Guest Blog: Bring Spirituality Into Your Everyday Life
By Brad Krause
You’ve made progress on your fitness goals by shedding a few pounds and toning your muscles for swimsuit season. The same goes for your mental health through measures to relieve stress, ease anxiety and think positively. But despite all your efforts, there’s something stopping you in your quest for meaning and purpose in life, and that’s because you’ve neglected your spirituality.
According to Oxford Living Dictionaries, it means “relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.” Addressing this part of who you are is essential to moving forward in life with a full heart and freedom from doubt.
You don’t have to flee into the mountains to live in a cave while pondering the meaning of the universe, thank goodness. That sounds very unpleasant, and your family would never allow it, anyway. There’s an easier way: by making adjustments to your physical and mental health efforts to gain deeper insight into your connection with the world while nurturing your soul. Here are a few ideas that will help you on this important journey.
Being on top mentally and physically is crucial, as your mind and body are gateways to something deeper. Yoga, hiking and mountain biking are wonderful activities in this regard, as they relieve stress while getting your blood flowing and muscles pumping. If you’re going to opt for the latter, do your homework and find a model with the appropriate suspension and frame to match your size, while not settling when it comes to performance.
Don’t chop wood when you should be carrying water. That’s what this means, according to a counselor and life coach writing for Psychology Today. In other words, stick with one thing at a time and get it done, as humans are not natural multi-taskers. If you’re running, then run. Don’t mull over a business proposal or your best friend’s love life with each stride.
That means observing your current experience from a detached perspective. Though it’s a secular idea, it has spiritual ramifications, as mindfulness allows you to understand yourself more deeply, including what’s motivating your thoughts and emotions. It can be incorporated into your daily life by actually paying attention to what you’re doing, even brushing your teeth.
This is another way to practice mindfulness that can be integrated into your fitness regimen through yoga. A writer with DoYouYoga recommends removing nearby distractions, tapping into how you feel, and then beginning your poses with no agenda for how your session will progress or even end. You’ll find a state of inner calm, all while working your core.
You can do this by volunteering at a local homeless shelter or just helping a senior citizen carry her groceries across the street. However you go about it, it serves as a reminder that we’re all connected in this world and a part of something bigger. Who knows? You may end up making some new friends in the process.
Watch the Sunrise
Wake up earlier than usual for your morning run and find a place where you can cast your eyes unobstructed on the eastern horizon. As the sun rises, so will your mood and energy level, revealing just how closely connected you are with a scientific wonder so far away and how much the simple act of observing its presence can reinvigorate you and give hope for a new day.
Take In Nature
… And realize that you’re a part of it, made up of the same elements and energy as the trees and plants that surround you in the forest. While you’re there, look up at the clouds as they pass, and take off your shoes and feel the dirt beneath your feet. This will enhance your connection with the world and bring you peace, all during a simple hiking trip.
Listen to Music
It’s an intrinsic part of religious rituals of all kinds throughout the world, from Tuvan animists in Siberia to Catholics in Brazil, and there’s a reason for that. It touches us in a way that nothing else can, amplifying emotions while inspiring us to face our fears and overcome obstacles. Thanks to technology, it’s right there at your disposal 24 hours a day.
And now you’re there. You’ve tapped into a part of yourself that lies beneath your physical being and your conscious thoughts. If you nurture it, the rest will grow and flourish.
Image via Pexels.