If you to improve your overall wellness, you need to enhance and harmonize body, mind and spirit. Learning how to improve spiritual health is more important than you think. Come and see why you need to include spiritual exercises in your wellness routine.
Our spiritual wellness is something we often overlook, yet it has a major impact on our mental and physical health. Many ancient cultures understood the connection among these three elements of the self and why a holistic approach to wellness is important.
What Affects Spiritual Health?
Our spiritual, mental, and physical health are all intertwined. If you affect one, you affect the others. We often overlook the spiritual aspect of wellness because our culture tells us our religious beliefs don’t matter. This isn’t true. What we believe affects our lives and everyone in our circle of influence.
The link between mind, body, and spirit are fact. There are scientific studies showing how all three aspects are interrelated. (1) If you affect one, it affects the others. Any chemical imbalance causes problems. When the body experiences pain, it affects the mind and spirit.
What affects spiritual health? We are consciousness. It means everything which affects consciousness affects the health of our spiritual nature.
We can affect our consciousness in several ways, such as by taking drugs or by using mental techniques like Japa meditation. We can concentrate on thinking positive thoughts. (2) Positive thinking can improve our mental state immediately, and genuine laughter is one of the best ways to boost your attitude.
Positive thinking works in the short term, but we need something that will make permanent changes in our thinking patterns. One way to influence long-term positive change is by improving the health of the main energy conduit running through the spine. Traditional Indian medicine calls these centers chakras. Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning wheel or circle.
Our spiritual well-being affects our physical and mental health. Our spiritual mindset is the product of the programming which guides our thinking. If we change our programming, we change our thinking. A positive attitude makes all the difference in healing mind, body, and soul. Conversely, a healthy body also affects our mind and spirit. So, if you want to know how to improve spiritual health, you also need to look at your diet and exercise.
The healing process begins by first making an accurate diagnosis of the problems and which includes identifying the root cause. You cannot fix a health issue unless you know what the problem is. Then you can apply the proper remedy to fix the issue. You can do this.
To diagnose the issues, we need to understand the causes of the problems. Most people fail to account for the fact that we are spiritual beings when trying to understand the root cause. They only address the physical.
Much of our culture glorifies the self and promotes an unhealthy mindset. It isn’t an accident. Unhealthy beliefs make us even more susceptible to manipulation. Unscrupulous people can capitalize on this weakness for control and profit.
Diagnosing Your Spiritual Health
We can measure the electric current of our bodies, and the main energy conduit which runs along the spine. Unfortunately, we do not have a device that can measure the health of our thoughts, but we can measure the results of harmful beliefs and actions.
Harmful thought scripts are not that hard to spot, because unhealthy thought scripts promote violence, sectarianism, racial, ethnic, gender, and discrimination. If you have the courage to eliminate these harmful beliefs from your mind, then you will be on your way to spiritual freedom. Where do you start?
If you want to know what affects spiritual health more than anything else is sectarianism. Stop supporting organized religion. These systems are the main source of the negative programming in the culture. Remove these harmful beliefs and replace with positive ones. Let’s do it!
You may need to use specific mental tools to help you remove these harmful boundaries and thought scripts. We won’t cover them here, but you can find these tools in other articles on our website. Comparative Analysis, this is a structured form of comparative religious study and helps you see the source of religious beliefs. The other tool is the Enneagram. This tool will help you discover your personality type and instinctual stack. Here you can see how harmful thought scripts manifest in your personality type. These tools will have a positive effect on your spiritual energy.
You will find many spiritual methods use these energy points to affect change, either directly or indirectly. Most spiritual practices start with grounding because, when you are grounded, you are calm, centered, and fully present. Grounding takes place when our energy is in alignment.
It’s practical to start the grounding or alignment process with the lowest energy center at the base of the spine and then move up. This is a common approach in many forms of natural healing. But it is also the practice with other technologies, such as Tai Chi and the Enneagram Personality Profile. Everything works better when it has a foundation. These chakra energy centers respond to the body’s needs, sending where needed.
Even if you are not engaging in advanced spiritual practices, you can still benefit. You can learn to activate them. This knowledge helps us to manage our overall health and wellness. But first, we need to realize our consciousness is spiritual energy.
Learning How to Improve Spiritual Health
We will move up the spine. Indian tradition associates each Chakra with a two-word theme, a color, and a description of what it affects.
1st Chakra Muladhara
Muladhara is the first energy center, which gives us presence. It is also called the “I am,” chakra, and it is on the lowest point of the spine, the perineum. This chakra is often associated with red, and is the home of our instinct for self-preservation, survival, and stability.
This is the chakra that grounds you. It is the starting point for many techniques. For example, many meditative practices are based on grounding. It’s also the first step in studying philosophical approaches like The Enneagram. Muladhara is the root of the tree. All other chakras depend upon this one.
Many teachers believe this is the most important chakra energy centers precisely because it roots the body and the soul to the Earth. We are part of nature, and ultimately, we draw our energy from the Earth. It’s our connection to our physical vitality and endurance. For this reason, it’s also the key to our physical wellness.
Eastern health practitioners understand how to improve spiritual health. They know many of our health problems are because of misalignment. Kundalini Yoga is a practice that helps to restore this alignment. It focuses on promoting the flow of energy up the spine. It begins with aligning and releasing the energy from this junction.
2nd Chakra Svadhisthana
This energy center is known as I feel and is associated it with orange. It is below the navel. This chakra is the home of emotions and passions. Our dreams, ambitions, and fantasies originate from this center.
This center is where we cultivate attachments, either positive or negative. For example, the attachment may be associated healthy relationships or unhealthy behaviors we call addictions. Sages teach that this center also controls your creative expression.
People confuse this bond with the heart. However, this is different. So, think of it more like the protective love instinct bees have for their queen bee. This is one of the spiritual energy centers important to the Shamanic Journey. Our imagination and dreams derive their power here.
3rd Chakra Manipura
The third center is associated with the term I do. This chakra is the tender spot just below the rib cage’s junction, the solar plexus. If we strike you in this center from the front, it will deflate your lungs. Its color is yellow. It houses our willpower, personal strength, learning, and comprehension. It is the center of our social instinct.
Of all the spiritual energy centers, this one is where we find our sense of self and awareness of others. It helps us recognize and set healthy personal boundaries and self-esteem. It is the source of our willpower. We need this kind of energy to achieve challenging objectives.
4th Chakra Anahata
The Fourth chakra is, I love. It’s the heart center associated with the color Green. This energy center is just above the physical heart and channels all our emotions. It channels anger, hate, vulnerability, anxiety, and dependency. It can also channel love, compassion, friendliness, and healthy self-love. So what affects spiritual health also affects your emotional health.
The contrast between these feelings makes up the bandwidth of emotions. This chakra is where the physical heart and the emotional center merge into one. It’s amazing.
If the 5th and 6th centers are open and functioning, this center can connect everything: mind, heart, soul, and body. The heart center is the home of our empathy and connection for others.
5th Chakra Visuddha
Fifth, I Speak, Visuddha, is behind the larynx in the throat. We associate this spiritual energy center with blue. As the gateway of communication, it handles all internal and external messages.
What we think and say is essential. Our thoughts are like seeds. We want to make sure our thoughts aren’t harmful. Speaking creates vibrations that travel the Universe. Then, they bounce back as Karmic returns.
Thoughts are filtered through this portal. When we think words, we hear them in our mind. We don’t need to speak words for them to have powerful effects. Saying mantras and sutra silently in the mind is a common technique.
6th Chakra Ajna
The Sixth chakra is associated with the third eye. This chakra, I See is the mental crossroads between ordinary and non-ordinary perception. It’s in the center of the forehead. Indigo is its trademark color. This makes the sixth sense possible. It connects our higher mind functions of intuition and logical. We view the world through this chakra.
Hence, we need to be mindful to clean this center regularly. It’s what protects us against subliminal social and cultural programming.
There are methods for opening the third eye, but they are not the beginners. Be careful with this action technique, this center is opened it can’t be closed.
7th Chakra Sahasrara
Seventh Chakra is the crown, I understand. It’s not part of our physical body. Instead, we find this chakra just above the head. Many believe it’s the place where we connect with the universal consciousness. It is where we assimilate wisdom, sacredness, and wholeness.
Through this portal, we are connecting our soul to the Universe. So, it’s the gateway enabling the expression of higher states of consciousness. This portal is key to diagnosing your spiritual health. If you reach a plateau with your practice, it’s often because of a blockage with this chakra.
This connection makes several things possible. First, it gives us energy, making many healing modalities powerful, and it’s the gateway to higher states of consciousness. All the energy centers have to function appropriately for this to happen.
Integrative Medicine and Eastern Healing Practices
Research in the field of subtle energy medicine has been increasing the last decade. Scientists are trying to figure out how the Eastern healing traditions work. In 2005 (3), a book was published showing the scientific link of the mind-body connection. This field is known as psychoneuroimmunology (PNI). The study involves the interactions of the immune, nervous, and endocrine systems.
This research explores how and why many ancient practices can move and direct the subtle energy to specific points in the body. It provides some interesting evidence on the power of the conscious mind to direct functions in these internal systems.
This research tells us that techniques like Kundalini Yoga do work. They open up energy that provides healing. It tells us Japa meditation or Transcendental Meditation makes long-term changes in our health. Methods like holotropic breathing can help us reveal and overcome suppressed trauma.
We are mind, body, and spirit. You cannot ignore any of these if you want to improve your wellness. We know that learning how to improve spiritual health has a positive impact and will also improve your mental and physical health.
Learning one of the natural healing methods is a good strategy. Many cultures around the world have traditions which use subtle energy practices. These techniques are an essential part of the spiritual quest which Joseph Campbell describes in his work The Hero with a Thousand Faces. (4)
Do you want to learn more about these kinds of healing practices? We teach several integrative healing methods in our blended learning process. See how we can design a virtual learning event for you. If you have questions, contact us.
(1) Exploring the Mind–Body Connection Through Research: https://positivepsychology.com/mind-body-connection/
(2) US National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health, Positive Psychology, and Physical Health: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6124958/
(3) The Scientific Basis of Integrative Medicine https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1142191/
(4) Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero with a Thousand Faces: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Campbell#The_Hero_with_a_Thousand_Faces