(Meditation is one of the spiritual ways to connect with yourself. )
The term spirituality is thrown around and used loosely without gauging the depth of its meaning. Before beginning anything, it is necessary to clarify that it is not confined to any community or religion or caste. There is no definite set of rules or guide that one can undertake to become spiritually strong.
The core of the meaning of the word lies in the word itself. ‘Spirit’ – which means beyond material existence. Spirituality means looking at life beyond the corporeal and material being. It means understanding limitations on your lifespan and your purpose of leading this life. When you imbibe this beautiful notion in every deed, action and thought occurring in your head each day, you become spiritually strong. Living with spirituality is simple but it definitely takes conscious efforts. It is not something you learn in a month or two or by reading self-help and mindfulness books. It takes genuine practice, conscious efforts and a strong will to bring a positive change in your life.
When you become relatively more spiritual, you look at the world with a bird eye view. You become patient, kind, and understanding. You become capable of loving unconditionally and being affectionate without expecting anything in return. You understand your inner being clearly. It is a level of self-realization that can be achieved with sincere intention and earnest will.
Being spiritually strong cannot be achieved like an ambition, nor can it be a goal. It is simply a journey of bettering your life everyday by adopting a few lifestyle choices, practices and habits that can lead to you a spiritually healthy and happy life. You need to truly understand the meaning of being a spiritual person. It is easier to stick to it when you achieve it.
The only way to relapse in this case is when you ignore your spiritual instincts on purpose. You would be able to understand what is right and wrong, but still go on a journey of self-criticism, comparison and materialism. Such practices would prevent you from being spiritually healthy.
How do I become spiritually strong?
This generation has learned the ways of life through the internet and social media. It is exposed to moral haphazards and vile ideologies that are capable of tampering one’s mental health at a finer level. The effects of mindless scrolling on your smartphone screen is invisible to the naked eye. The content you absorb and the negative consequences that your brain interprets leads to a spiritual decline.
The reason for the same is if it fills you with envy, lack of self-esteem, anger, and sadness. It is bound to take a toll on your mental and spiritual health. It takes you away from spirituality. It makes you blind from all the positive aspects of you and your being. You get teleported into a mode of unnecessary self analysis and criticism. Even if you are happier and content with the position of your life and quality of lifestyle, you would feel gloomy and dissatisfied with everything. It is one of the classical signs of being spiritually unhealthy.
Being kind, loving, generous, humble and happy are your default spiritual traits. These qualities depict the existence of spirituality in a person and ensures that the individual is spiritually strong. Anything opposite of these traits takes away from your spiritual health. The opposite of these qualities include envy, anger, hatred, indifference, uncouthness etc. These sentiments stem in the material existence. Possessions, power and monetary privileges fill people with false pride, entitlement, and destructive autocracy. There are effects of leading a solely material life and chasing material pleasures.
When you look at someone privileged, it generates a longing within you as well. The lack of that material privilege fills you with a sense of envy and anger. So in a spiritual sense, these sentiments are alien and will never be generated if a person is truly spiritual. To become spiritually strong, one has to practise this notion consciously everyday. One needs to take care of what he is exposing his brain to. Moreover, one needs to consciously think and channel the unwanted thoughts in a healthy way. When you practise these actions sincerely everyday, you take a step towards bettering your spiritual health and become spiritually strong eventually.
When you are spiritually strong and healthy, you are able to connect with the universe and you are one step closer to fulfilling the purpose of your life. There are no coincidences. Whatever happens with you or your life has an agenda or meaning behind it. Sometimes it is a sign from the universe or sometimes it is a learning. When you are spiritually strong, your radar on reading the signs from the universe becomes stronger. You understand your purpose better.
(Yoga channels your energy in a positive way.)
How can I be more spiritual everyday?
As mentioned earlier, spirituality is not encoded in a mindfulness book or a health retreat. To become more spiritually aware, there are certain habits and practices that you need to undertake on a daily basis in a disciplined manner. Most of these practices are centred towards you and the people around you. By following these practices, you become more self-aware and connect with yourself in a spiritually healthy way. Here are some practices that you can include in your daily routine to become spiritually strong: –
- Start your day by following the norm of 555
The norm of 555 means dedicating the first 15 minutes of your day to yourself. It means dedicating 5 minutes to meditation, 5 minutes to perform stretches to free your body and 5 minutes to plan your entire day. This practice enables you to take on your day positively. Also, you are able to shell time for yourself first thing in your morning. Starting your day with meditation improves your ability to concentrate, whets your sharpness, and helps you in making better decisions by stabilizing your mood. Taking 5 minutes every day to perform stretches opens up your muscles and lets your energy flow. Planning your day in advance helps you remain proactive and alert. It prevents wastage of time, energy and resources. This norm can help you in becoming more productive every day.
- Dedicate time for physical activity
The notion of undertaking physical activity and exercise has been minimized to only weight loss and bulking up. There is a bigger purpose behind exercising every day, not merely burning the targeted set of calories. The human body is designed to move. Physical activity does not merely indicate spending time in the gym. It could mean anything like taking a power walk or going for a run or simply dancing your heart out. When you move, you are able to think better. When you think better, you make better decisions.
A healthy mind lives in a healthy body. It improves your ability to deal with challenges and complexities you face everyday. Including physical activity is necessary to take care of your body. And taking care of your body is essential since it has a bigger purpose to serve. You need your body to fulfill your purpose. To keep your body healthy and sound, it is essential to include some form of physical activity.
- Follow the 80% diet
The 80% diet is a simple formula to ensure you maintain control of your portion. This tactic prevents you from overeating. It simply means that when you are eating your meal, do not eat until you are 100% full. You must never eat to your fill. Instead, stop when you are 80% full. This method is corroborated by one of the renowned authors.
Along with following the 80% diet tactic, be mindful of what you consume. What you consume nourishes your body. It is one of the vital ways to keep a healthy body. Your body’s nourishment is one of your important responsibilities. It is also a step towards being spiritually strong and healthy.
- Maintain a gratitude journal
In today’s fast paced and competitive world, it is easy to forget your blessings and privileges. We always look up in search of something better. But the desire to compare and aspire can become toxic in no time, without your knowledge. There is a vast difference between seeking growth and comparing and aspiring. Seeking growth is stemmed inside you. It is generated when you look at yourself and aspire to be better. Comparing and aspiring involves comparing the privileges and achievements of others. It is one of the detrimental habits that can affect your self-esteem because there is no end to it. You can never stop when you compare yourself with a second person. Therefore, make a gratitude journal and pen down one thing every day that you are grateful about. Look back on the journal when you feel you don’t have enough blessings.
- Be truthful to your path of career
One of the spiritual awakenings occurs when you find your calling or passion. It also takes you one step closer to your purpose in life. Identify your passion and work on it every day. It is a path towards spiritual happiness. If you have not found it, keep looking but never stop. Being truthful about where your passion lies is one step closer towards being spiritually strong. It gives you the power of choice and identity.
- Practice forgiveness
Simple to say, but difficult to actually practice. Giving forgiveness is a trait of a spiritually strong human. Hating and staying is an easier path. It takes a lot more to forgive someone. It is not a sign of weakness when you forgive someone. It frees you from anger, resentment, hatred and grows you spiritually. At the end of the day, all you need is to grow spiritually strong.
- Learn to be patient
To bring spirituality in your life, you must be patient. It takes time to practice and implement. Be trustworthy and patient with yourself. Be committed to the journey and it will work wonders in your life. You also have to be patient with others, your career and other aspects of your life.
- Eliminate the envy
Learn to consciously eliminate the sentiment of envy. Divert the thought with a grateful thought. In the moments where you feel envious, think about all the things that you can be grateful for. When you have gratitude within you, you can easily eliminate envy towards others.
- Practice kindness
It is one of the simple methods to be happy. When you are kind to others, you benefit two parties at the same time, yourself and the person whom you were kind to. Today, it is seen as a priceless quality whereas it is one of the default spiritual traits that we have. Everybody has kindness and is capable of being kind. It is merely hidden beneath spiritually alien sentiments of ego and pride.
- Be mindful of others’ needs
Be aware of the needy around you, spiritually as well as materially. Extend a helping hand whenever you can. It is all about giving. By helping others, you help yourself become spiritually strong.
How can I improve my spiritual health?
There are a few physical practices that help you in bringing closer to your spiritual journey: –
Meditation is one of the underrated practices. There are a number of benefits of practicing meditation. It improves your mental health. It reduces anxiety and your tendency to panic in certain situations. It improves your ability to concentrate and make informed decisions. It is one of the ways to stay committed to your spiritual journey.
Traveling is one of the best ways of achieving mindfulness. It opens up your mind and helps you learn about other cultures. It gives you an idea that there is a world bigger than self.
Yoga and other practices like Tai Chi are designed beautifully to channel your physical energy properly. It gives you control over your body and helps you be spiritually strong.