The Value of Nurturing Your Spiritual Health
FCGCT Commentary: We are moving from the mind, to the Heart… Mindfulness, to Heartfulness. Feel and Trust the Heart.
The Value of Nurturing Your Spiritual Health
By Jane Sandwood
In many ways, the advent of technology and the modern health industry have changed the focus of medicine from a holistic model to a cure-oriented one. In fact, for many, true health is impossible to achieve without taking into account the vital link between the physical, mental, and spiritual. As noted by Time, “scientists have found, again and again, that those with a spiritual practice or who follow religious beliefs tend to be happier than those who don’t.” Those who are religious or spiritual, have been found to have lower rates of depression than non-believers, and they are also more adept at handling low points in life.
Defining Spirituality in the 21st Century
The first point to establish is the nature of spirituality. As noted by S. Sharma et al in a 2016 article published in The International Journal of Indian Psychology, “Spirituality is a broad concept; in general, it includes a sense of connection to something bigger than us, and it typically involves a search for meaning in life… it is a universal human experience.”
Many scientists and philosophers have warned human beings of the danger of ignoring spirituality. For Carl Jung, industrialization and mass movement to big cities resulted in human beings feel smaller, more insignificant, than those in previous generations. It was in nature, he argued, that human beings could find powerful symbols that alone could remind them of the importance of self awareness and the spiritual life.
What Does Science Say about Spirituality?
We are at a unique crossroads in history in which a plethora of scientific studies have finally established the importance of spirituality, at least from a mental health perspective. Some observational studies have shown that those who engage in regular spiritual practice live longer. Others have shown that patients who are spiritual have a more positive outlook and better quality of life. Still others have shown that spiritual beliefs help patients cope with diseases such as cancer, and even with impending death.
What Does Spiritual Practice Involve for Younger Generations?
Research shows that millennials and younger generations may have distanced themselves somewhat from organized religion, but they are as deeply spiritual as older generations are. The key to spiritual fulfillment for them, lies in greater self-awareness and individuality.
Thus, if in the past, card readings were used to learn more about the future, today, tarot is used to improve mental health. The deep symbolism in cards is used to identify burdens standing in the way of one’s health, happiness, and wellness. Tarot is just one popular method to tune in with the greater life force that unites one with the rest of humanity. Yoga and meditation are additional ways to master the art of mindfulness, a deeply relaxing state in which one is fully present in the here and now, able to understand one’s emotions and thoughts without allowing them to lead one into a negative state.
Nature holidays, letters to heaven, astrology… these are all ways that one can foster greater awareness of one’s inner passions, and allow one to feel more connected. Regardless of which method resonates the strongest with you, honing your spirituality is a way to feel more positive about the world, face life’s vicissitudes with greater grace, and realize that you are not alone.
Image by Sharon McCutcheon
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