Spirituality is gaining popularity for its positive effects on mental health and well being. As an RN turned Spiritual Guide, I understand why. As a healthcare professional, I know that stress is the #1 killer in our society; aside from the psychological effects of strep (high blood pressure, hypertension, insomnia, obesity etc), it also leads to depression and anxiety. As a metaphysician, I know that stress, depression and anxiety all lead back to one thing: disconnection from ourselves.
The self we speak of here isn't just your mind or your physical body; its your soul and spirit, what makes you unique, what makes you come alive. Due to its nature, its not something we can find anywhere but within ourselves. It can't be learned, or read or taught. You have to find and nurture it within yourself.
Spiritual practices help you to reconnect with yourself, nurture and sustain that connection. The following are 5 spiritual practices you can do right now, at home, for free.
The key for all of these is to not make them more difficult or complex than they need to be, and doing them 'perfectly' isn't going to make them work any better. Life is already so complicated and confusing, lets not make it more so. These are meant to bring grace and ease into your life.
Keep it simple.
1. Journaling - It doesn't have to make sense. You can write about your day, your feelings, your goals, your fears. You can literally just doodle, channeling and expressing energy through your arm muscles, ink and down onto the paper. Discharging emotional energy in this way is extremely helpful in finding clarity, It's like taking the trash out so you can finally see what's what.
2. Breathwork - Again, doesn't have to be some elaborate practice. Just take some deep breaths. Do it through out the day. Take 5 seconds to pause, maybe close your eyes and feel your breath. Breath all the way down into your pelvis and feel your belly expand as you do. Breath intentionally slowly and make the inhale and exhale last as long as you can. Feel how good oxygen is for your body
3. Gratitude - Just start with one, maybe start with gratitude for the air you breath, a home to live in, your health, your friendships. Have gratitude for your dedicated to your gratitude practice. Work your way up to three, five , eight or more! Express them verbally or even better, write them down every day. Saying them, and more so writing them, makes them real, just thinking it isn't enough to make them real. Say/write the same one every day and notice how the gratitude grows your heart, and causes you to find more to be grateful for.
4. Track the Moon Cycle - The Moon relates to our emotional and spiritual states. You can use the moon cycle as a way to track and reflect on your inner being. Start by writing the full and new moon dates in your calendar. If you are journaling already, notice how your mood, emotions, and energy levels change during these times. Noticing patterns and themes of what comes up can help you plan activities during the month. For example if you're someone who tends to feel more introverted during the New Moon, plan some solo self care activities during that time to nurture yourself.
5. Meditation - Everyone knows meditation is beneficial to health and wellness, not only psychological but also physical. Again, the key here is to not make meditation more complicated than it needs to be. The only wrong way to meditate is to not meditate. Sit in your car, alone and quiet and take some deep breaths, that's a meditation. Close your eyes in the shower and stand still, envisioning all the weight and burdens of life being washed off your. Sit up in bed at night and review the day, lessons you learned, letting the experiences go, drawing your energy back to yourself to prepare for sleep and a new day.
I have lots of online guided meditations here!
My suggestion is to not overwhelm yourself, choose one of these practices and try doing it every day for a consecutive 30 days and notice how you feel. Eventually, maybe they all become part of your toolbox. To start however, have consistency and determination with just one. This will also train your will power and prove to yourself your ability to shift and change at will!
Let me know how it goes!