By Joe Wilner
“The spiritual quest is not some added benefit to our life, something you embark on if you have the time and inclination. We are spiritual beings on an earthly journey. Our spirituality makes up our beingness.” – John Bradshaw
When it comes to self-care and being at our best, dedicating time to spirituality is equally important, if not more important, as other areas of life.
Spirituality has a different meaning to different people, but from a positive psychology perspective it can be defined as, “a deep sense of belonging, of wholeness, of connectedness, and of openness to the infinite (Easvaradoss, 2013).”
Developing our spirituality can help us deal with life’s challenges and grow into a better, more whole and happy person.
So, here are five benefits to developing your spiritual nature.
If there is one thing that spirituality can add to our life it is a sense of hope and optimism. Spirituality strengthens our outlook for a better future.
We will always encounter challenges in life, but if we stay hopeful during these trying times we will persevere. Spiritual growth enhances our ability to deal with life’s ups and downs and bounce back from those difficult experiences.
2. Compassion and Understanding
It is easy to look at others with judgment and criticism, but when we start to grow spiritually we realize how much healthier it is to cultivate compassion and understanding for others instead.
“Spirituality is meant to take us beyond our tribal identity into a domain of awareness that is more universal.” – Deepak Chopra
It not only provides us the wherewithal to serve and help others but also improves our personal well-being. When look at life through a compassionate lens we can grow a sense of connection to others and begin to recognize the positive impact we can have.
3. Sense of purpose and meaning
A feeling that our life is worthwhile and that we aren’t just here by some random mistake can make a major difference in the trajectory of our life. We are alive for a reason and are meant to contribute something to the world.
According to an editorial in the International Journal of Children’s Spirituality, “In a modern world that is consumed with materialism, which moves at a frantic pace, and which is frayed by cultural, racial and religious divisiveness, the yearning of the human spirit to connect and find meaning is sometimes overlooked.”
Without a sense of spirituality we can lose sight of what is really most important and meaningful.
“Most importantly, the meaning of spirituality lays the seeds for our destiny and the path we must follow.” -Dennis Banks
4. Inspiration and appreciation
Life is full of inspiration when we are looking for it. There is also much to be grateful for despite the struggles and challenges we face.
Through spiritual growth we can learn to see the beauty and wonder in our day to day life. The things we often take from granted can start to offer us greater inspiration and joy.
5. Peace of mind
Part of spirituality is connecting to a higher power. Whatever name or label we give to this spiritual source is irrelevant in my opinion.
The important thing is the sense that there is something greater than ourselves, and that we don’t have to carry the entire burden alone. When we learn how to “let go” of the emotional baggage we carry it really adds to peace of mind.
These are just a few benefits of spiritual growth. What would you add to this list?
- Easvaradoss, V. & RajanIndian, R. (2013). Positive psychology spirituality and well-being: An overview. Journal of Positive Psychology, 4(2), 321-325.
- Souza, M. (2009). Editorial. International Journal of Children’s Spirituality, 14(2), 181–184.