It Is not Physical or Mental: What is the “Real” Health that Must be taken Care of to Live Lighter and in Peace?

    For some people, spiritual health is more important than physical or mental health

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    Spirituality is considered a personal and individual journey into the soul: an adventure that encourages one to walk through the deepest corners of the heart, mind and soul in order to know oneself in deep communion with a Higher Power. Some consider it as a third type of approach to health – it accompanies physical and mental health; others believe that it is not a relevant concept to take into account in their life; Although there are also those who consider it their life purpose to work on the growth and development of said spiritual side.

    “It is the virtue of being able to observe ourselves and the world around us as a whole, understanding that there is no separation of the internal and external world. Being part of this dance of everything that exists, we are connected to something bigger that we usually call Energy, God, Universe, Cosmos, Prana, and an endless number of names depending on the culture in which one is immersed,” reveals AdelaComoretto, astrologer and holistic therapist.

    Those who usually work on their spiritual side highlight that the key to living in peace and harmony is to implement certain changes: in the lifestyle or to have beliefs that collaborate as tools to facilitate that inner journey. Activities such as attending a church, temple or mosque, doing therapy or having a space for introspection, reading sacred texts, meditating daily, collaborating with social causes or simply getting involved with other people in activities that fulfill one spiritually, are just a few. one of the most recurrent ones used to work on this approach.

    In the same way that today there is greater awareness about those daily habits that are counterproductive for the physical body and the mind, we also began to notice how essential it is to take care of the spirit. For this, the concept of “hygiene or spiritual rejuvenation” was developed, which includes the practice of paying attention to and caring for the energetic being within.

    “I would say that for some people spiritual health is more important than physical or mental health. The spirit is the basis of everything, the emotional and bodily conditions of a being emerge from/depend on it,” explains Agustina Cabello, specialist in Tarot and free and evolutionary Spirituality. For her, spirituality is an aspect of health that all people should work on and address; He even maintains that the sooner it is done, the better.

    The impact on the physical body

    “Over time we understood that if our thoughts are disordered or our emotions become intense, the physical body can become ill. But we don’t usually contemplate the same thing about the spirit, we always manage to believe that it is something that works separately or that is not even taken into account,” says Comoretto. For her, it is essential to understand that the different parts that make up the human being need to have a connection and fluid dialogue between them to form a healthy whole. That is why it stands out that for a body to live in harmony and balance, care is essential; “Cleaning and hygiene is one of the many ways that exist to care for and protect this field that we cover from the soul,” she says.

    Something similar is considered by the doctor of Chinese Medicine, acupuncturist, herbalist and psychotherapist, Jill Harrison, who maintains in a conversation with The Fullest that spirituality is closely linked to the emotional aspects of the human being and that, truly, it is an individual journey. “Everyone has their own belief of what it means to cultivate a spiritual life; “Some do regular meditation or mindfulness practices, others implement creative visualizations or connect more with nature,” she noted.

    However, as he revealed, today, meditation is the spiritual practice whose benefits have been most studied and documented. Comoretto agrees with this, stating that meditation is considered a direct bridge to the interior to discover the infinite. “Contemplation from silence, located in the present moment, opens the door to mystery”.

    Added to that, she highlights that it must be understood that “no one has final and concrete answers to such deep and mysterious topics; However, in the development of one’s own spirituality one learns to trust and let go.” For her, people have to learn to trust that there is a greater order that transcends them and that perhaps it is not necessary to understand.

    “Spirituality provides the answer of knowing that deep down we know nothing, and that if we manage to transcend the need for control, as the ultimate sensation we will reach a state of calm and peace,” Comoretto emphasizes.

    However, the various points of view/beliefs have something in common: that spiritual growth is the basis for having a better and more harmonious life. For the specialists consulted, it is this type of hygiene that allows us to learn not to let circumstances and people affect our inner being or our state of mind.

    Likewise, they assure that this practice helps to manifest detachment from what is not necessary and to show strength and inner power, all useful and important tools for personal development.

    Symptoms of “spiritual poverty”

    “I would say that the first symptom is feeling blocked or thinking that everything is going wrong, but above all, the big alert appears when you believe that everything around you is wrong,” Cabello responds. And adds: “most of the time when negative things are attributed to others, in truth, the underlying problem is usually oneself.”

    Comoretto explains that for her some early detection signs are: feeling distant from the simple and being distant from small and simple things. “The simple fact of realizing this disconnection with the environment is the beginning of the development of a spiritual search”.

    Put into practice

    Tracy Balboni is a medical oncologist specializing in palliative care at Dana-Farber and the Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, two hospitals belonging to Harvard Medical School; and also co-directs the prestigious university’s Health, Spirituality and Religion Initiative. Dr. Balboni is known for speaking publicly about the need for a spiritual approach in the field of medicine. “My main research interests are improving the well-being of patients facing serious illnesses, such as cancer, by providing them not only medical care but also spiritual care,” she said of herself when presenting the Harvard project on health and spirituality.

    For the professional, overlooking spirituality in medicine is a type of negligence that, particularly in serious illnesses, can depersonalize and even dehumanize patients.

    “According to the literature we reviewed, recognizing and nurturing spiritual health is good for many aspects of health. For example, the person who finds a deep and meaningful connection in nature must cultivate that practice in their life. Finding ways to retain those spiritual practices can be key if one gets sick,” Balboni confirms.

    By leading an investigation titled “Spirituality in health and serious illness,” the specialist found, together with her peers, empirical support for the importance of developing spirituality in sick people.

    In the conclusions of the writing they detail as a result that:

    • Spiritual care is frequently desired by patients.
    • Spirituality may play a role in medical decision making.
    • Spiritual needs are infrequently addressed in medical care.
    • Unmet spiritual needs are associated with a poorer quality of life for the patient.
    • The provision of spiritual care is associated with better patient end-of-life outcomes.
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