For a long time, and erroneously, it has been believed that the term spirituality refers to the word religiosity or that it is even its synonym. However, spirituality is not governed by religious dogmatic beliefs but represents a connection with the interior of oneself.
The spiritual part of a human being can range from a philosophy of life to practices to connect with their spirit. As an example, Dr. Veroshk Williams, a psychologist, and astrologer said that there are people who consider going for a walk or connecting with nature “something spiritual”. Some people choose contemplative practices to listen to their inner voice.
“Spirituality is in many ways in the psychological space, because it is part of what builds the psyche and gives meaning to what it does not know or cannot fully explain and which it also interprets as a connection with what we do not see,” Williams argued about the term.
Mental health benefits and spirituality
Medical articles such as How Spirituality Affects Mental Health by American doctor Dan Brennan attribute mental health benefits to spirituality, such as improved self-esteem and self-control, a greater sense of purpose, hope and meaning in life, better relationships with others, and key in many recovery processes.
”Spirituality can help you deal with stress by giving you a sense of peace, purpose, and forgiveness. It often becomes more important in times of emotional stress or illness,” the document highlights.
For the Reiki master and holistic therapist, Yolanda Otero Vázquez, the importance of spirituality lies in the fact that it allows each person to expand their state of consciousness and recognize the great power that they have by nature.
”Each being should connect with their spirituality so that they come out of limiting beliefs learned by society, culture, and religions. But also get out of guilt, sacrifices, attachments, and fears. It will give you a state of healing and soul liberation,” he shared.
Given these recommendations, how is spirituality put into practice or how is it achieved?
Otero Vázquez mentioned actions such as respecting other human beings, through compassion, practicing meditation, as well as silence, yoga, and sunbathing first thing in the morning, among other practices.
”All people are and are born spiritual, that is why they have a spirit. They just need to return to their essence and get out of the traps of the ego, which makes us believe that taking care of ourselves is selfish. Being well with us, beyond being good for us, allows us to deliver our best version for the benefit of all creation. It will be easy for some, not so easy for others, but step by step it is achieved and it is worth the effort,” he said.
For his part, Williams said that an important part of entering spirituality is knowing the purpose of why it is done and finding practices that adapt to each person. ”When we want to explore spirituality instead of trying something that is out of our comfort zone, let’s start with what is comfortable. If I want to revive my spirituality or experience it and it got to that feeling of comfort and being present, like through a walk in the park, I start doing that more,”. According to Williams, once the person knows the purpose of his spirituality, he will also find “that intention” for decision making.
”It is not only a spiritual experience, it is living spiritually, which is different. When one lives spiritually, one is already paying a super important element for mental health”, they finally pointed out.