Protecting Our Spiritual Health
Photo by: Ben White on Unsplash
Washing your hands for 20 seconds will help protect your physical health during cold and flu season. However, you will also want to protect your spiritual health. When spiritually healthy, we can live with and toward a greater purpose to be our fullest selves, for the sake of others and for God. Humans thrive by engaging in beneficial embodied practices and spiritual disciplines, increasing awareness of beliefs and values, nurturing spiritual connections, going beyond ourselves, and being outside. Spiritual disciplines and faith practices help us to feel connected to something transcendent, which is comforting. Doing meaningful activities that help us sense God’s love and presence can help reduce anxiety, insecurity, and fear.
Faith is an anchor
Our ever changing world creates uncertainty, so our values, beliefs, and practices of faith can provide steady assurance and encouragement. Religious traditions help people to create meaning from suffering and inspire us to remain hopeful and joyful even in the midst of profound difficulty. We can also look to the traditions and history of our faith to recognize ways our shared faith has sustained others and thus will sustain us and our communities.
Faith holds each little thing in our lives together, aiming everything toward the same meaningful end, and in doing so, can help to make even the most ordinary task feel worthy. Faith reminds us that our lives are connected to a larger story that is being told.
It’s often difficult to find the time to invest in spiritual health. I sometimes find myself yearning to feel God’s presence in the midst of disappointing, overwhelming, and heartbreaking times. When I miss attending religious services, I miss the meaningful conversations with people from my Christian community. When I feel spiritually healthy, I am better able to live out my faith and love my neighbors. I am better able to express generosity and compassion, and embody gratitude and give myself over to joy.
The thing is, I need other people to help me to nurture my faith and engage in the essential components of thriving. I need in person worship services. I need help being committed to integrating spiritual disciplines and engaging in the historic practices of my Christian faith. I need to have meaningful conversations about how our religious traditions makes sense of suffering. No matter your religious tradition, I hope you will commit to a community and collaborate to protect spiritual health—yours and that of your friends, family, and religious community.
Find ways to thrive by promoting your spiritual, emotional, and mental well-being. Engage in spiritual practices that bring you comfort and help you to sense meaning in your life and remain anchored. We are not alone. Goodness, truth, and beauty endure—so joy can always find its way to us.
Try these spiritual practices:
Prayer Stroll and Roll
Go on a 10-15 minute stroll and roll. Pray for your neighbors, schools, local non-profits and businesses, first responders, leaders, and local government officials either silently or aloud.
Joyful Prayer Stroll and Roll
Go on a 10-15 minute stroll and roll. Thank God for your neighbors, schools, local non-profits and businesses, first responders, leaders, and local government officials. Rejoice over the place where you live. Rejoice over the people in your life.
Practice Celebration and Lament
Identify one person to rejoice with and one person to mourn with. Reach out to them. Message them, call them, or go the extra mile and meet up with them. Ask them to share a joy or sorrow with you.
Write a letter to someone in a local nursing home/assisted living facility and another letter to someone in a local prison/jail. Call and/or look on websites to discern how to go about this. Even if it takes a little bit to get a pen pal at either facility, people who live in these places will be especially grateful to receive letters. Alternatively, donate to a shelter.
Note: For a free guide to creating online, participatory worship services to inspire and encourage worship leaders. Anyone can get this free guide on my website. Even if you’re not a worship leader, the guide offers tangible ways people can engage in spiritual disciplines and Christian practices and concrete ideas for how people can connect across generations and witness to God’s love.