Resistance training, running, pilates and yoga. You’re likely familiar with the many ways to strengthen and exercise your physical body. And you’ve probably heard about the benefits of exercise: release of endorphins, strengthening your heart, lower risk for obesity and diabetes, muscle gain, etc. The list goes on and on—because exercise is just that important.But have you heard about the various kinds of exercise for your soul? You are not just a physical body. You are a spiritual being. Exercising your body and strengthening your spirit is equally valuable to your overall wellness.
What is Spiritual Exercise?
Much like physical exercise, daily spiritual strengthening yields many benefits. Spiritual exercise –regularly engaging in practices that nourish and stretch your soul – brings greater resiliency, deeper self-love, and a sense of calming inner peace. Much like when we experience the release of endorphins from physical exercise, spiritual exercise invites a happiness into our lives we won’t find anywhere else. “Happiness” found in the world will never equate to the joy of being spiritually healthy.To maintain spiritual wellness, you’ll need to experience a variety of spiritual exercises. You wouldn’t want to wear out your physical core and only engage in ab workouts every day. That would be incredibly painful—and more harmful to your body than helpful. Similarly, solely focusing on one area of spirituality will exhaust your soul rather than energize it.Check out this list of spiritual practices and evaluate where you could improve your exercise routine.
Areas of Spiritual Exercise
Heart Exercises:•Daily, reach out in a gesture of kindness to someone around you•Create and recite mantras that reflect self-love and admiration. Say these to yourself in the mirror every morning and before you go to bed.•Write down ways you felt God’s love throughout your dayStrength Exercises:•Try out a guided meditation to keep your body relaxed and mind peaceful when you face something frustrating or challenging. Why not start with this 3-minute guided meditation to help you learn to hear your inner voice?
•Study from spiritual text to strengthen your conviction. Then if you are faced with a choice to engage in something that invites negative energy, you’ll have the courage and strength to say “no.”•Start your day with your favorite exercise. This will breathe new energy into your soul and motivate you to make it a great day.Inner Light Exercises:•Take a walk outside, taking note of everything you are grateful for. A grateful mindset shines through in your attitude and mannerisms.•Start your day with prayer. As you connect with your higher power, you gain more light and peace from the universe.•Surround yourself with positive people. Your inner light with be ignited as you spend time with others focusing on their spirituality.
Set Your Wellness Goals
Before you set any goals, create your vision. Dig deep and understand the purpose behind wanting to make these improvements. Discover your “why”—it will be the motivating drive to continue working on your wellness goals. Write this down somewhere and put it where you will see it every day.You’ll want to see your “why” daily so you can move forward with your plans. Author and Lecturer Joel A. Barker taught the importance of having a vision with plans to attain it: “Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.” Recognize the power you have within you as you make plans and set goals to become spiritually healthy.Setting a spiritual wellness goal is like any other aspiration. Remember to use the S.M.A.R.T guidelines so you don’t set yourself up for failure. Small and simple changes will help you become spiritually healthy.
Consistency, Consistency, Consistency
Just like any exercise routine, consistency is the best way to see long-term change. Five minutes of meditation a day will invite a foundation of peace as you tackle your to-do list. A daily walk in nature will energize and refresh your mind, body, and soul. A simple, thankful journal entry will transform your thoughts and help create a lasting gratitude mindset. Remember, small and simple changes. Consistently.You are on your own unique spiritual journey with the gift to choose. But choosing spiritual wellness will make your journey through life more beautiful in every way. You’ll experience connection with your higher power, invaluable relationships with others, and a sense of identity and belonging. Choose consistency and welcome the benefits of being spiritually healthy.