Spirituality is a globally acknowledged concept involving the belief and obedience to a supernatural being and is closely linked to the concept of religion. Spirituality is a sacred realm of human experience and produces in man qualities such as love, honesty, patience, compassion, faith and hope.
Spirituality has been described as innate through a description of the origins of religion as the early worship of the sun, moon and celestial bodies because man feared them and did not fully understand them. Though religion and spirituality could be used interchangeable, religion is seen as institutionalized spirituality.
How does spirituality strengthen ones mental health? Is there any relationship?
Spirituality and, thus, religion has a close relationship to mental health. St. Augustine, the philosopher prayed “O God, thou created us in thy image and our hearts will be restless until they find their rest in Thee.” Though Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalytic theory, saw religion as an illusion and neurosis, Carl Jung considered the psyche as a carrier of truth, powerfully rooted in the unconscious mind.
Religion is also important, directly and indirectly in the aetiology, diagnosis, symptomatology, treatment and prognosis of psychiatric illnesses as well as other medical conditions. Lack of spirituality can interfere with interpersonal relationships, leading to abnormal behaviours, which can precipitate psychiatric disturbance. Also, loss of interest in religious activities in someone who was previously enthusiastic about them could indicate depression in the individual. On the other hand, too much and especially distorted religious practices are common in schizophrenia.
But back to the question of how spirituality can strengthen your mental health, it is important to state that your mind and body are closely linked to your spiritual health and spiritual health in this regard, refers to your connectedness to a divine force or your belief in supernatural energy. Religious rites, worship, mental exercises like meditation, yoga, and some form of martial arts like kungfu that believes in the existence of chi – a supernatural force of the universe –, help improve and define your spirituality in context.
Spirituality reflects the wellbeing of your inner self and this influences how your efficiency in your finances, academics, and other areas of productivity in your life. It also affects your health directly through its effects on health parameters like mood, thoughts, etc, and indirectly through your engagement in activities that may affect your health negatively. It is important to state that the absence of religion is not the absence of spirituality. Religion is the institution of spirituality but spirituality is the personal self in the belief that there is more than just the physical.
Spiritual practices of mindfulness, manifestation and shadow-work all go hand in hand with strengthening all aspects of your inner self so that you can live your best life. The last two years since the outset of the pandemic, have been quite a rollercoaster ride with some hard-hitting soul lessons. We are all in need of some deep healing. 2022 is the year of balance and harmony numerologically, with a great opportunity to thrive if you use the right tools. With these tips on how to use spirituality to strengthen your mental health, you will be able to make the best of this year and perfectly align your mind, body and spirit into harmony.
How To Use Spirituality To Strengthen Your Mental Health
Engage in meditation
Meditation can be used to calm the mind. Meditation is an art of stilling the mind and freeing it from all intrusive thoughts but beyond that, meditation also allows you to observe all thought forms and emotions from a detached perspective.
During some forms of meditation, it can happen that you are experiencing old emotions and memories that may resurface while meditating; rather than delving into the memories and attaching them to the emotional experience, observe and study them as passing feelings so that you can gain control over them in the subconscious. Once you acknowledge them and let them flow, you will find a sense of deep-rooted peace and closure from grief or negative emotions. Failure to be able to control your past experiences can affect your life in a negative manner.
Combine therapy with ascension journaling
Ascension journaling is the self-documentation of your experiences in your quest to heal from an emotional or mood illness like emotional trauma, anxiety or depression. It involves writing down what you are going through and this helps you become more objective in your reasoning and emotions, giving you full control of the experiences as you pass through them.
If you are going for psychotherapy for mental health reasons, ascension journalling can help you get stronger throughout the process. Ascension journalling incorporates the component of self-reflection into the process of healing and supplements from thedispensary have been shown to contribute greatly towards self-reflection.
Practice energetic cleansing regularly
Energetic cleansing or energy cleansing is the act of clearing off old negative energies to keep you stronger and more optimistic about life. There are three most important aspects of energy cleansing practices in spirituality. Let me briefly talk about one here.
Cord-cutting is one of the three important aspects and it involves finding a place of forgiveness for yourself, or a situation or person to help you let go of negative energies and past experiences so that you can heal. Self-forgiveness is a systematic process, you should learn how to pass through this process and fast enough but this does not permit that you push yourself into finding self-forgiveness.
Finding forgiveness should be an organic process, a product of which will be extremely liberating and cord-cutting helps you to achieve that by helping you to shed off all the layers of your negative emotions and experiences.
The other methods include saltwater baths, smudging using sage leaves, bay leaves or palo santo (as referred to by some cultures).
Reiki or sound bath session is a Japanese form of energy healing, which is a subset of alternative medicine. Reiki practitioners use a technique called palm healing or hands-on healing through which a “universal energy” is transferred from the hands of the practitioner to the patient’s palms in order to encourage emotional or physical healing. It is another way spirituality can strengthen your mental health and help you heal faster.
Spirituality is a great practice alongside therapy to heal your emotional stress, pain and trauma. Using spirituality as a shield to avoid healing is a widespread challenge among the community, where many people separate spirituality from medical health. However, these practices can be used side by side and with the help of a professional counsellor or therapist, your mental health can be strengthened significantly through spirituality.