Spirituality has an impact on mental health issues. Finding, alternative ways to treat mental illness are paramount in a world that seems to be in chaos. Finding a spiritual practice that suits you and brings a closer connection to really knowing all aspects of who you are can be extremely healing.
However, if a spiritual practice is used as a means to become detached from your deeper feelings it can also be detrimental. Here I give a positive and negative insight into the impact of spirituality on mental health.
What does it mean to be Mentally healthy?
A mentally healthy person will experience a natural cycle of thoughts and emotions both good and bad. There will an ability to express how you are truly feeling and be able to rationalise those feelings if required. There will be an acceptance of who you are, a willingness to see another person for whom they are.
Emotions are how we express ourselves, our thoughts drive those emotions, so what we think about ourselves is important for mental well-being. A feeling of self-confidence, humility and self esteem are other aspects that help you become mentally balanced.
Imbalanced Thinking Can Lead to Ill Health
It is not healthy to spend your time looking at the bad things in life. This creates feelings of fear and anxiety, which will eventually lead to some kind of depression or other ill health. It sucks the joy out of life to be viewing everything as a negative.
Equally, it is not healthy to just focus on the positive and only see the good things in life. This creates a distorted view of reality. A distorted view of reality means you become more distant from life; it becomes a way to escape deeper feelings, not face the tough issues in your life. The problem with this is that you don’t really experience how it feels to be alive.
We need to see and experience the shadow side of ourselves in order to experience the true light within us and around us.
How Can You Distinguish What Is True Light Without a Contrast Of The Dark?
When you only see one aspect of a situation, you lose the ability to see the whole picture. In other words, when you only involve yourself in the detail of a situation for example, you only see what is in front of you. However, open your perspective and observe a situation from a different angle and new awareness’s come to light.
This is what having a spiritual practice can do for you, it can enable you to find deeper meaning in your life. It can open up new opportunities for personal growth and development. It can help you makes sense of situations that can seem untenable. Bring awareness to relationships that may seem doomed. Can help you make sense of your purpose in life.
Can Being Spiritual Make You Mentally Ill?
Losing yourself in spiritual practice, escaping dealing with the reality of everyday life, for example can take you off balance. Although being spiritual may give life deeper meaning, it can be easy to you lose sight of having a light and dark perspective. In other words, living too much in the sky and not living on this earth can also make you more susceptible to mental illness. When you are not connected to earth, you may feel even more lost and untethered. You may find it difficult to relate to others in terms of finding common ground. It can enhance anxiety and fear as you don’t feel safe in life.
But, having a balanced spiritual practice that enhances your life rather than controls your life, gives you those feelings of safety. There are several ways spirituality can support your mental health; you may feel a sense of purpose, experience better confidence, feel inner peace and calm. You may feel you have more meaning to your life, improved self-esteem, and self-control.
Spiritual Practice can be Excellent for Finding Purpose after Trauma or Ill Health.
When you have experienced trauma, abuse or serious ill health, there is a tendency to escape reality, to become detached from or not make sense of your feelings. It is almost like your soul has gone into hiding to avoid the pain of a situation. This can be really disconcerting.
Learning a practice that enables you to gently connect to your feelings and find a sense of inner peace, can be deeply healing. Spiritual practice can be a discipline that can take you to a safe space in your mind to feel safe and connected. It can assist you to reconnect to lost parts of your soul.
Meditation is a Simple Spiritual Practice and a Way to Focus your Mind in the Now
Guided meditation practice is an example of placing yourself in a safe environment, where you can explore different aspects of yourself. Meditation practice can be as simple as gazing at a candle to train your mind to focus on one thing and calm down. Or it can be more complex where you are guided into the recesses of your imagination and senses to discover new aspects that can help you make sense of your mental health and feelings.
Benefits of Meditation are Many:
- Reduce anxiety and stress.
- Develops your intuition and connection to your true gut feeling.
- Lowers heart rate to restore self-control.
- Helps manage your emotional triggers.
- Improves breathing to take in more oxygen and improve overall health.
- Improves patience and tolerance.
- Help stay focussed and centred for a sense of inner peace during stressful times.
- Improves sleep quality.
- Learn skills to manage stress in your life.
- Helps you be free from worry and stress.
- Restores inner peace and calm.
I offer help to those who are suffering PTSD, anxiety, depression, grief, pain. Through gentle hands-on treatment to release pain and tension in the body, which enables you to feel calmer and in control. As well as therapy to really listen to you and help you make sense of your feelings.