Although it’s hard to give it one definition, essentially, spirituality means concern for the human spirit or soul instead of material things. However, spirituality as a living practice can mean so much more.
Spirituality is a journey, and like many journeys taken in life, everyone’s path can and will be different. For many, comfort and well-being are found through traditional religious law and prayer. For others, there is a greater call to a more personal experience in which there is a fusion of spiritual customs and practices from many different faiths.
Incorporating spirituality into your everyday life doesn’t have to be difficult, it is a journey of practice, dedication, and open-mindedness.
What Does Spirituality Really Mean?
Spirituality is a term that is heard a lot more lately as more people are actively striving to better their interactions with those around them. Spirituality may look different from person to person due to the fusion of different ideas, practices, and understanding. The most common ground of what spirituality means is that it is how you connect with the world and the people within it. Spirituality, when invited into your everyday life, can bring many positive benefits to your health and well-being. Daily spiritual practices, no matter how small, can bring you comfort, help create better lifestyle habits, and set positive intentions for each day.
How Do You Start a Spiritual Life?
Starting a spiritual life doesn’t have to be complicated. Remember, this isn’t about religion, but finding ways to take care of your soul through spiritual practices.
There are many simple spiritual aspects that you can start incorporating into your life. The easiest place to start is by understanding your own emotions, and the ways in which you interact with others. Spirituality begins with setting your intentions for the day and being mindful of what you put out in the world. When it comes to setting your intentions, there are a few major areas where mindfulness can be best practiced.
How To Practice Spiritual Mindfulness:
- Non-Judgement- Some mistake their spiritual journey as a way to compare themselves to others, or to feel superior to the less mindful around them. This couldn’t contradict the intentions of spirituality more. One way to start your spiritual life is to be mindful of how you interact with others, even when you’re not directly interacting with that person. It is important to strive to give less criticism, compare less, and actively strive to not put others down. Non-judgement begins with understanding that every person is doing their best.
- Kindness- Much like approaching each day without judging others, kindness is a simple act that can make a world of difference. It is easy to be kind to those you like, but true kindness is demonstrated to everyone, not just those who make it easy. In fact, it is especially important to show kindness to those who are hurtful towards you. Those who hurt you or others around you are often the people who need kindness the most. Setting a daily intention to be kinder is a great step in starting a spiritual life.
- Compassion- It can be difficult to take a step back from your own emotions and take into consideration the emotions of others. Compassion is the active ability to put yourself in the shoes of others. Compassion means that you can see where a person might be coming from, even if it is different from how you would approach an issue. Give the benefit of the doubt, feel the pain of others, and always choose compassion over resentment.
- Check Your Anger- A large part of embracing a more spiritual life is understanding the impact your emotions can have on yourself and others. One of the strongest emotions we experience is anger. Anger can rise at any moment. Perhaps you are stuck in traffic, or the lines are long at the grocery store. If little moments in life can make you angry, you may want to take a step back and assess why you are feeling that way. Anger can consume your life, and the most important step in releasing your anger is awareness.
- Let it Go- Resentment can eat away at you. It is easy to get offended or upset with people. Social media can be a great platform for connections, but it can also be a breeding ground for disagreements and unkind words if not left in check. When you do find yourself upset, it can be difficult to get those emotions in check, and it often feels easier to hold a grudge. Spirituality means that you may not understand the situation you find yourself in, but you understand that in the spiritual world, there is no real difference between yourself and that individual. Take the high ground, truly forgive, and meaningfully let it go.
- Your Words- While many situations in life may feel like they are out of your control, the control you do possess is in your words. It is easy to blurt out what is on your mind to only regret it later. Mindfulness is a huge aspect of living a spiritual life. When you are conscious of your words, you’ll gain better control and understanding of the situations around you. Word choice can impact your ability to be kind, compassionate, and non-judgmental.
- Truth- Being conscious of your words, showing compassion, and all these other elements doesn’t mean that you can’t be genuinely you, or that you must refrain from being completely true to yourself and others. Social media and other platforms allow many to not like their most authentic life, when comparing it to others. To embrace spirituality is to embrace yourself. Be authentic and speak the truth, even when it is difficult. You should be your authentic self, regardless of what others may think or feel.
- Generosity- One common theme that connects traditional religious practices and newer senses of spirituality is the ability to be genuinely generous. This is the ability to give unconditionally while also expecting nothing in return. Generosity doesn’t have to be physical or material. Giving your time and attention may be all it takes to change someone’s day for the better.
As you can see, starting a spiritual life doesn’t have to be complicated. It starts with your daily intentions of how you want to approach the world. Taking a moment to focus on being more kind, to show compassion, to interact without judgement, are all amazing ways to start down your spiritual path.
It begins with you.
Simple Spiritual Practices
Inviting spirituality into your life can also include some simple activities anyone can try. Your mindset plays a major factor, but so do the activities you participate in throughout your day. There are numerous spiritual activities for self-care that don’t require a lot of time but can ultimately greatly benefit your day-to-day connection with your spirituality.
Some of these activities include:
- Physical Meditation- How you physically connect to yourself and the world around you can look different for everyone. You don’t want to visit a temple or perform a complex ritual to build your spirituality. Nature in general is a great way to connect to the world and find peace in all the hustle. Sunshine is therapeutic and can create a more positive outlook within just a few minutes. You may be someone who enjoys a good walk. Walking with purpose can be a spiritual practice. It allows you time to clear your mind and reconnect with yourself. Yoga is another popular physical activity that ties together your body and mind.
- Start Your Day with Intentions- Before you get swept up in your daily activities, it is important to take a moment for yourself. A small reflection or prayer can help focus your mind on how you want to interact with yourself and others that day. This moment can look different for everyone. This could be meditating, repeating affirmations, or listening to a guided contemplation. Taking the time in the morning allows you a chance for introspection within yourself and set your intentions for the day.
- A Daily Commitment- It is important that you work your spiritual goals into your every day. Developing a strong spiritual connection to yourself and others will take time. It may also not feel easy at first. Dedication to your spirituality is important. You will have good days, and bad, but building your spirituality can help you to find comfort in those moments you once dreaded or felt lost. Finding meaning and meditation in your everyday life can be a great starting place. Celebrate the small things and find joy in the mundane.
- Take the Time- Some days it may feel impossible to achieve everything you had hoped to do. This can lead to stress and all-around negative emotions that can flood into your mind and impact your interactions with others. It is important to take time for yourself throughout the day, even if it is just a few minutes at a time. Research has proven that taking breaks at the workplace can help improve your performance, and overall wellness. There is no reason why this practice can’t be applied to other areas of your life. Find moments throughout the day to take a break. Go out into the sunshine, take a deep breath, and reaffirm your earlier established intentions.
- Connect with Others- One of the greatest pulls of traditional religious practices is the sense of community. When you find others who strive for the same things as you, you will find more positivity in your life and the way you connect with others. Connectivity is key to building and sustaining your spiritual journey. In a world where we are seemingly more connected than ever, many still feel isolation and disconnection. Meeting like-minded people who share the same values can help you along on the foundation of your spiritual journey.
- Count Your Blessings- This seems cliché, but it works as a powerful reminder that you can overcome obstacles that may have once stopped you in your place. Spirituality is largely about overcoming the negativity in your life. Some days, this may be hard to do. Reflecting on the good people or things in your life can help lift you out of a mindset that once brought you down. Remembering the good in the midst of the bad can alter the way you handle situations when things get rough.
These simple spirituality practices can help you on your journey of self-improvement and mindfulness. Your path is unique to you, and you’ll find what works best. What matters most is the commitment to embrace change while also understanding you’re a work in progress. Don’t let any missteps or shortcomings define your journey. Sometimes the smallest steps in life can take you the furthest.
Connect With Others To Invite Spirituality In
Spirituality is all about focusing on growing positivity in a world filled with negativity. It’s about taking care of your mind, body and soul. It’s knowing that you can’t take care of yourself or others if you don’t include spirituality in your quest for health and wellness.
Spirituality is a unique journey, and it begins with you. Daily spiritual practices have been proven to have numerous positive benefits on your overall health and well-being. And, a higher level of spirituality can create stronger bonds within yourself and with others.
Spirituality is all about how you connect with the world, how you appear in the world, and how you treat those around you.
Owner and CEO at Eminent SEO in Mesa, Arizona. My agency offers an array of website and marketing services to brands across the US. After years of doing addiction treatment marketing, I was asked to become a member of the ECHO Foundation Board in order to use my skills to help spread this very important mission and message. I have researched, studied and written content on mental health, substance use disorders, treatment and recovery tools since 2005. As an artist myself, I enjoy sharing ideas and information on how art can heal. I now advocate to help end the stigma around substance use disorder and look for more ways to share how art can help those who are in recovery, or simply looking for ways art can help with your mental health.