Spiritual and physical health are equally important because in order to take care of the whole, we must take care of the sum of our parts first — our mind, body and soul. When we do not care for these elements properly, disorder and negativity can arise.
If you focus on improving these six areas of your life, you'll be on the path to ultimate spiritual, physical and mental health and well-being.
1. Physical activity
Getting active does much more than help ensure our joints and muscles stay healthy and that we maintain a proper weight. Exercise also helps reduce the amount of stress hormones released in the body.
Numerous studies have shown that when we exercise, we release chemicals that make us feel happy and content. We can literally make ourselves happier by keeping our bodies active.
The food we put in our body is like the gas we put in our car. Quality matters. When we don't eat right, our bodies lack energy and nutrients.
When we eat healthy foods, we give our body what it needs to keep up functioning at a high level. When we eat right, we have more energy, our thoughts are clearer, we sleep better, our moods are more stable, and we are better able to handle the everyday stresses and rigors that daily life throws at us.
3. Social connections
As humans, we are social creatures. This should not be overlooked. Today, many of us are lonelier than ever before, even though we're constantly connected through social media. It is important to cultivate genuine friendships and interpersonal relationships.
These relationships do not always maintain themselves though. All relationships require attention, focus, compassion and care, to remain beneficial. Do not ignore your social needs or let your relationships go on autopilot. These connections are so crucial to a healthy spiritual outlook.
4. Mental stimulation
Most of us make the mistake of non-learning. Once we'redone with college, we seem to think our need to learn and be mentally stimulated is over with. But we should never stop learning because the mind is just like any other muscle — you use it or lose it.
People who are happy and content, spiritually and physically, still have a lot going on in their minds. These people are constantly hungry for new knowledge, or participating in activities that keep their brain sharp and focused.
From reading a book, playing trivia with your partner, or even solitaire, there infinite options and resources for fun ways to keep your mind active.
5. Stress relief
Stress is an unavoidable part of everyday life. We live in a fast-paced, go-go-go world that is not particularly conducive to calm and contentedness. Stress has myriad negative ramifications on the body and the mind. The longer we are exposed to chronic stress, the longer the list of potentially negative side effects of stress.
Many people seek self-medication through the use of drugs and alcohol, or search for relief in mind-numbing activities like watching TV or overeating. These are distractions or “bandaids" and will not ultimately reduce our levels of stress. Activities like meditation and positive visualization for instance, are healthy and effective ways to relieve stress in the long run.
Mindfulness is considering how you wish to perceive the world around you. Being mindful essentially means paying more attention to the here and now. This is not a state that comes naturally, but it is perhaps the most vital component to spiritual health.
Allowing ourselves to be present can mean when you choose to pay attention to the moment that you are neither happy nor sad, you are simply being. It is in this state that you can accept with full honesty, exactly how you are feeling in any given moment. This level of mental clarity is the ultimate path to a state of non-judgment.
Spiritual health is a multifaceted concept that must be understood as part of a greater picture. Through mindfulness, proper nutrition, getting enough exercise and fostering healthy relaxation skills, you can easily take control of your spiritual well-being. Once these things are in place, you'll feel calmer and better able to handle the stress and rigors that life throws your way, with a smile.
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