The Health Benefits of Spirituality
Are you missing the vital component of spirituality as you strive to maintain health and well-being?
Health is not simply the absence of disease. Although a healthy diet, physical fitness and tending to mental health issues all contribute to healthy living, health and well-being are accomplished through a harmonious balance of mind, body and spirit — the physical, mental/emotional and spiritual aspects of the human experience.
As a hypnotherapist, I often ask my clients what their higher resource or higher power is. Many cite a religion (although a fair number of them confess that they haven’t been to church in years and are questioning the whole concept).
Some practice meditation or prayer daily — connecting to God, universe, source, or higher power. Some consider Nature their higher energy source. Others believe in a loving universal energy. Some report that they don’t believe in any higher power or resource. There is no right or wrong answer to the question; it simply allows me to stay within the worldview of my client as we work together.
But over the years, I’ve noticed that clients who lack a solid spiritual foundation tend to struggle the most in life. They often feel disconnected from others, experience more anxiety and/or depression, and have one or more serious health issues. They have difficulty believing in themselves, have relationship issues, and struggle to find meaning or purpose in their life.
Could spirituality — this often-overlooked aspect of the human experience — be what’s missing in striving for health and well-being?
Spirituality consists of beliefs, practices and deeply-held values. It centers around a belief in something greater than oneself, and connection to all that exists in the universe. It incorporates gratitude, love, forgiveness and compassion as a way of life.
Spiritual beliefs and attitudes often start within the childhood home and may be influenced by family, friends, the education process, media, etc. Although instilled at an early age, spiritual development and growth can take place at any time during one’s life.
A spiritual journey can be launched amidst personal crisis, including serious illness, trauma, major life disruptions or simply a strong desire to delve into the depths of the question, “Who am I, really?”
Bringing spirituality back to the forefront has many health benefits, including:
- Sense of Belonging: Those with common spiritual beliefs and practices tend to form community bonds, which often include emotional and spiritual support. Spirituality also emphasizes a connectedness to others and a sense of belonging to something greater than ourselves. This support and sense of belonging contributes to overall health and well-being.
- Improved Physical Health: Spiritual practices can include spiritual services, meditation, prayer, mindfulness and even yoga. The physical health benefits include reduced stress, a stronger immune system, longevity, and feelings of overall well-being. This can lead to healthier self-care practices, habits and behaviors.
- Improved Mental and Emotional Health: Individuals who have spiritual beliefs and practices experience more inner peace and contentment. This, of course, leads to a brighter outlook in life, and reduces instances of depression or anxiety. With a focus on love, gratitude, forgiveness, and compassion, spirituality can lead to greater levels of understanding, happiness and joy.
- Insight into Meaning and Purpose of Life: Embarking on a spiritual journey can help an individual delve into the deepest questions of existence. It can promote self-reflection and self-awareness, leading to a deeper meaning of one’s life, and their purpose and place within it. This deeper understanding can lead to greater satisfaction and fulfillment.
- Overcoming Life’s Challenges: Spirituality can provide a solid foundation for meeting (and coping with) life’s challenges. Spiritual beliefs and practices can support an individual in processing trauma, emotional stress, and other major life disruptions. Meditation and prayer involving a higher resource can provide hope, strength and resilience in times of trouble. In addition, a spiritual community can provide support, comfort and reassurance.
- Improved Relationships: Spirituality fosters a deeper understanding of self and of others, which leads to a greater sense of compassion and empathy. This naturally promotes healthy communication and strengthens the foundation of relationships.
I’m certified in multiple areas of hypnotherapy, including transpersonal hypnotherapy. Transpersonal hypnotherapy combines traditional hypnotherapy techniques with spiritual concepts and principles. I help clients reach deeper levels of consciousness so they may explore their own spirituality, find deeper meaning and understanding, and explore other unexplored areas of their life more fully.
The importance of connecting with one’s spiritual essence is often overlooked, but re-connecting with it can provide more balance and harmony in one’s life, contributing to greater health and happiness. Promoting gratitude, love, understanding, compassion for self and others, forgiveness and acceptance are all at the core of my practice, and I’m grateful for every opportunity to provide support for my clients’ mind, body and spiritual needs.
When all three aspects of the human experience — mind, body and spirit — are in balance and working in harmony, it leads to optimum health and well-being.
Lori Burke, CCHt, CIHt, CTHt
Certified clinical & interpersonal hypnotherapist
Meet Our Thought Leader
Certified clinical, interpersonal and transpersonal hypnotherapist Lori Burke CCHt, CIHt, CTHt helps clients get to the root cause of their issues and resolve them. After a career as a software engineer at Kennedy Space Center, her ever-increasing interest in the mind-body connection and hypnosis led her to a career in hypnotherapy. Her practice is in Viera.
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