Spirituality has a number of tangible benefits from improving mental health to fostering connection with yourself and those around you. The practices and philosophies associated with spirituality are good for you in so many different ways. Here are the main reasons why spirituality is important:
- Spiritual practices improve mental health
- Spirituality helps us understand the universe
- Spirituality cultivates peace and happiness
- Spirituality fosters a loving and kind attitude
- Spirituality encourages self awareness and self reflection
- Spirituality can give us a community
What is spirituality?
Spirituality is the experience of connecting with something greater than one’s physical self and the practices that go along with it. It is the recognition that the universe is more than it appears on the surface and that all things that exist are divine in nature.
Spirituality is an important subject to consider and discuss because it’s an important aspect to the holistic view of life. In fact, the best life coaching programs in the world include spirituality in the main pillars of a great life. To have an amazing and purposeful life, we can’t skip over spirituality.
The benefits of spirituality
1. Improved Mental Health
The first reason that spirituality should be seen as important is because of it’s mental health benefits. Spiritual practices such as meditation, mindfulness, and prayer are not only good for your spirit, but they’re good for your mind as well. We know from several scientific studies that individuals who practice meditation and mindfulness are much more likely to report lower levels of stress and have a better well being.
Meditation calms your mind down and allows you to view your thoughts and emotions from a different perspective. This can help you detach from constant negative thinking and painful emotions.
Meditation is a practice associated with spirituality that can decrease your daily stress and anxiety levels. Mindful practice has been shown to lower cortisol levels, the chemical responsible for stress in the body.
> see my article “7 Best Types of Meditation: Which is Best For You?”
Prayer, like meditation can offer many mental health benefits such as decreased anxiety and stress. The ritual of prayer and the slowing down during the practice can be incredibly calming and relaxing. Some may feel a greater sense of connection while praying causing increased happiness levels.
Spirituality offers several other benefits like the ones further down this list that may compound and contribute to better mental health overall.
2. Understanding The Universe
Spirituality offers a perspective on reality and the universe that goes beyond the physical realm. Spiritual development may offer you a new framework to see the world. This framework allows for more than traditional science or the confines of religion. As a method to understand the universe, spirituality can help you see reality from a more interconnected and holistic perspective.
This isn’t to say science is a bad way to understand the world, it’s just to say that science as a practice has its limits. Spirituality can fill the gaps and offer us an understanding beyond the physical aspects of the world.
3. Increased Peace & Happiness
As you develop yourself spiritually you will find greater peace and happiness. Knowing there is something greater at play in this universe can offer a lot peace and contentment in your life. Knowing that something divine is guiding or helping you can help you feel happier and more at peace going about your life.
As we talked about earlier in this post, spiritual practices associated with spirituality like meditation, yoga, and prayer help us feel better and more relaxed. These spiritual practices contribute to greater peace throughout your day.
4. Fostering A Loving & Kind Attitude
Every major religion and spiritual philosophy has teachings of love and kindness. We see this in the teachings like the golden rule, “treat others as you want to be treated” which is found in almost every spiritual lineage that exists. Loving kindness is engrained in the DNA of spirituality.
Spiritual development usually facilitates an increase in your empathy for others. This is because as you dive deeper into spirituality you start to see the interconnectedness of everything. You’re sense of self and other become diminished and you begin to treat others like they are a part of this divine universal whole.
> see my article “The Illusion of Self: The Secret to Judging Less and Loving More”
5. Increased Self Awareness & Reflection
Our self awareness increases as we dive deeper into spirituality. Several spiritual traditions and practices cultivate an increase in self awareness.
One way that spirituality increases an individual’s awareness is by encouraging self reflection. There are several examples of this throughout every major spiritual philosophy including:
- Self inquiry in Hinduism and Buddhism
- The examen in Christianity
- Muraqabah in Islam
As we do more mindful practice and observation of ourselves, our actions, and our thoughts we gain a deeper understanding into ourselves. Increased self awareness can then lead to greater emotional control and regulation.
6. Community & Connection
Spiritual traditions usually have a community aspect attached to them. By following a specific spiritual or religious tradition you’ll have no trouble finding a community with the same goals of growing spiritually. However, if you’re on the path of nonreligious spirituality, finding a community may be slightly more difficult.
Not only will you find community on the spiritual path, but you’ll also develop a greater sense of connection. Not only with the people you meet on the path but with everything that exists. Profound spiritual insights or awakenings can leave you with an understanding of deep connection with the universe.
So there you have it, spirituality has an important part to play in a full and happy life. Spirituality has numerous benefits that will help you live a happier and more fulfilling. From meditation practice and the peace that it brings to creating a spiritual community, spirituality is indeed important.