What does Spirituality have to do with Happiness?
Yoga, meditation, prayer, journaling, reading, chanting, and/or contemplation, at some point in your life you may have turned to one or more of these practices as a way of connecting to your higher self. Spirituality is a way of uncovering mysteries of life. There are many religions old and new in this world, practiced or not practiced by some, science shows that spirituality is a universal practice that can have a powerful positive effect on happiness, health, and relationships.
Meaning of Spirituality
Spirituality means you are seeking a meaningful connection with something bigger than yourself and recognizes that what connects you to a higher power also connects you to others.
Some profound definitions of spirituality by some well know spiritual leaders:
“Spirituality is the measure of how willing we are to allow Grace—some power greater than ourselves—to enter our lives and guide us along our way.” – by speaker Mastin Kipp, author of Daily Love.
“Spirituality for me is recognizing that I am connected to the energy of all creation, that I am a part of it and it is always a part of me. Whatever label or word we use to describe “it” doesn’t matter. Words are completely inadequate.” – by Oprah Winfrey, in discussion with spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle.
“Recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning, and purpose to our lives.” – by Dr. Brené Brown, expert in vulnerability and empathy.
Spirituality and Neuroscience
Andrew Newberg, MD and Mark Robert Waldman in their book, How God Changes Your Brain, identify the areas of the brain that shape the human perception of God. Each person’s understanding of their higher power is different and is based on how the concept of God was introduced to them in childhood. Whether you pursue a relationship with a higher power or not is a personal choice, but the capacity does exist in you.
Explore spirituality and what it means to you. What spiritual practices make you feel most alive, expanded, and like yourself. What makes you…you?
Benefits of Spirituality
Happiness as defined by Tal Ben-Shahar (Teachers of positive psychology and the good life is“the overall experience of pleasure and meaning.” Happy people are not happy because they experience positive emotions all the time, they are happy because they see their lives as meaningful—they feel they contribute to their community in some fashion and that they have a positive effect on the world around them. Spirituality is deeply rooted in providing meaning and thereby is a direct cause for greater happiness.
Spiritual people are better equipped to handle stress as they process challenges with gratitude and joy. They feel supported by a higher power and surrender to Divine Will. . Spiritual people are compassionate, altruistic and forgiving of others, because they see what connects us all, rather than what separates us. Spiritual traditions around the world encourage belonging to a community to promote relationships with like-minded, one of the highest indicators of a happy life. Positive psychology studies show that spiritual people have more positive relationships in general with their spouses, children, and friends.
5 Practices to Increase Your Spirituality
- Practice Yoga: Belong to a yoga studio community to support your consistent yoga practice; this will help elevate your vibration by being around people who lift you up. It will give you a pain free body that is a necessary to live your best life.
- Practice Gratitude: Each day take 5 minutes at the end of the day to write down what you are grateful for. Expressing gratitude amplifies all the positive things that you already have in your life and reminds you that you are blessed.
- Practice Meditation: Sara Lazar’s (Neuroscientist ) studies show that meditation shrinks the amygdala, the area of the brain that controls anxiety and fear. Less anxiety and fear translates to less stress. Less stress means more joy. Inhale joy to self, exhale and offer loving-kindness out to all beings everywhere.
- Practice Volunteering: Volunteer your time for a cause that is close to your heart. Making a difference in other people’s life increases your sense of purpose and meaning on the planet, it also changes your perspective when your world feels small.
- Practice Smiling: Smile and talk to strangers. Consciously engage in conversations with people who you may pass otherwise. Making connections with others will remind you that you aren’t alone and that everyone has hardships and blessings in their lives.
If you truly want to feel happy from inside out, then learning to calm your body and mind will set you on the spiritual path. . An erratic mind only knows how to differentiate and label things and a quiet mind is a powerful mind that connects you to your true nature.
Deep down you know you are a spirit that longs to know its fullness. So, practice on! As French idealist philosopher and Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
Would you like to overcome stress and anxiety of daily life and break free from limiting patterns of thinking? Are you craving to cultivate a loving relationship with yourself and others in your life? Check out some of our workshops that will guide you on a journey of self-discovery, where you will learn that happiness is your creation and your responsibility. Sign up here!