How Can Spirituality Help Manage Stress?
by Robert Fergeson
Coping with the stress of modern living can take many shapes, including embracing your spirituality. While exercise along with a healthy diet and lifestyle are common tools for dealing with a busy schedule, the spiritual aspect may be harder to define, yet provides equal support in providing a beneficial way to ease your stress. Spirituality can provide deeper meaning in your life, whether it comes from nature, a higher power, or family and friendship.
Find what spirituality means for you. A connection with others, a search for deeper meaning, and the observance of religious beliefs can all be seen as spiritual. Re-connecting with nature and gaining a sense of place has a spiritual aspect for many. To find your spiritual values, make a list of the important events in your life, both good and bad, and review what you learned from them and how the events prepared you for the future. These memories are good for your self-esteem and for remembering why you have the personal relationships you do and what you value most.
Techniques and Practices
Learn to meditate and connect. Spirituality can be practiced in the form of prayer and meditation, a means for connecting with your own inner wisdom and strength, and to focus your thinking in positive channels. Join a support group, church or service organization whose ideals match your own, and help others in the group to reach your shared goals. Keep a journal or diary. Journal writing connects you with your core values and beliefs, and helps to express feelings. Spend quality time in nature, hiking, relaxing or just spending time alone to collect your thoughts and reflect. Focus on what is spiritual in your life.
The inner confidence that spirituality brings can relax and restore you. It enables you to drop the feeling you are responsible for every little thing that happens, and instead enjoy what you have. Spending time and energy on what is spiritual in your life helps to sort through the unnecessary clutter that can be adding to your stress. Remembering what's important can help prioritize your thinking and planning by eliminating the stress caused by distraction and too many details. Connecting with your spirituality opens new opportunities to renew your core values. People who view themselves as spiritual have been shown to have healthier lifestyles and may be better prepared for the hardships of the future. Spirituality can lead to a deeper connection with the world in general, giving a feeling of belonging and purpose.