Do you often feel that your spiritual wellness is a bit out of whack? Do you sometimes feel more susceptible to enemy attacks? Do you sometimes feel like you may be falling away from God instead of growing closer?
It’s a good idea to do a spiritual wellness checkup each year to see if there are any areas of your life that are out of alignment or lacking. When we get out of balance in one area or another we can lose our spiritual wellness – making us more susceptible to the ways of the enemy.
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What is Spiritual Wellness
Spiritual wellness is making sure that you are in tune with God’s ways. Spiritual wellness can help you live a healthy, balanced life and keep you from burnout and attacks of the enemy.
Listen to your body. Are you tired, exhausted, low on energy, feeling moody or depressed? Do you have spiritual blind spots?
Do you have any routines or habits established that allow you to spend time on each of the following: self-care, quiet time/solitude, meditation, loving others/relationships, prayer/listening, worship, and creative expression?
Do you feel closer or farther from God than you did this time last year?
Are you more focused on the things of God and His kingdom or on the ways of the world?
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. (Matthew 6:33, NLT)
A Simple Spiritual Wellness Checkup
A simple way to do a spiritual wellness checkup is to create a pie graph with the following seven sections and a dot in the middle.
- Quiet Time/Solitude
- Loving Others/Relationships
- Creative Expression
In each category, with the center being 0% and the outer ring of the pie graph being 100%, place a dot where you feel that area is currently in your life. Then connect all the dots. It might look like a strangely shaped spider web or a lopsided parallelogram.
Note the areas that are out of balance or being neglected. The areas that are significantly lower will need your attention. Schedule some time to reflect on how you can bring balance to your life. Ask a friend to reflect with you and brainstorm some ways. What is dominating? How can you bring that area into better alignment? It might be as simple as saying “No” to some things so you have time for the other areas.
Spiritual wellness should be reflected in a balanced life.
The six areas you analyzed in your pie chart are the essential parts of a spiritual wellness routine and lifestyle. When you seek balance in your life you’ll see the many benefits of spiritual wellness: harmony, peace, health, strengthened relationships, and growing closer to God.
Rest and self-care (body and mind)
Some people will say that self-care is selfish, but Jesus said that we are to love others as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:39). Think about it. If we don’t take care of ourselves, can we really take care of others?
It isn’t selfish to take care of yourself. It’s the same principle as when you are on a plane and the flight attendant tells you to put on your oxygen mask before assisting others. You cannot be a help or inspiration to others if you are spiritually and physically depleted.
Below are some important areas to remember to pay attention to when caring for yourself.
- Sleep is a gift from God and the essential component in self-care and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Don’t neglect sleep!
- Reduce stress. Stress is a major contributor to disease, but in today’s society, many people think stress is inevitable or a necessary way to live. That’s not what God’s word teaches us. (See Phillipians 4:7, Colossians 3:15, 2 Thessalonians 3: 16, John 16:33.)
- Exercise and movement. Whatever works for you. Just move each day. Take a walk. Do some stretching. Swim. Run or jog. Movement is important for our physical and mental well-being.
- Eat healthy/drink a lot of water. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
- Simply rest. Don’t force yourself to go, go, go, 24/7. Take time to be still, relax, sit outside, read a book or inspiring articles, or sit in silence.
- Believe the best for yourself and in yourself–God created you and He thinks the world of you!
Jesus took care of himself. He took time out from ministering to others to eat good meals and rest. He also removed himself from the day-to-day routine of life to find quiet time to be with God.
Elijah is another example of God understanding that we need to care for our physical needs before we can be any good to the world. Elijah was exhausted from spiritual warfare and he ran off to the mountains to rest. God sent him some food and told him to eat and take a nap before getting back into the throes of his ministry.
Even God, the Creator, rested after the act of creation!
When we take care of ourselves we are in a better position to grow spiritually and help others in their walk with God.
We all need to find time daily to be in solitude. This may only be small snippets of time but you should make it a priority. The world is noisy and it contributes to our stress levels. God won’t shout over the television and social media. If you want to be spiritually balanced and hear from God, you’ve got to get away to quiet places each day.
Here are some simple ways to incorporate solitude into your spiritual wellness routines.
- go for a walk or run alone (no phone calls or earbuds)
- turn off the radio in the car and drive in silence
- take a bath or shower and lock the door so you won’t be disturbed
- wake up early before everyone else
- stay up a little later after everyone is in bed
- keep the television off when you are home alone
Learning to be content in solitude is a spiritual discipline and an important part of a spiritual wellness lifestyle. Its many benefits include calming our minds, hearing God, and taking time to reflect on what’s important in life.
The purpose of silence and solitude is to be able to see and hear.–Richard J. Foster
Meditation and Reflection
Taking the time to meditate on God’s word, a message you heard, or reflect on what you are learning about God ensures that the understanding goes deep and changes you. It’s like letting the good things you get from God digest and nourish you spiritually.
There is no right or wrong way to meditate and your reflection time could include journaling or writing, reading the Bible and then spending quiet time thinking on what you read, or answering some questions that come to mind.
Some people spend their meditation time with no agenda and others use it to memorize scripture or poetry.
This can be part of quiet time but it can be separate. Often the two bleed into each other.
Attitude toward others and relationships
God reminds us over and over in the Bible that our attitude toward others should be love. He tells us to love others as you love yourself and God. And John reiterates how important love is over and over and over. (see 1 John)
Someone once said that the way we treat the least important or least-loved person in our life is the way we treat God.
Some ways to strengthen or bring this area of spiritual well-being into alignment include:
Offer and accept forgiveness. Make amends. Ask for forgiveness or sort out a misunderstanding you had with someone. Think the best of others. Give the benefit of the doubt. Try to be understanding when someone is less than loving toward you.
Look outward. Volunteer somewhere. Reach out to a long lost friend, call someone who you’ve hurt or offended. Find a prayer partner and/or join a prayer group. Find constructive ways to address a need in your community or the world.
LOVE LOVE LOVE
Prayer and Listening
Remember, prayer is seeking communion with God and also listening for His answers. We can’t do all the talking! So make time for more silence and listening during your prayer time, after all–He already knows what you need! Listen to Him for the next steps
If you find yourself distracted during prayer time, find a scripture to help you concentrate and focus on the Spirit or try writing your prayers out. The important thing is that you are setting this time aside and God will honor that.
Did you know that we are co-creators with God? He gave all of us gifts and talents to use for His glory. Using our talents and gifts is part of being a spiritual person and contributes to our spiritual well-being. An important but often overlooked part of spiritual well being is partaking in creative outlets.
You don’t have to be an artist to be creative. Maybe you like to garden, or write poetry, or knit and sew. Taking photos and scrapbooking, refinishing furniture, creating websites, and designing jewelry are creative outlets too.
Worshiping God connects us to the Creator and opens our hearts toward Him. Most people think of worship as what we do at church when the band plays, but there are many forms of worship: singing, praising, giving, being in nature, and practicing gratitude.
We contribute to the world when we express ourselves this way so don’t withhold from the world what it needs. Be spiritually well and make the world a better place!
Do a Spiritual Wellness Checkup Today!
Like changing the oil on your car and doing routine maintenance on home appliances, you should regularly be assessing your spiritual wellbeing and adjusting when areas get out of balance.
God needs you healthy, spiritually aware, and focused on the things that matter so He can use you to impact and support the people around you.
The benefits of spiritual wellness impact all of us, so take some time to work in a wellness routine and watch how quickly you will see results!
Need some ideas? Here are 7 ways to improve your spiritual health.