If you are curious about the connection between your spirituality and your mental health, talking through some of your thoughts may provide you with clarity. Communities of strength can be an asset if you are experiencing a mental health issue.
For some, the difference between religion and spirituality can become a point of confusion. This is natural because of the similarities between religion and spirituality, both have a connection in striving to understand the meaning of life. And in that effort, there is often a relationship with a higher power or a greater source of strength than the individual. That said, the two differ.
Positive Impact on Mental Health
While there are differences—religion is an organized set of beliefs while spirituality can be specific to the individual—both practices can be beneficial to your health. This is because both religion and spirituality can help people cope with stress and loss in life. Often people say their practice gives them purpose and allows them to make peace with past situations and relationships.
For those practicing an organized religion, the structure can be helpful. Through your religion, you may have connections to other members, creating a supportive community. Often it is helpful when you need to move forward. There is a structure and a ritual to rely on. You can learn about forgiveness and gratitude from religious teachings and bring those lessons into your day-to-day life as well.
Spirituality and your mental health can work in tandem to help you practice health living. Through your spirituality you can make your emotional wellbeing a priority. For example, connecting to art and nature can be helpful. And some who are experiencing mental health issues find relief through meditation and mindfulness, which are often connected to spirituality.
Many have reported surviving tragedies and heartbreak due to their spiritual connection. It might be helpful for you, a path to growing your own sense of kindness and forgiveness in your own life
Feeling Connected to Your Community
When spirituality or religion are present in a way that is supportive and healthy, you may find these practices bring you a sense of belonging. They may help you to be appreciated within a larger community of people who have similar beliefs to your own. Ideally, individuals who have characteristics and strengths you admire and can be examples of ways to live a life that is rich and full.
As you consider the best way to incorporate religion or spirituality and your mental health, remember to be kind and gentle to yourself. Make an effort to connect with aspects of these practices that support love and gratitude. Negative beliefs can underscore negative behaviors, which could reduce your chances for a healthy recovery from a mental health experience.
Fold things into your life such as starting your own gratitude practice. Get involved with communities that uplift you. And, if you are having personal problems and are in need of a supportive person to talk to, reach out for help.
Kendall Van Blarcom is a senior helping seniors. Contact Van Blarcom Consulting today for help with your personal problems. Or, reach out to provide support for an older adult in your life.