A study published in the Journal of American College Health found that our optimism and sense of coherence have an effect on our spiritual wellness, which can affect the overall perception of our well-being. So how do we cultivate optimism and a sense of coherence? Here’s a few suggestions:
Meditation helps us mind our mind. When we take time out to observe our thoughts and practice becoming unattached from them, we realize that we are not our thoughts and we empower ourselves to have more control over our cognitions and behaviors. As paradox as it is, we gain control when we let go. Just 20 minutes of meditation everyday can have a powerful effect on our outlook and sense of purpose.
Yoga serves many purposes, from increasing our strength and improving our posture, to helping us feel more limber. But, like meditation, it’s also an amazing exercise for the mind. Yoga postures require a steady mind amidst the challenge of stretching open, keeping balanced, and staying strong. Yoga practice is a physical way to prime our minds for the mental challenges of life. We observe our bodies in their limitations and their weaknesses. We train our minds to observe how our breath pushes and presses its way against our tissues as we hold a pose. Our bodies open to possibilities where we once felt restriction and our minds open as well, changing our outlook on life.
Meditation and yoga help us detach, observe, let go, and gain a sense of control over our thoughts and behaviors. And so can unplugging. Living offline feels simple, calm, and even mysterious in a way. Imagine that for a day we don’t post a single status or picture or tweet about anything that happens. None of it. Imagine, too, that on this day we don’t see a single post, picture, or tweet from anyone else. Unplugging from social media can be an incredible dose of freedom and renewal. We refocus our energies and redefine our priorities when we take a step back like that. Unplugging is an intentional time that we set aside just for us. It doesn’t have to be forever and it doesn’t even have to be all day if that sounds too scary. (But honestly, I’ve taken breaks from social media for weeks at a time and love how much more mental energy I have for what’s right in front of me.)
Cultivating optimism and a sense of coherence to strengthen our spiritual lives is imperative to staying well and it sets a strong foundation as we move through the challenges in our lives. So are these things you’d be willing to try in order to beef up your spiritual wellness? Mediation will be offered at the RAC in the Fall so be sure to keep your eye out for the schedule to keep tabs on when you’ll be able to sit in on the next session. Be sure to check out the yoga schedule at the RAC to try out a class for yourself.