brown wooden blocks on white surface

What happens if we stop looking inward…stop trying to do or become what’s in our greatest personal potential to be? You don’t have to become what others want you to be, but denying yourself the possibility of growing your best, most authentic self limits your potential.

Without personal spirituality, we lose purpose and perspective. Our focus disappears, and life becomes dull and meaningless. This is because we need the connectedness that comes from holding a belief in something intangible. There is comfort to be found in your personal spiritual journey, and as you explore the mysteries of how you’re connected with the universe, you find awe.

The benefits go further than this though. Personal spirituality holds more profound importance in how it affects our health and well-being.

woman in white tank top sitting on green grass field during daytimePersonal Spirituality is Good for Your Overall Health

Studies have shown that the meditative journey – one that carves out time for silence, for contemplation, for deep thought – reduces stress, and who couldn’t use more of that in our crazy-busy world? Did you also know it also improves your concentration, boosts your immune system, and positively affects how you process pain? In addition, the very act of meditation will increase brain density, which helps to protect you from dementia later in life.

If you don’t currently meditate, or want to renew or refresh your meditation practice, check out our Meditation resource index HERE.

Personal Spirituality Enhances Your Ability to Soothe and Calm Yourself

When you believe in something outside of yourself, or even when you believe in the power of yourself, you’ll find an inner calm and tranquility that you might be missing otherwise. This can provide a strong and necessary sense of and ability to comfort yourself, especially when coupled with the idea that there is something bigger and more powerful than you who has your best interests at heart.

Stress-inducing episodes happen throughout our lives – the morning or evening commute, projects at work or in business that demand more and more of our time, being unable to escape the ding of instant messages or the ring of a cell phone with an urgent message – your ability to soothe and calm yourself is not just a nice-to-have skill, it’s essential to promoting good personal health mentally, physically as well as spiritually.

Personal Spirituality Leads to Communitygroup of people sitting on bench near trees duting daytime

Those who practice personal spirituality in communion with others, such as by going to a physical location like a church or mosque, or in practicing in a meditation or yoga group online on Zoom, grow connections with others who share a like mind, or curiosity about a similar path. You’ll experience less isolation and develop deeper bonds with those around you and with the divine, however you define it.

There are a multitude of methods to find and connect with others who share your interests in spiritual activities and who may provide additional inspiration along your path. We’ve all heard the expression “No person is an island” and nowhere is it truer than in our current society. Solo practice has its benefits, for sure, but practicing with a group of like-minded and positive people can help you to see more clearly, find commitment to your spiritual practices, and answer questions that will help supercharge your personal spiritual development.

Personal Spirituality Gets You Through the Hard Stuff

This is where the rubber truly meets the road. When tough times come, having a consistent and strong personal spiritual practice will empower you to find meaning in hardships. Finding meaning doesn’t mean challenges will evaporate away, but the foundation of your spiritual practice can help you learn additional coping mechanisms. Building spiritual strength gives you reserves for dealing with events that stress your boundaries and your spirit.

This also means those with even a simple belief system are better able to find purpose and push onwards, even when things look grim. Your personal spirituality doesn’t have to be complicated or require years to implement – a clear and understandable practice that fits into your current lifestyle and schedule is one that you’ll likely stick to. Adjustments to your schedule, purpose and practice can happen as you gain experience and confidence in your ability within your practice. If you are alive, you can continue to grow and deepen your practice.

Personal Spirituality Influences the Choices We Make

two yellow and red wooden doorsMany times, there are rules and guidelines regarding behavior when you practice personal spirituality that are designed to keep you from doing overt harm to your body, mind, or spirit. For example, having regulations about eating or drinking lead to a better quality of life and a better overall experience. We’re less likely to commit crimes or drink to excess when we follow those kinds of rules and regulations throughout our lives.

In treating ourselves better, we experience less stress and feel better physically and mentally. A body that is fed healthy food will handle the physical demands of life much better than one that is neglected. If your personal spiritual practice encourages sitting for moderate to longer periods of time, a flexible and strong body will accomplish that activity (or the lack thereof) more easily. A clear, focused mind is harder to achieve when you’re over-tired or stressed – your personal spiritual practice can help you achieve calm while encouraging the rest our bodies need.

Personal Spirituality Positively Impacts Our Relationships

In every spiritual practice, you are encouraged to treat people with kindness, whether they are intimately involved in your life, or just a friend you see at work every day. Treating others with concern and extending to them the same consideration you would want for yourself is a great way to encourage the return of those positive feelings toward you. You can deepen friendships and create friends of acquaintances by treating people the way you would want to be treated.

You can become an asset to your profession or business by allowing the positive qualities encouraged in your personal spiritual practice to shine through your interactions with others. This includes letting go of negativity – notice how your positive attitude and flexibility affects those around you, encouraging them to do and be the same. When you consistently practice forgiveness, of yourself and of others, it shows. Others will realize that they can come to you with challenging news or situations, and you’ll be able to help them work through the challenge or create a solution. Those qualities are rare and prized, and they will make you more valuable throughout your life.

Personal Spirituality Helps You Live Longerpink flower on white background

While the jury is still out on exactly how this works, it’s been proven that people with a robust spiritual life – regardless of what they believe -live up to 18% longer than those who do not practice personal spirituality. Having a practice that encourages you to look beyond yourself and seek to benefit others – within your personal circle or in the wider world – makes you a better person and encourages you to reach your personal potential.

Imagine if everyone had a personal spiritual practice that encouraged them to not just think better of their fellow human beings, but also empowered them to act in ways that spurred growth and development in others. A personal spiritual practice can do this – by helping you to see the best in yourself and sharing it with others, and by helping you to encourage others to show and do their best. Those actions and encouragement will lower everyone’s stress levels and boost their confidence and happiness – extending their lives and their happiness.

With all these benefits, you can clearly see why personal spirituality is so important. Therefore, it’s so crucial for any journey toward self-improvement to include a component of belief that encourages contemplation, and an active component of manifesting your beliefs in action. There’s just too much you can miss without having a defined sense of personal spirituality.

Looking for more ideas on how to develop your personal spirituality? Check out my Spirituality resource page HERE.

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About the Author Dianne Daniels

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and currently residing in Norwich, Connecticut, Dianne M. Daniels' mission is to empower women 50+ to Amplify their Self-Confidence, Deepen their Self-Knowledge, Inspire Creativity, and Glide into the next phase of their lives with the Power of Journaling, Affirmations, and Assessments.

You can learn how to use these time-tested, proven practices to create and manifest the life you want (and deserve) to live.

Dianne is an ordained Unitarian Universalist Minister with a Master of Divinity degree from Starr King School for the Ministry. She's an avid reader, a lover of old houses (she renovated an 1850s vintage Greek Revival home with her family) and has been journaling since the age of 9.

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