Is Spirituality a benefit to mental health?
I certainly think that there are many benefits to spirituality on mental health and that having mental health issues does not make this exclusive. Anyone can enjoy the benefits of a spiritual life which is indeed part of the human experience I believe society is rejecting to the detriment of there emotional and mental wellbeing.
One benefit is that it is not necessary to be part of any organised religion or faith group to gain benefits. Spirituality can give a focus and a meaning in your life, which, especially when you have low mood or low self esteem is something that can bring many improvements to your mental health and can give you a sense of acceptance and belonging. Many people with mental health problems often feel like they are on the "outside looking in" and its a lonely place to be.
Spirituality can often become a focus of a person's life during times of emotional stress, such as in times of bereavement, or a break up after an abusive relationship. This is often a time when people go inside themselves and seek answers to whether or not there is life after death, why we are here, what is our purpose and why we should suffer loss of any kind. Spirituality can help us find harmony with the universe, it looks for a way to balance the self, answer our own questions and deal with feelings of sadness and anger.
Connecting with your spiritual self is a deeply personal experience, it is a unique experience to each individual. Spirituality is a journey through life that will continue for all of your life, supporting your sense of self, emotional and mental wellbeing.
One of the unique aspects of spirituality is that it spans across all cultures and includes those who do not believe in a god, gods, goddesses or higher being. Religions are about community based worship and community is also a benefit to mental health, however sometimes religions are often a source of intolerance which is certainly of no benefit to those with mental health problems and do not need to continue feeling like they are on the outside looking in. That said not everyone who has religion is intolerant and I do not mean to belittle religion here in any sense!
Many practices such as Yoga, Qi Gong and Tai Chi can offer you discipline, a healthy body and a healthy mind as well as being very relaxing and focused. Gentle exercise that everyone can do and thus be effective for overall health. Some aspects can lead you to connect more with nature and fresh air is essential particularly those with depression. Ritual magic and celebrating seasons can bring you closer to nature, a thing mankind is lacking more and more as we move into urban environments.
The aspect of learning new ideas, philosophies and research is a great benefit keeping the mind active and healthy. It offers new ways of thinking. Fresh perspectives and seeing past negativity and negative thinking. Finding out what brings you joy, what works for you as an individual and discovering that sense of self.
My own person experiences with seeking a spiritual life has brought great benefits to me. It has helped me to find myself and improve my relationship with myself and others. I have meaning in my life and a purpose. Its not all candles, namaste and love and light, its a tough road sometimes and I am not perfect, nor is anyone (spiritual gurus and leaders too)! I continue to seek and grow day by day and decide to be happy now.
About the author
I am slowly building my own business which will offer hypnotherapy, reiki, tarot and coaching. At the moment I am offering tarot readings.