5 Spiritual Practices That Can Increase Well-Being
Spirituality is slowly but surely crawling out from under the yolk of religious practices and reaching a more mainstream audience. People are looking for spirituality in whatever form they please to now, instead of just copying some type of spirituality that was written in a book at one point. It’s led to a huge exponential increase of techniques and theories about how we can center our minds and bodies effectively in a society that is growing increasingly busier and more stressful.
While this sadly comes with the disadvantage that a lot of those practices are solidly in the realm of pseudoscience, we can at least identify a few that have been tried and true for decades and can help you increase your well-being on a metaphysical level. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular ones! Don’t worry, you won’t have to do any weird stuff.
Meditation shifts the focus from the outside world to the inside world. Most forms of meditation involve some sort of focusing on your breathing and reaching a point where you can single out one or a few stimuli so you can allow them to completely take over your mind. Those stimuli can be everything from light coming through the windows, a bird tweeting in the distance, or even something that isn’t tangible, like the warmth of caring for a loved one. You’re pretty much free to do that as you please, as long as you keep your attention focused on one specific thing.
Being in awe is basically a more specific form of mindfulness. You’re not just being mindful of things, you’re actively looking for things to be in awe of. “Awe walks” are a relatively new thing, where you go on short walks through nature or wherever and look for something to basically completely sweep you off your feet. It could be just the dancing movements a floating leaf makes in the wind or the way the sun lights up the sky as it’s going under – as long as it’s something that genuinely makes you feel in awe.
While a lot of techniques for increasing your well-being focus on being more mindful of the positives in life, this one does the exact opposite. Forgiveness is all about letting go of negative emotions and negative energy. A specific practice for this called REACH deals with recalling what someone did to you, feeling empathy for their position, being altruistic, choosing to forgive, and holding on to this decision as difficult feelings resurface in the future. The short version of this is more akin to “just move on and deal with it.”
Being compassionate means suffering together with someone. If we can share our burden, it’s much less of a hassle to get through life. And if you’re compassionate toward other people, they’ll often respond in kind and help carry some of your burdens as well. A good way to practice compassion is to begin thinking of people and, one by one, wish them something good, slowly moving on to people we don’t know at all or even people we despise and feel contempt for. Turning these emotions around will put less strain on your system and allow you to walk through life a lot lighter.
We have to be grateful for everything life throws at us. Otherwise, what’s the use? The easiest way to actively be grateful is to end every day with “three good things.” You simply write down three things each day that you’re grateful for, and they can be as small or as big as you want. You could be grateful that your commute to work went smoothly, and be grateful for loved ones, but you can also be grateful for the struggles you dealt with that day that helped you grow as a person. Like with all things spiritual, it’s up to you how far you want to go with this.