Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Spiritual Wellness

The word “spiritual” often elicits emotional responses and many people run away from the concept, because they equate it to religion. I feel that your religion could be one part of your spiritual wellness, but your spiritual wellness consists of so much more.

Spirituality consists of the values by which you interpret your world view, organize your day to day living and assess your way of life. It is a personal quest for understanding answers to ultimate questions about life, about meaning, and about relationships to the sacred. Spirituality is the way that you find meaning, hope, comfort and inner peace in your life. Elder Dallin H. Oaks defines spirituality as “a lens through which we view life and a gauge by which we evaluate it.”

Spirituality has positive affects on our health. There have been several studies showing how spirituality improves health and healing. President Ezra Taft Benson said that “spiritual strength promotes positive thinking, positive ideals, positive habits, positive attitudes, and positive efforts. These are the qualities which promote wisdom, physical and mental well-being and enthusiastic acceptance and response by others.”

Yes, in the end, it is YOUR core values – the perspective from which YOU interpret life and live by everyday, that defines your spiritual wellness.

Here is a test, to determine how well you are doing

The spiritual dimension of wellness involves seeking meaning and purpose in one’s life.

Read each statement carefully and respond honestly by using the following scoring:

Almost always = 2 points Sometimes/occasionally = 1 point Very seldom = 0 points

_____ 1. I feel comfortable and at ease with my spiritual life.

_____ 2. There is a direct relationship between my personal values and daily actions.

_____ 3. When I get depressed or frustrated by problems, my spiritual beliefs and values give me direction.

_____ 4. Prayer, meditation, and/or quiet personal reflection is/are important in my life.

_____ 5. Life is meaningful for me, and I feel a purpose in life.

_____ 6. I am able to speak comfortably about my personal values and beliefs.

_____ 7. I am consistently striving to grow spiritually and I see it as a lifelong process.

_____ 8. I am tolerant of and try to learn about others’ beliefs and values.

_____ 9. I have a strong sense of hope and optimism in my life and use my thoughts and attitudes in life-affirming ways.

_____ 10. I appreciate the natural forces that exist in the universe.

_______ Total for Spiritual Wellness Dimension

Score: 15 to 20 Points - Excellent strength in this dimension.

Score: 9 to 14 Points – There is room for improvement. Look again at the items in which you scored 1 or 0. What changes can you make to improve your score?

Score: 0 to 8 Points – This dimension needs a lot of work. Look again at this dimension and challenge yourself to begin making small steps toward growth here. Remember: The goal is balanced wellness.

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