How often do you take into account your inner self, when focusing on your health?
By this I mean- your thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams, your character and your relationship with your spirit.
Your outer self tends to take most of the attention, which consists of the things you do, what you eat, things you own, and how you look…but it is only a tiny fraction of your life!
So much more takes place as part of your inner self. Your outer self is an overflow of your inner self.
As an Integrative Medicine doctor, I holistically approach your health by considering your mind, body and spirit. Asking this question is a little like if I were to take your blood pressure first thing when you arrive at my clinic – it allows me to very quickly get a sense of your spiritual health.
This is an important question because emotional and spiritual dimensions of chronic disease are often overlooked when medical care is considered. Yet, patients may need to adjust their lifestyles, aspirations, and even employment! There is sometimes a level of grieving that takes place about these changes before patients adjust to them.
And research supports a focus on spiritual health by finding that people with better spiritual health are more likely to select a lifestyle that enhances their health. THIS is important to your healing and recovery from chronic disease.
Making time to nourish your spirit can benefit your health and overall wellness.
As a basis for overcoming the hardships accompanying chronic disease, developing your spiritual health can help you form positive behaviors, provide meaning and purpose. While on your wellness journey, you can experience healing through acceptance of your illness, the changes you must adapt to, and finding peace in your life. This type of work is innately spiritual.
For example, when you are hungry, your stomach growls and similarly, your spirit has its own way of showing you its hunger. When you are impatient with a co-worker or a cashier at a store, when you find yourself often giving up on your goals, or when you find yourself constantly stressed out and angry…your spirit is asking for attention.
Why Spiritual Health is Necessary to Consider
Achievements in the field of medicine today are remarkable on the physical level. There is the ability to replace damaged organs in the human body, fix broken bones, and provide sophisticated tools and ways of treating disease. Yet, it is reported that Americans are living shorter lives, experiencing more injuries and illnesses than people in other high-income countries!
The pressure from the fast pace of our modern world, high levels of aspirations, and feelings of loneliness and anxiety have too often become a way of life. A stressed-out lifestyle is a major contributing factor for developing chronic disease. It affects your time management, the food choices you make, the time you allot for exercise, social support and for self-care. When stress takes precedent, your health takes a backseat. Your desires to succeed in your goals will be amplified by committing to the work that will help you successfully get there.
Integrative Functional Medicine recognizes that disease and illness persist when lifestyles do not reflect the values of health in all aspects of your body, mind and spirit. According to numerous studies conducted with various patients; spiritual health leads to improved mental health and is positively related to physical health in that it may help patients experience less pain.
Get into the habit of making time for self-care and it will encourage you to focus on your inner self. The more you pay attention to your spiritual health; you will be more attuned to your spiritual needs. By developing clarity around this, you will discover yourself playing an active role in improving your well-being. You may feel yourself more passionate and mission-driven in your everyday decisions that affect your health. You will be more committed in your pursuit of healing than ever!
If you want to discover the 3 most important principles of nourishing your spiritual health that I’ve taught to hundreds of patients who’ve achieved great healing, check out these tips below.
Three Ways to Enhance Your Spiritual Health
As your values, beliefs, opinions, and purpose are all involved in what creates spiritual health, know that it can be achieved in many ways, both mentally and physically. Underlining factors of influence may be your connection to your God(s), yourself, others, and nature. If trying to schedule time in every day is overwhelming, start with one hour per week devoting as much of your full consciousness as possible, to one of these practices:
Journaling can help you rise from past events and negative feelings. When you disclose stressful events, it transfers repressed thoughts from your unconscious mind to the conscious level at which you can more easily organize and control. This transfer can help lower stress and inflammation that can lead to disease. It can also allow the mind to interpret the information and unlock emotions that can stimulate positive results.
Why & How does this tap into boosting your spiritual health?
This stems from being in a state of ‘flow’. Flow is when you are in a pleasurable experiential state which occurs during full-capacity engagement when performing at a level that is matched with the demands of the task you set out to do. It slows down your heart rate, eases anxiety, and boosts your mood. It also helps to boost your immune system, improve your mental health, and neuroplasticity of your brain. Whatever creative repetitive motion you choose, all tasks that create a result, floods your brain with dopamine, the feel-good hormone. Over time, because of the valuable dopamine gained, it will influence you to continue to do similar creative tasks.
Spend some time outside in quiet meditation on a nice patch of bare ground. Some observed effects of ‘earthing’ as it is otherwise called, found that it reduces pain, inflammation and stress. It has also been found to improve sleep, depression, your aging process, heart rate variability, and wound healing.
This happens when your skin’s collagen and other structural proteins produce vital electrons by semiconducting with the Earth’s vast set of electrons-creating an electronic circuit of healing! This electric nutrition system is capable of absorbing and sending electrons wherever they are needed to support your immune system functions.
Meditation has been reported to strengthen the parts of your brain that maintain cognition and store memory. Research has also been found to shrink an area of the brain where emotions of fear, stress and anxiety are help. What’s more is that meditating helps regulate essential functions such as sleep, sensory perceptions and helps release you from stressful feelings and furthers your ability to expand your consciousness. Whether you choose to meditate or pray, whatever helps you quiet the anxious chatter in your mind, can help you relax and reveal new possibilities and ideas to your spirit and life.
With this combination of practices, you’re going to find these tips remarkably beneficial.
To Your Health,
Kiran Grewal MD
"My goal is to share my knowledge with the world. I believe in delivering valuable and ethical content that changes the lives of my patients." -Kiran Grewal MD