In my last post, I introduced the Circle of Life tool. We’re going to take a deeper look into each segment of the Circle of Life, and why it’s important. So let’s dive into the very top of the tool and talk about Spirituality.
The reason I want to start here is because our spirituality, whatever that means to you, serves as the foundation for not just our mental health, but also our physical health. Studies show that finding ways to keep ourselves rooted in our own autonomy to make positive change, and to recognize the beauty and marvel of this big, wide world we inhabit has immense benefits for our physical bodies as well. And with so much happening in the world, I feel it’s more important than ever to take a moment to explore and discover the ways we can connect with ourselves on a deeper level.
Now, a spiritual practice is a hyper-personal experience that takes many shapes and forms. There is no one right or wrong way to connect with yourself, or the world on a deeper level.
Spirituality can involve participating in religious services, meditation, or prayer; it could involve practicing gentle physical routines like yoga, walking, or Qi Gong; or, it could simply be a form of self-care by taking a few extra minutes to wind down and de-stress at the end of the day. A spiritual practice is simply a way for you to nourish and support yourself outside of eating well and moving regularly.
But if the thought of developing your own spiritual practice feels uncomfortable, unfamiliar, or maybe a bit daunting, know that you’re not alone, and I’m here to help!
Here are 5 easy ways to begin to explore your inner self. Please note that the following are mere suggestions that might not feel good or be accessible for everyone, and that spirituality -like anything else in life- is an ever-changing and evolving journey. We encourage you to explore what feels right for your mind and body!
1) Breathe regularly and often. Yes. That’s it. Just breathe. This may seem simple, but we cannot emphasize enough the power of taking a few deep breaths for yourself. Give it a try and see for yourself!
Take 5 minutes each day to turn your notifications off, find a quiet, comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed (preferably outside, if this is available to you) and allow yourself to simply sit and breathe. You can practice a 4-8 breathing style as demonstrated here.
Or, you could just simply sit and observe your surroundings. Welcome any thoughts that come up, acknowledge them, then gently let them go.
Focus on your breath. All it takes is 5 minutes.
2) Meditate. If sitting in silence feels uncomfortable, try a 5-10 minute meditation using an app like Insight Timer, or Headspace.
Or, join us every Monday at 12pm EST for a quick 10 minute meditation with Mahan Health! Sign up using this link here.
3) Dance. Music is a wonderful tool to heighten our sense of wonder, and reconnect us to our bodies. Take a few minutes each morning or evening to throw on your favorite song and move your body in whatever way feels good to you! Don’t worry, no one’s judging.
4) Develop a morning or nightly ritual. This could include that skin care routine you’ve always wanted to try, but it could also mean waking up and listening to your favorite song to set the mood for the day as you make your breakfast and a warm drink of choice. It could mean journaling for a few minutes, or taking a walk outside with your dog. Routines are a wonderful way for us to feel into our bodies and connect with ourselves.
5) Take a nature walk. Studies show that nature walks and forest bathing not only help to calm our nervous systems and relax our minds, but also help us to connect with the idea of something larger than ourselves.
A nice nature walk can help restore our overstimulated minds, and bring in a sense of wonder and awe at the beauty of the world, which can aid in relieving depression and anxiety, and strengthen that all-important mind-body connection. If a nature walk is unavailable to you, try a quick 5-10 minute restorative yoga practice like this one here.
So, what does spirituality mean to you? I’d love to hear from you! And remember, whatever comes up is exactly right. There is no one true definition for spirituality, and there certainly is no one right way to practice it.
Want additional accountability for developing daily practices?
Book an initial Health Coaching Consultation with me here! I’d be honored to be a resource for you.
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