The word “spirituality” or the notion of being spiritual has gotten a bit of a bad rap, perhaps because it has been over-used or because it has been used to describe individuals who believe in fairies, live and breathe yoga, are devoutly religious, or believe in the supernatural.
In truth, the term spirituality refers to much more than what most people think as its definition is associated with the profound belief that one belongs to something greater, bigger. In fact, being spiritual does not necessarily mean one is religious, that one prays or believes in God, but rather that one knows he or she belongs to something much greater than the self alone.
Take the word “religion”. The Latin root religio signifies the bond between humanity and a greater-than-human power. Some studies show that the more often you go to religious services, the longer you live.
Other studies have found lower rates of high blood pressure in individuals who attended religious services. What is significant about these studies is not so much that people are particularly religious, but rather that they are connected to one another and to something even larger. As part of a larger community, they feel that they belong.
When you feel a sense of belonging, a sense that you are not alone, you are less likely to be vigilant, more likely to be relaxed and more trusting that you will have the resources you need to manage adversity. You are less likely to get upset, angry or fearful about your future.
As you are less negatively affected by the stress in your life, you are less prone to fall into self-destructive behaviors. Instead, you might find yourself opening up to the wonders of life and partaking in self-constructive and loving behaviors.
The point here is that you do not have to be religious or attend religious services to access the benefits of spirituality or to be thought of as spiritual. All that is required is that you find ways that have meaning for you that enable you to feel like you belong to something larger.
You can spend time in nature or by connecting to that sense of awe you might experience when you are out in nature—like a closing your eyes and remembering a beautiful sunset, the smell of the ocean breeze, or taste of salt that you can sense on your lips.
Focus on a situation of awe.
Breathe it in.
Exhale it out.
Allow yourself to feel connected to infinite space, love, wisdom, grace and acceptance.
Allow your heart to bloom like a flower and connect to the possibilities of life.
Notice how you feel.
You may notice that this experience helps you feel relaxed, secure, and less angry, alone, and fearful, as if your mother or father is holding you, keeping you nurtured and safe. You may find that you are better able to find meaning in any situation and the courage to deal with it successfully.
You just might discover that you choose to take better care of yourself, your loved ones and your planet and you find that, oh yes….you are spiritual.
Check out great reads and spiritual voices from some of our other related articles & sections:
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- Wellness Stays
Dr. Eva Selhub is an internationally recognized resiliency expert, physician, author, speaker, scientist and consultant. Dr. Eva engages her clients and her audiences with her powerful energy, words of wisdom and scientific knowledge to activate the five pillars of resilience–physical, mental, spiritual, relationship and team– to achieve optimal resilience, success, health and happiness. Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Dr. Eva served as an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and as a Clinical Associate of the world renowned Benson Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital for nearly 20 years. She is the author of The Love Response and the co-author of Your Brain on Nature, and her latest book Blow up or Bliss Out will release in 2018. Dr. Eva has been included in national media such as The New York Times, USA Today, Self, Shape, Fitness, Health, The Dr. Oz show and more. In addition to We Blog the World, she also writes for Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen, Steven Aitchison, Success Stories, Rebelle Society, Good Men Project and Human Spaces.