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Florida Conference of Seventh Day Adventists

Boosting your Spiritual Health

When we talk about healthy living, the first things that come to mind are exercising, eating and sleeping well, and accomplishing the goals on your fitness tracker. While being in good physical condition may be our main focus when it comes to healthy living, eating right and exercising every day won’t make you healthy. It may make you look and feel healthier, but it’s not the whole picture. According to Dr. Bill Hettler, co-founder of the National Wellness Institute, there are six dimensions of wellness. Dr. Hettler argues that food and exercise only scratch the surface when it comes to healthy living [1].

According to a 2019 Gallop poll, 54 percent of Americans surveyed said they were “very satisfied” with their personal health, and 33 percent more were “somewhat satisfied.” This may seem like great news, yet one thing missing from this statistic is the meaning of personal health for a typical American. Your health is not just a number on a scale or freedom from illness. Health is a dynamic state of complete physical, mental, spiritual, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” [2].

Many people do not think of spiritual health when discussing healthy living. Spiritual health is the state of well-being that determines how we experience meaning, purpose, and hope in our life through connection with God, self, and others. When was the last time you assessed your spiritual health? You have most likely evaluated your physical and emotional dimensions, but perhaps not your spiritual dimension.

The shocking truth is that many studies show that spiritual health unites our physical, mental, and social dimensions. In other words, your spiritual health should be the focus, the most significant aspect of your health.

Benefits of Spiritual Health

A large number of systematic reviews present that spiritual health can contribute to positive health outcomes. Spiritual health improves physical well-being and quality of life. For example, research conducted on patients with asymptomatic heart failure in 2009 indicated that spiritual health is positively related to better mental health. Another study showed that spiritual health influenced the regulation of depression and anxiety in patients with spinal cord injuries [3].

According to the Center for Lifestyle Medicine and Wellness Care, having a healthy spiritual life can help:

• Regulate blood pressure and, therefore, lower the risk of heart disease • Strengthen the immune system • Regulate blood sugar levels • Sustain concentration, memory, and cognition • Physiologically control the secretion of some hormones, which improve blood supply and other metabolic activities in the body. This process also helps individuals experience an elevated mood with joy, happiness, and feelings of overall wellness [4].

7 Ways to Boost Your Spiritual Health

Practice self-awareness. Take a few moments to check in with yourself. Our tendency is to check in with others or check our schedule to meet our next deadline, but there is no transformation without self-awareness. Be intentional. Ask yourself, for example, these questions: What are my biggest priorities? What gives my life purpose? Am I pleasing God or myself? (Psalm 32:5)

Be vulnerable. Vulnerability is taking the risk to expose yourself emotionally to God, yourself, and others you can trust. It is painful and full of uncertainties, but there is no other path to growth and transformation. (1 Corinthians 2:3-4)

Pray and meditate. Developing the spiritual practice of prayer and meditation will improve your spiritual health. There is power in a prayerful life. (Mark 11:24)

Feed your soul with the Word of God. The more time we spend reading and listening to the Word of God, the better prepared we are to tackle all the storms we face in life. (2 Peter 1:4) Worship. Since you were created to worship God, your soul will never rest until you find a worship connection with your creator. Failure to worship leads to isolation and a self-centered life. (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Become a disciple of Jesus. Your call is to be a disciple of Jesus and continue His work here on Earth. When you serve and connect with others as Jesus did, you enter into the realm of servanthood. Once you begin to fulfill your purpose, your life will never be the same. (1 Peter 4:10)

Be accountable to someone. An accountable partner will help you stay on track with your spiritual goals and take your spiritual health to a new level. (Proverbs 27:17)

[1] https://nationalwellness.org/resources/six-dimensions-of-wellness/
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3263147/
[3] Hsiao YC, Chien LY, Wu LY, Chiang CM, Huang SY. Spiritual health, clinical practice stress, depressive tendency and health-promoting behaviours among nursing students. J Adv Nurs. 2010;66(7):1612–22.
[4] Center for Lifestyle Medicine and Wellness Care