Wellness and spirituality go hand in hand. There is a reason the saying is Mind, Body and Soul. To truly experience wellbeing on all levels, it may not be enough to have the fittest physique or eat the healthiest food, if your mental health and soul purpose are not aligned.
Spirituality has been practiced for centuries and is attributed to experiencing feelings of gratitude, serenity, inner peace and calm. Whether you are religious and follow regular prayer practices, or do not consider yourself particularly religious but are interested in filling up your spiritual cup, here are some very simple ways to tap into your spiritual side.
It’s safe to say meditation and mindfulness are both having their moments right now. While meditation is often referred to as ‘silencing the mind’ – it is actually less about having no thoughts whatsoever, and more about acknowledging thoughts, as they pop up, and letting them pass by. Rather than getting caught up in our head, meditation allows us to be comfortable with stillness and quiet moments.
If meditation isn’t your thing, try some deep belly breathing instead. Too often we are leading such busy lives that we forget to simply breathe. An elongated exhale and deep belly breathing instantly calms the nervous system, relaxes your body, and allows you to just ‘be’. Seek stillness every single day – be it on your morning commute, before winding down to bed or in savasana after a yoga session.
What causes are you passionate about? Think of an organisation or fundraiser you often support by donating without second thought. It could be anything from animal welfare to cancer research to climate change prevention!
Whatever it is, seek out the local branch in your area and offer some time to the cause. Volunteering is one of the most selfless acts you can give, and when it is for a cause you are truly passionate about, it will be just as rewarding for you as it is for the organisation.
Commit to an attitude of gratitude – every single day. This may be in the form of prayer, meditation, during your daily yoga practice, or even by keeping a gratitude journal. Giving regular thanks allows you to acknowledge the good you have in your world, and encourages you to seek out positives that you may have otherwise overlooked.
Random Acts of Kindness are some of the best things in the world – leaving both the giver and receiver full of warm and fuzzies.
But it doesn’t have to be as extreme as paying for the couple’s brunch on the table next to you (although that would be freaking awesome!) Set a daily intention to be kind to everyone you cross paths with – be it the bus driver on your morning commute, to your colleagues and team, to your partner and friends. Everyone is truly doing the best they can with what they have – and while kindness can be tough when faced with negatives – this is the precise moment to practice it fully. As the saying goes: “Kindness – it doesn’t cost a damn thing. Sprinkle that shit everywhere!”
But not necessarily the newspapers (unless this leaves you feeling uplifted and positive). Take a break every now and then and dedicate yourself to staying informed with what you are really interested in and passionate about.
Sign up to newsletters that will brighten your day (Sporteluxe, for one!) Seek out a local book store and get lost in the aisles that appeal to you. Dedicate time every day to read and educate yourself on what you are truly passionate about and inspired by – from other people’s stories, to history books, to a new cook book you have been meaning to try! If it ignites passion and inspires you, your mind and soul will thank you for it.
Aromatherapy has been around for thousands of years, using plants and essential oils to promote physical and psychological wellbeing.
Blends such as lavender encourage relaxation and deep sleep, while peppermint aids digestion and frankincense assists in stress relief.
Experiment with different scents to find what appeals most to you. Wear them in place of perfume or carry them with you to inhale on a stressful day.
Be sure to invest in organic, 100% natural blends, like the ones from Young Living.
Take note of funny little ‘coincidences’ that may pop up regularly for you.
For many people, these come in the form of number patterns: seeing 11:11 for instance. These are often referred to as ‘angel numbers’ and there are a number of texts available deciphering what various number patterns and repetitions mean. (Or you can do what I do and Google the number you keep seeing plus ‘angel number’ for a quick definition.)
If number patterns aren’t your thing, take note of little feathers that keep popping up in unusual places for you, butterflies or dragonflies of a particular colour that you regularly see, or even coins with the same date found in random places.
Coincidences, perhaps. Or they could be little nudges from a higher power encouraging you and supporting your journey.
You know how the saying goes – follow your heart, your intuition, it will lead you in the right direction. (Okay, so that was a Jewel song, still valid!)
People are constantly talking about their ‘gut feelings’ and today the mind/body connection between the brain and gut is more evident than ever before.
That little niggle in your gut that tells you something isn’t right, or not to trust a situation – or alternatively that pull you feel when you want to just go somewhere for no real reason other than something ‘telling you’ it is the right thing to do – these are all very valid signs from your mind, body and spirit. The more you listen to these and align with them wholly, the stronger your intuition will become. It’s like working a muscle – practice it daily and really FEEL what your body is telling you. Your intuition always wants what is best for you.
What does spirituality mean to you? Is it your yoga practice? Being as good a human as you can? Working your passion and purpose? Or finding moments of reflection every day? Whatever it is, commit to it as often as you commit to strengthening your mind and body, and you will truly find wellbeing on all levels – mind, body and soul.
Words by Hollie Azzopardi
Hollie is a wellness coach, health writer and speaker committed to inspiring people to live their healthiest, happiest and best lives – with a focus on achieving optimum wellbeing by aligning mind, body and soul. She is particularly passionate about mental health and the key role this plays in ensuring a healthy and balanced lifestyle.