Spiritual awareness is an expansive process of living each day, at work and at home, in alignment with a sense of purpose and deeply held values. While spiritual wellness may involve engaging in religious practice, doing so is not required to achieve wellness.
Habits for Spiritual Wellness
- Define (or Redefine) Your Core Values. Defining your values gives you a framework to live by - and it's important to revisit them from time to time to see if they've changed. This will allow you to live authentically by honoring your true self. Explore identifying your core values here.
- Meditation has been practiced by leaders of all major religions and non-religious people alike. Meditation is the process of being fully here, with all concentration focused on the now. By living in the present and letting go of the past and not worrying about the future, we can achieve the inner peace that we strive- mitigating worry, alleviating stress, finding forgiveness and achieving clarity in our purpose. The Headspace App provides a simple non-religious guide to meditation that many have found invaluable. It is available at the App Store or Google Play.
- Yoga is a physical technique that can help improve your spiritual wellness by reducing emotional and physical strains on your mind and body. Yoga is taught at all levels and can help lower stress, boost the immune system and lower blood pressure as well as reduce anxiety, depression, fatigue, and insomnia. Search for a local yoga studio near you (Google Search), or download apps such as Yoga Studio.
- Travel can allow us to temporarily leave our day-to-day obligations in order to obtain perspective, contemplate deeper questions, reflect on our experiences and obtain rest. National Geographic Expeditions offers some of the most interesting travel information in the world, though a trip to your local state park can sometimes even be more enlightening (Google search 'my local state parks')!
- Volunteering can provide for a healthy spiritual life. Like bathing, serving others through volunteering is best repeated frequently. Search for a local rescue mission or food pantry, or explore initiatives which support the horse such as World Vets, Equitarian Initiative, Veterinarians Without Borders, AAEP Foundation projects, Texas Equitarian Project, and FullBucket's "Get Plugged In."
- Mentoring - whether as a professional mentor or personal mentor - is a beneficial spirit builder as you are helping others achieve their dreams. Community mentoring programs such as 4-H and Big Brothers/Big Brothers or mentoring opportunities through professional organizations or colleges of veterinary medicine can provide meaningful connections.
- Gratitude Journal. Gratitude activates parts of our brain related to the release of dopamine, a transmitter typically associated with feelings of happiness. When writing in a gratitude journal, the dopamine cycle kicks in. The more you note things to be grateful about, the more your brain responds in positive ways.