Spirituality and faith, although highly personal and often private, play a significant role in the health of many people.
That’s why it’s an area of focus on the Wheel of Health. Spirituality is at the core of a person’s being.
In what do you find purpose and meaning? In what do you find strength? Where do you find comfort, and hope?
Nearly half of Americans describe themselves as religious and spiritual, according to a recent study by the Pew Research Group. Another 27 percent say they are spiritual but not religious. Eighteen percent say they are neither spiritual nor religious, and only 6 percent describe themselves as religious but not spiritual.
Some people have a religious affiliation, and others practice spiritual disciplines such as prayer or meditation. And others find solace or strength in nature or the arts.
But in addition to spirituality being central to one’s being, it’s also healing. Faith and spiritual practices such as prayer provide solace and peace in the face of adversity, illness, suffering or death.
Dr. Harold Koenig, director of Duke University’s Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health, noticed decades ago as a family physician that religious beliefs were important to many of his patients. Since then, he’s built a career around exploring the connection between faith and health.
Connecting your Spirituality and Health
No matter our own personal beliefs, we each can explore the relationship between our spirituality and our health.
Ask yourself these questions and perhaps record them in a journal:
- What does spirituality or faith mean to you?
- In the past, when faced with little hope or motivation, what’s given you strength?
- What gives you a sense of inner peace, comfort, love and connection?
- Which of your activities support you spiritually, and to which would you like to devote more time?
- How is your spirituality connected to other areas of your health and well-being?
My own personal faith has been important in my journey to better self-care, and is part of what drives me to take better care of myself. I’d love to hear your story, if you’d like to comment below or send me a note.
Welcome! I’m Amy, an integrative health coach, offering grace and space for a healthier you. This article is Step 27 in the “31 Steps to a Healthier You” series. You can access all posts in the series here. And I hope you’ll want to stick around for a while. If so, please subscribe at this link so you’ll get updates.