Stress is prevalent in our modern fast-paced world. From work deadlines to money issues, you've got lots of things on your plate and tons of reasons to worry. You know you need to get a handle on all these anxious thoughts because they're unproductive. Constant stress can lead to poor decision making, physical health problems, emotional turmoil, loss of sleep and a host of other problems. So how can you manage the overwhelm? Beyond seeing a therapist or simply trying to muddle through, you can actually benefit a great deal by cultivating your spirituality by engaging in meditation, yoga or even prayer to deal with these feelings that threaten to overtake you. Read on to discover how to combat the negative effects of stress through spiritual practices and meditation.
How Spirituality Lowers Stress
Spirituality, or your pursuit of a higher purpose, can enhance your well-being, particularly by lowering your stress levels. This is accomplished in various ways. Taking up spiritual activities helps you to feel connected to something beyond yourself, giving you a sense of belonging in the world. This can lead you to feel less lonely and like you have to take on every difficulty on your own. Spiritual pursuits can also provide you with insights into your greater purpose and give you an understanding of what you want out of life. Having a glimpse into the bigger picture allows you to feel more at peace. Your spiritual journey will more than likely lead you to a support network you may not have had before. Whether it's a formal church group or simply convening with nature, this connection to those outside yourself is liberating.
How to Become More Spiritual
If you're new to the idea of discovering your spiritual path, you may not be sure how to get started. There's a lot of self-discovery involved in this journey. Let's look at just a few ways you can get moving in the right direction. Once you begin, you'll find the momentum will push you toward broadening your spiritual horizons. Start by asking yourself some questions and follow where your answers take you. Consider your values and what's most important to you. Delve deeper to identify what it is you really want out of your life. This goes beyond the material things. Think about the kinds of relationships you desire, what you want to do in terms of vocation and the ways in which you enjoy spending your free time. What makes you feel hopeful and joyful? Conjure a memory of a time you felt pride. Start taking notes and see if you notice a pattern. The answers to these questions might just paint a picture of the types of spiritual pursuits that will make your soul sing.
Ways to Reduce Stress Through Spiritual Practice
There are so many ways to incorporate spirituality into your life that can lower your stress levels at the same time. The key is choosing activities that are most meaningful to you and that will lead to the highest sense of fulfillment. Some practices we've already spoken of include meditation and yoga. These physical acts involve strengthening the body and focusing the mind in order to gain an appreciation for the present moment and to feel more in control of your own circumstances. Prayer is another spiritual tool that can help you to obtain a stronger sense of inner-peace. You don't have to belong to a formal religion in order to pray. Simply stating a desired intent with meaning and sending it out to the Universe or to whatever greater source you believe in will do. There are hosts of other ways you can become closer to your higher self, such as getting out into nature, exercising, spending time with animals, reading, journaling or engaging in fellowship with friends.
Your spiritual path can connect you to so many outlets for stress reduction. The opportunities are practically endless, as you'll see once you begin to create your own practice. You'll notice your stress levels decreasing before you know it.