People often compare spirituality and religion as if they are the same thing, but this is very misguided. A person does not have to say their prayers, attend sacred services or devote any special specific time or money to anyone in order to be spiritually connected or active. Similarly, a person who regularly follows rigid religious practices isn’t necessarily particularly spiritually connected themselves.
Good spiritual health can manifest in a couple of different ways. First, there is the collective or cultural spiritual health; This is something you see in a society, for example, the way they treat the elderly or the attitude toward impoverished members of said society. The ability to accept those who are different from them is also a big indicator.
The second way this manifests is in an individual manner. This is how well you truly know yourself or your own soul. How connected you are to your own inner space, or your base instincts and inclinations is a pretty clear indicator of spiritual health.
A healthy spiritual connection within yourself can be cultivated by raising your personal consciousness and being as present in the moment as possible. Many people achieve this through traditional practices like meditation or yoga, but it can also be achieved by getting in touch with the things you have passion and love for. Here are 5 non-traditional ways to promote your spiritual health and well being.
1. Tactile arts and crafts
This includes anything from cross-stitching to oil painting to Origami. Working with your own hands to make something original or beautiful is always a great way to express yourself with authenticity. We rely on very subtle inner cues to inspire us creatively, and this can be an incredibly informative process to go through while also being downright fun.
2. Taking part in music
Whether you are just listening and experiencing it or playing it yourself, music is a wonderful tool for self expression and exploration. Something about music can move us in psychological and emotional ways like nothing else can. Clear vibratory tones have even been used as part of traditional medicinal practices since ancient times. Music truly connects the body and mind to the soul.
3. Do some writing
Writing is a unique form of expression in the sense that you can use it as an outlet for extremely intimate and private thoughts in the first person, or you can use it as an extension of yourself, expressing things through metaphor or symbol in a different narrative.
Either way, it is thoroughly cathartic and useful for documenting and being able to see the progress you’ve made over time.
4. Exercise and movement
All human beings need movement in order to thrive. Even if you are injured or out of shape, some form of (appropriately safe) exercise is nearly always recommended by medical and spiritual healers.
Movement and physical activity not only promote a healthy body and efficient function of joints and muscles, but it also encourages your brain to release more of the chemicals that make us alert and keep us content.
Getting out and exercising doesn’t necessarily have to mean going to the gym or doing push ups or running a mile, it can be low impact and soothing, swimming in a cool pool or hiking a beautiful mountain trail. This promotes a full activation and connection between mind, body, and spirit. It also gives us time to reflect.
5. Do nothing at all
In these modern times of technology and media, many of us are left with almost no time in the day during which we have no external stimuli engaging our senses. This might be fine for the most part, but truthfully one of the best things you can do to enhance spiritual growth is to spend some time totally alone with just yourself and your thoughts.
Simple introspection without any distractions will do wonders for a person’s relationship to their spirituality. Some do this through a meditative practice, but it can also be done just by withdrawing into a quiet place where you’re comfortable and safe to question and work on yourself without fear of judgment or disturbance.