Have you ever wondered about the meaning of life? What is your purpose here on earth? When was the last time you took care of your spirit and practiced spiritual self care?
Self care is a buzz word in today’s world, and plenty has been written about it. But we often associate that with our physical and mental health.
We need to dig deeper than the surface. There are four different kinds of self care, and we need to practice and acknowledge all to maintain our overall well being.
The four kinds of self care are:
Physical self care: The body
Emotional self care: The heart
Psychological self care: The mind
Psychological self care involves activities that help us feel clear-headed and deal with the professional and social challenges intellectually.
Some activities include seeing a therapist, positive social interactions, professional development, and self-awareness.
Spiritual self care: The spirit
Spiritual self care involves activities that nurture your spirit and allows you to think bigger than yourself.
Some of the examples include taking a nature walk, self-reflection, gratitude, and meditation.
Each one of these is connected. We can not practice one and neglect the other areas. Let us take a minute to understand spiritual self care!
Click on the different self care links above if you are interested in other ways to practice self care.
What is the definition of Spiritual Self Care?
In general, it is a sense that we are all connected to something bigger than ourselves. But it is not the same as being religious. Religion and spirituality are similar in the foundation but different in their practice.
Religion is a specific set of organized beliefs and practices, usually shared by a community or group.
Spirituality is an individual practice and involves seeking inner peace and searching for your purpose in life.
Although all religions emphasize spiritualism as part of their faith, both do not need to go hand in hand. Your spiritual self care practice does not have to involve religion; the choice is entirely up to you.
Self care and spirituality are about connecting with our higher selves. Your higher self is who you indeed are as an individual. The real you.
It is disassociated from and not influenced by your ego or fear. Instead, it is driven by your deepest desires and what matters to you the most at the core.
Often it leads to greater inner peace and better alignment with our core values.
Why is it important to take care of your spirit?
Human beings are first and foremost emotional creatures.
As humans, we have an innate need to connect with something higher than ourselves. We crave a soul-fulfilling life.
Understanding your existence in the spiritual sense is a crucial component of spiritual self care.
Spiritual self care help quiet our mind and calm the emotions within.
We deserve to live a life where we are happy and thriving, which we would genuinely feel that at our core.
Spirituality helps significantly with that. Taking care of your spirit is as essential to a balanced life as food is for the body.
It is not about being perfect but a continual search for our better selves.
What are some ways to level up your spirituality?
Being in nature offers many physical benefits, but how does it help us spiritually?
If you want to feel connected to something higher than yourself, look around.
Everything humans have needed to survive, and thrive, was provided by the natural world around us: food, water, medicine, materials for shelter, and even natural cycles such as climate and nutrients.
Unplugging from technology and connecting with nature is a great way to boost concentration, reduce stress, increase physical energy, and increase immunity.
Japanese researchers have revealed that sitting among the trees reduces blood pressure, regulates pulse and heartbeat.
2.Meditation and Self Reflection
Spiritual meditation is the mindful practice of connection to something greater, vaster, and more profound than the individual self.
The path to that connection passes through self-reflection. Spiritual meditation takes us to the depth of who we are.
If you are new to meditation, check out headspace. It is meditation made simple. The app helps with guided meditation, starting with only a few mins a day.
Self reflection questions to ask yourself
- Who am I?
- Am I living my true self?
- What is my favorite thing about myself?
- Do I love myself? Why? How can I increase self-love?
- What are my values? Do I practice them in my daily life?
- What are my limiting beliefs? Do I have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset?
- If I continue doing what I have been doing every day, where will I be in one year or five years?
3.Practice silence and solitude
Brain scans show that our brains are hardly ever at rest and are continuously overactive.
I would say the number one benefit of silence and solitude is clarity. When we practice silence and solitude, we allow ourselves to process our emotions instead of suppressing them. We come out of that autopilot state.
You do not have to be an introvert to practice silence and solitude. Everyone can benefit from it. Think of your life in terms of seasons.
Just like the earth, you need seasons of rest to bloom during seasons of abundance. It cannot be summer year-round. Which allows our brain to rest, heal, self reflect, and connect with our inner self.
It is a powerful and spiritual process that helps us acknowledge the goodness in our life. Gratitude helps us feel more positive emotions, relish in good experiences and memories.
Research has proven that grateful people experience lower levels of stress, cope better with adversity, sleep better, and lead more satisfying lives.
When we express gratitude, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin. These are neurotransmitters responsible for our feel ‘good’ state.
I incorporate this into my daily journaling. Also, I try to be specific about what I am grateful for, which helps me be present in that moment.
5.Pray or Say Affirmations
Prayers or affirmations can be your way of speaking to your higher power or connect with your higher self.
If you are not comfortable saying them out loud, you can write them down in your journal and read them silently.
Repeat your affirmations at least three times daily. Once in the morning, once mid-day, and once at night.
Affirmations are positive statements that can help you challenge and overcome negative and self-sabotaging thoughts.
When you repeat them often and believe in them, you can start to make positive changes. They also influence your subconscious mind to access new beliefs.
If religion is part of your spiritual journey, you can also pray. Prayer can foster a sense of connection, whether it is to a higher power, what a person finds necessary in life, or their value.
Prayer can reduce feelings of isolation, anxiety, and fear as well.
Self Care affirmations
- I dare to be the happiest, healthiest version of myself.
- Today, I will fill my mind with positive thoughts. The universe has my back.
- I am grateful for this day and the tremendous opportunities it has to offer.
- Today, I choose calm. I choose peace.
- I visualize my dream life and watch as it manifests into reality.
- The nature surrounding me fills me with so much positive energy.
- I trust that my faith in the universe will gift me with all I need in life.
- Every breath I inhale calms me, and every breath I exhale takes away tension.
- I let go of upsetting energy and embrace peaceful life in its place.
Come up with a plan
To win your day, you must win the first hour of the morning. The morning hours provide a perfect opportunity to practice self care and start your day refreshed and grounded.
It can be about all the simple ways you tune in, listen to your body, challenge your beliefs and behavior.
Start by waking up 15 mins earlier than your average time and slowly work up to giving yourself an extra hour each morning.
Take the time to journal, meditate, stretch, simple exercises, say your affirmations, practice silence, and self reflect.
Waking up earlier than you need to can be very daunting and discouraging. For me, switching from a night owl to an early bird was a dramatic change.
The mental health benefits have been so great that I would never go back. I am 100% more productive with my day, calm, less stressed, have more energy, and more organized, to name a few.
All these benefits came when I was intentional about making time in my day for self care.