.
- Be receptive to pain or times of sorrow. It is often in these times when we discover how spirituality can help us cope.
- Practice forgiveness.
- Pray, meditate or worship.
- Live joyfully.
- Allow yourself to believe in things that aren’t easily explainable.
TRU Counselling Department (OM 1651) The counselling department has trained counsellors who are available to students for career, educational, personal and crisis counselling. Visits with counsellors are free and confidential.
Appointments can be made by talking to the receptionist at OM 1651 or by calling 250-828-5023.
Hours: 8:30am-4:30pm Monday-Friday
TRU Wellness Centre
The Wellness Centre offers on-to-one health and wellness planning sessions, health teaching and campus-wide health promotion events.
Contact the Wellness Coordinator at 250-828-5010.
A multi-faith chaplaincy on campus offers pastoral care to the university community: students, faculty and staff. They provide an operating model of multi-faith and ecumenical cooperation and respect. The chaplaincy acts as a theological resource, encouraging thoughtful reflection and dialogue.
Please contact 250-371-5940 for further information
Provided by: https://www.jointservicessupport.org