For some people, spirituality is irrevocably linked to religion, but others believe that it’s possible to connect with your spiritual self without having to adhere to the teachings of an established religion. According to Dr. Harold G. Koenig, those who have embraced a spiritual connection have fewer mental health problems over the course of their lifetimes, mainly because a spiritual connection prioritizes people, their feelings and nature above material goods and physical things.
Why is spirituality important?
For Koenig, spirituality promotes an intimate connection between ourselves and the outside world; one which encourages us to see the universe as a natural and sacred whole. Children are naturally inclined to nurture a spiritual connection by jumping in puddles, inspecting stones and playing in the mud, but for adults it’s not as simple.
Modern life is building a barrier between adults and nature. In order to feel an improvement to our overall health, we need to reverse this trend and head back towards a more spiritual existence. So, how might we go about reconnecting with our spirituality and how can we specifically hope to benefit from this awakening?
How to Awaken and Reconnect with your Spirituality
1. Live in the present
It’s very easy to become preoccupied with the past and to regret things we have done or not done, but nothing can change the past. In a similar way, many of us focus on what we want to be doing tomorrow, next month and a year from now. There’s nothing wrong with making plans, but we can be leading ourselves up for constant disappointment when things do go exactly as we would like them to.
The more we dwell on what’s already happened or fear what could take place, the less time we spend focusing on the life that’s actually happening around us. In order to reconnect with your spirituality, you must find a balance and try to live in the present as much as possible. It’s the only thing that’s really real and therefore the period of time that we should be most interested in.
2. Make your passions a priority
We enjoy certain things for a reason and there’s nothing more spiritually-awakening than immersing ourselves in the things we love. Living a life without passion can make us sad and can increase our chances of suffering from health conditions.
If you love to dance, then dance as much as you can. If your children are the most important people in your life, make sure you spend more time with them. If you love to travel, but you never have the money, make regular trips to places that cost less to visit, or move into smaller and cheaper accommodation to free up money that can be spent on things that really matter to you.
3. Show kindness to others
The key to reconnecting with our spirituality lies in understanding the important role people play in our lives. Everyone needs support at some time. Whether we choose to help family, friends, colleagues, or even random people that we come into contact with during the day, small and spontaneous acts of kindness can do wonders for our spirituality.
Even just by taking the time to ask someone about their day can make them feel cared for and can bring us closer, whether we’ve met them before and have a close relationship with them or not. We can reach out to others by helping them to climb the stairs, by treating them to a small gift, or by offering to accompany them in a task that they can’t-do on their own. Being kind to others, and understanding that our individual concerns are not any more important than those of others places us on a par with other human beings and helps us feel connected to all that surrounds us.
4. Spend time alone with nature
Walking through the forest, looking out to sea, climbing a mountain, or even just spending time working on the garden are all valid ways of reconnecting with nature. A study conducted by the University of Derby and The Wildlife Trusts in the UK has scientifically proven that when we achieve a truly spiritual connection with nature, our health improves and our happiness increases. On top of the proven benefits for humans, it is believed that a greater connection to nature will be good for our natural world too, as we will become more inclined to protect it over time.
To tie things together, Dr. William Bloom, one of the UK’s leading experts on modern spirituality, claims that by reconnecting with our spirituality puts us at ease with life. In a review of more than 3,300 academic studies, evidence in most supported the idea that spirituality improved our mental and physical health; a spirituality that Bloom reminds us can be found in nature, the arts, by looking after our children, or even eating food that we love. What’s important is that we search for what truly makes us feel connected and that we commit to making it part of our lives on a regular basis.