Spirituality means different things to different people, and it can help you with your mental health recovery and on your personal growth journey. There are many customs and beliefs you could lean on to help you love yourself and find a sense of purpose. And if that wasn’t enough to get you excited about spirituality, evidence shows the benefits that these connections can have on your mental health.
Religion vs. Spirituality
While the two are similar, religion and spirituality are different. You don’t have to belong to a religion to be spiritual. Spirituality is your sense of purpose and meaning. It provides a sense of self-worth by finding value in your life and connecting you to the world. Religion, on the other hand, is a belief system centered around a higher power. It has traditions based on the faith’s history.
You can be both religious and spiritual, but you don’t have to belong to a religious organization to gain the benefits of spirituality.
Spirituality and Mental Health Recovery
There is a documented relationship between spirituality and positive mental health outcomes. In a study evaluating that relationship, results found that the two often go hand in hand. When combined with a mental health recovery treatment plan, spirituality may significantly lower levels of depression and contribute to lower levels of substance abuse in some individuals.
Spirituality adds an essential element to recovery that you can use as a tool. It is the reason many twelve-step programs have a spiritual focus. By offering your struggles to a more powerful force, you can empower yourself to conquer your challenges.
5 Ways Spirituality Can Guide Your Journey
Spirituality can be a useful tool in your mental health or self-growth journey. Here are five ways you can use it to achieve your goals.
It Can Boost Your Confidence
Spirituality can enhance your sense of self-worth and boost your confidence levels. Your beliefs can guide you and help you find your place in the universe. Everyone has a purpose and is worthy of love and success. Spiritual principles can give you hope by assuring you that everyone belongs and that you are equally valuable as anyone else.
When you have a spiritual force or guidance, you can know you’re not alone. Regardless of your beliefs, you can feel connections outside of your being while embracing your inner worth.
It Increases Your Self-Control
When you embrace spirituality, you can gain better self-control. It helps you find the strength inside yourself through mindfulness, meditation and accountability. If you believe in spiritual forces, you can live in harmony with or please them. By thinking through your actions to make the best choices, you hold yourself accountable and eliminate impulses that could harm you.
Some spiritual techniques, like yoga, mindful breathing and meditation, can help calm your mind and body when you feel overwhelmed or tempted to engage in an unhealthy habit. It helps you develop better coping mechanisms and reduce mental health condition symptoms.
It Improves Your Mental Strength
Everyone’s physical health wavers occasionally, and some people have more of those struggles than others. When your physical strength isn’t at its best, you must rely in your mental strength. Spirituality is something you can draw on to help you heal. Your physical state contributes to your mental health. It can be harder to stay in a good mindset when you’re tired or unwell. Research shows that patients with positive spiritual health generally have better health outcomes.
Mental strength also comes in handy when you are in stressful situations. You can use it to combat anxiety symptoms and defeat opposing forces.
It Helps You Self-Reflect
When you are spiritual, reflecting on past experiences and why you feel certain emotions or behave in specific ways is more accessible. It can help you work towards a healthy transformation. You must accept the past to grow, but overcoming difficult or traumatic experiences can be challenging. Spirituality connects you to a sense of belonging and helps you find inner strength to challenge and overcome past experiences.
Looking inwards can help you understand what may have contributed to your struggles. While mental illness is not your fault, knowing what could influence it can help you make choices that nurture you.
You Can Find More Support
When you belong to a spiritual community, you are more likely to find support in hard times. Whether you are in recovery or want to grow, you can often find in-person and online groups that share your beliefs and can use them to encourage you during difficult periods. A therapist with knowledge of your spiritual beliefs can help use them as a tool for your recovery, strengthening your ability to connect with your inner self and the universe around you.
Spirituality can create a sense of community based on your beliefs, practices and related hobbies. By finding those people and encouraging one another, you can strengthen your ability to use those beliefs to heal your mind and move forward.
Using Spirituality to Improve Your Mental Health and Grow
Spirituality can be a fantastic asset to anyone wanting to improve their mental health, work towards their goals and kick their mental health recovery up a notch. No matter what you believe, you can use positive spiritual beliefs to encourage your recovery and growth.
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