It’s all in your mind. Or is it in your body? Or both? The interconnections between mind and body are the basis for many types of alternative health practices. Spirituality is believing in a source of value that transcends the boundaries of the self but also nurtures the self. Mind-body medicine builds on spirituality, encouraging methods for improving the body by altering the mind. Does your client believe that spirituality can improve their physical health?
Most people have a personal perception of spirituality. For some clients, having a spiritual connection will provide motivation and direction in their lives, while enabling them to grow, learn, and face new challenges. Spiritual wellness includes developing a strong sense of values, ethics, and morals. It overlaps with the emotional component of wellness overall. Spirituality does not necessarily adhere to particular religious structure in one form or another, but is gaining favor among health care providers as a treatment strategy. While numerous studies on a range of health conditions are ongoing, including links to alcoholism and even drug use, they have produced mixed results so far. The growing interest in the spirituality and health connections is revealing a lot for us to ponder.
Spirituality is the way you find meaning, hope, comfort and inner peace in your life. Many people find spirituality through religion. Some find it through music, art or a connection with nature. Others find it in their values and principles.
Spirituality and health is, in essence, to also look beyond the physical body. In the ancient systems of medicine and healing, mind, body and soul were seen as interconnected and non-separable. Spirituality and health were not seen as separated but closely connected. When one part of the whole was stimulated, it also affected the other parts of the body as overall.
Health in a spiritual perspective concerns physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of our being. This is an approach where spirituality and health are seen as two sides of the same coin, as holistic by nature, and looks at the whole being to understand and correct that which is not in balance.
For some, a major part of life is our spiritual beliefs and health or contentment in that area. Fulfillment in your spiritual health can contribute to leading a satisfying and successful life. Factors involved in having a satisfying spiritual health are that you should be forgiving, be grateful, and be at peace with yourself.
Questions you may want to know from the client include:
- What does forgiving do for me?
- What is there to be grateful for?
- How can you be at peace with yourself?
How is spirituality related to health? No one re- ally knows for sure. However, there seems to be a growing acceptance in the belief that the body, mind and spirit are connected. The health of any one of these elements seems to affect the health of the others.
Some research shows that things such as positive beliefs, comfort and strength gained from religion, meditation and prayer can contribute to healing and a sense of well-being. Improving spiritual health may not cure an illness, but it may help us feel better, prevent some health problems and help us cope with illness or death.
How can your client work to improve their spiritual health? If you are looking for ways to coach your client to improve the spiritual component to their whole-self, it is good to remember that everyone is different, so what works for others may not work for your client. Encourage the client to recognize spirituality for what is comfortable to them.
Other strategies to help enhance spirituality include promoting forgiving behaviors. Your client has to be able to forgive others in order to be able to forgive themselves. Forgiveness frees us from hate, forces us to examine our motives and demands that we give up the need to be always right. When we hold back forgiveness, we also let things eat away in our heart. This cannot only affect your client’s spiritual health, but it can also be detrimental to their physical and emotional well-being.