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Home > Patient & Family Resources > Health Library > Spirituality and Your Health
Across cultures and religions, people tend to their spiritual wellness in countless ways. In the most basic sense, spirituality is about connecting with what's meaningful to you in a way that lightens or enriches your spirit.
While there are many ways to describe it, most experts agree that spirituality can:
Some people talk about the spiritual as the deeply moving or the feeling of being fully alive. Others call it the "more than" in their lives.
For many people, spirituality is connected to a higher power.
There is some research that links spiritual wellness with physical well-being.footnote 1
Spiritual wellness can bring comfort and lend strength for handling life's challenges. Some people find that tending to the spirit seems to be as healing as medicine itself.
We all have different ideas of what it means to feel well. Try this thought exercise, and focus on what wellness means to you.
Think a moment about what it means to feel unwell. You have a health problem. Maybe your mind or spirit is troubled in some way. Any or all of these struggles can make life difficult. And they can leave you feeling unwell.
Now think about what it means to feel well. It could be about your body, your mind, or your spirit feeling healthy and whole. It might be some combination of the three.
What did you notice about this thought exercise?
If you're wondering about your spiritual wellness, it might help to ask yourself some questions. In doing so, you are giving attention to things that you may not think about every day. You can become more aware of what's important to you.
There are other ways to look at the role of spirituality in your life. For example, you can try pondering one or more of these questions. Pay attention to what strengthens your spirit. Notice other questions and ideas that come to mind for you.
For some people, making time for a spiritual practice is a key part of their wellness. Some take time to be in nature, to meditate, or to pray. Others spend time with music, art, or poetry, in motion or quiet. Many people pay special attention to beauty, loving kindness, gratitude, healing, or faith in a higher being.
Is this a good time to think about adding something to your life to improve your spiritual wellness? Perhaps a spiritual practice can help you to connect in a new way with what is meaningful to you.
What is spiritual for you is very personal. It is for you to define. But that doesn't mean that you have to explore spiritual questions and ideas by yourself. You can share with and learn from others however you like. And if you're struggling, you can look to a chaplain, a counselor, or a trusted member of your community for support.
Swinton J (2012). Healthcare spirituality: A question of knowledge. In M Cobb et al., eds., Oxford Textbook of Spirituality in Healthcare, pp. 99–104. New York: Oxford University Press.
Current as ofApril 7, 2019
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Kathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineCatherine D. Serio PhD - Behavioral Health
Current as of:
April 7, 2019
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Catherine D. Serio PhD - Behavioral Health
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