With so much emphasis on performance, achievement, and results, it's easy for our lives to get out of balance. On the outside, we may present the perfect picture of success. Meanwhile, on the inside, we may be feeling spiritually drained, unfocused, perhaps even spiritually starved.
True wellness isn't just about looking good or achieving success in one area. True wellness is total wellness. Your spiritual well-being, however you define that, is just as important as everything else in your life.
Here are some ways to nurture your spiritual side in 2019.
Connect with nature:
Many of us spend the vast majority of our time indoors, under artificial light, interacting with technology of some sort. Getting outdoors and connecting with nature can do wonders for your spiritual well-being. Make the most of your time outdoors by taking things in with all of your senses. Listen to the sounds around you. Observe the feeling of the wind against your skin. Notice the blueness of the sky and the speed with which the clouds are moving.
Do something creative:
Much of our time is spent adhering to schedules and performing tasks that must be done. There's nothing wrong with that; having a bit of structure and being productive feels pretty good for most people. But after awhile, we can be left feeling stifled and out of touch spiritually. Having a creative outlet can help. Music, poetry, dance, painting, craftwork, woodworking, gardening – finding that special activity that gets you "into the flow" can be a great way to nurture your spiritual side in a natural, intuitive, and fun way.
Keep a dream journal:
Our dreams are honest and genuine; they reveal our deepest concerns, preoccupations, and emotions. This makes dream journaling an exciting way to become more spiritually aware. Don't worry if your dreams seem disjointed or nonsensical; simply record whatever stands out to you, particularly with respect to images and sensations. Over time, patterns and themes are likely to emerge that you might not have noticed otherwise.
Cultivate meaningful rituals:
Throughout the world, different cultures have recognized the value of rituals as a source of strength and comfort, and a means of nurturing spiritual awareness. The nature of the ritual is far less important than the meaning you assign to it, so choose anything that is meaningful to you. Many people find rituals related to gratitude to be very rewarding. For instance, you might want to take some time every night to reflect on something you're grateful for, or something good that happened during the day.
Modern research* affirms what people worldwide have known for centuries: meditation has a powerful effect on body, mind, and spirit. Our minds are forced to deal with a steady influx of input from the world around us, on top of the continual flow of our own thoughts and mental activity. Taking some time to quiet your mind – even just 10 minutes a day – can do wonders for your physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
Fasting is an ancient practice used by cultures around the world both for physical healing and spiritual purification. For anyone with health challenges or no prior fasting experience, an extended water-only fast should not be conducted without supervision from a doctor or knowledgeable health practitioner. However, there are other types of fasts that are less restrictive and easier to engage in, such as juice fasting, or even just eliminating a particular food from your diet.
Mix things up:
Any of the above practices will help you nurture your spiritual side in 2019, but you don't have to limit yourself. Mix things up! Maybe you'll find that you prefer taking time to meditate while you're out connecting with nature. Perhaps you'll find that you're more inspired to express yourself creatively when you're fasting. Keeping a dream journal might become a special ritual for you, and you might get creative with it by including drawings and artwork. Combining practices may be the perfect way for you to attend to your spiritual needs.
*Research has shown that regular meditation has numerous documented and measurable health benefits, including: lowered blood pressure, decreased heart rate, and relief of many chronic conditions such as asthma, arthritis, and irritable bowel syndrome. It has also been shown to improve cognition and working memory.
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