Taking the path less traveled by exploring your spirituality can lead to a clearer life purpose, better personal relationships and enhanced stress management skills.
Some stress relief tools are very tangible: exercising more, eating healthy foods and talking with friends. A less tangible — but no less useful — way to find stress relief is through spirituality.
Spirituality has many definitions, but at its core spirituality helps to give our lives context. It's not necessarily connected to a specific belief system or even religious worship. Instead, it arises from your connection with yourself and with others, the development of your personal value system, and your search for meaning in life.
For many, spirituality takes the form of religious observance, prayer, meditation or a belief in a higher power. For others, it can be found in nature, music, art or a secular community. Spirituality is different for everyone.
Spirituality has many benefits for stress relief and overall mental health. It can help you:
Uncovering your spirituality may take some self-discovery. Here are some questions to ask yourself to discover what experiences and values define you:
The answers to such questions help you identify the most important people and experiences in your life. With this information, you can focus your search for spirituality on the relationships and activities in life that have helped define you as a person and those that continue to inspire your personal growth.
Spirituality also involves getting in touch with your inner self. A key component is self-reflection. Try these tips:
Spirituality is also nurtured by your relationships with others. Realizing this, it's essential to foster relationships with the people who are important to you. This can lead to a deepened sense of your place in life and in the greater good.
Staying connected to your inner spirit and the lives of those around you can enhance your quality of life, both mentally and physically. Your personal concept of spirituality may change with your age and life experiences, but it always forms the basis of your well-being, helps you cope with stressors large and small, and affirms your purpose in life.
By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress-relief/SR00035