spirituality and happiness

5 Ways Spirituality Can Dramatically Improve Your Life

If you grew up in a zealously religious home practicing a strict faith, you might run from religion like your hair is on fire.

You may also run away from spirituality like you’ve seen a zombie if you associate spirituality with ganja-smoking Reggae singers at a Rastafarian concert.

You don’t even want to hear the word meditation as you live in the modern world, far removed from the remote mountains of the Himalayas and have no plans of entering a monastery.

Why get spiritual?

If the Dalai Lama, Eckhart Tolle or your local pastor have not been able to persuade you to pursue a spiritual path, you have been missing out on the real benefits of spirituality in your life.

Spiritually tends to get swept up with far out characters, hokus-pokus practices, and bizarre beliefs. The spiritual people you know you in your life also may not be the best examples for wanting to live a spiritual life. Your hippie Uncle, fortune-telling ex-girlfriend and organic-fasting colleague (who fasts while breathing organic air) make you want to have nothing to do with spiritual people or a practice.

A good spiritual practice is one where you are able to discover your true nature and self. It’s the process of digging through your physical and emotional makeup and reaching the essence of who you are as a person.

While you may be more interested in discovering the true essence of your favorite Jersey Shore cast-member than yourself, connecting with your true nature can help you find true fulfillment and meaning in your life.

In addition to fulfillment and meaning, spirituality can dramatically improve your life in these 5 ways.

What can spirituality do for you?

You don’t have to associate the word “spirituality” with a practice that helps you achieve your true essence. Spirituality can be comprised of multiple paths, methods and practice.

Spiritual practices can certainly include religious practices at your church, temple or home. You’re embracing spirituality when you sing in choirs, chant mantras, pray or meditate. You can also reflect upon spiritual texts, travel to spiritual lands, embrace the beauty of nature or spend silent time in reflection.

Here are practical ways that spirituality can improve your life:

  1. Concentration and focus. A spiritual practice helps you focus on realizing your true essence. This typically requires intense concentration on observing your mind or focusing on understanding your soul. While pursuing these practices, you practice your ability to focus and concentrate.
    When you’re embracing a spiritual practice, you realize that your ability to focus on work, family and life in general, also increases. Increased focus and concentration helps you be more productive and efficient in your day to day work.
  2. Awareness and insight. While spiritual practices are a journey within to “study” yourself, you’ll also get into the habit of studying situations and people better. You’ll become more observant of those around you and be more aware of situations that present themselves to you. When you observe a problem like you’re observing your mind, for example, you begin to see a problem from many different angles and all the possible solutions. You start developing a deeper understanding of people and circumstance which gives you sharper insight to resolving problems in your life.
  3. More creativity and ideas. One of the world’s most successful and creative artists, Vincent van Gogh, was strongly influenced by his spiritual beliefs. Although formal religion turned it’s back on Van Gogh when a Protestant organization declined to renew his appointment to preach, he found solace in expressing his spirituality through his art. His creative masterpieces are now some of the most expensive and appreciated paintings around the world. When you’re trying to focus on your mind and soul, you will be bursting with creativity and new ideas. Artists will be inspired to create magnificent art. Entrepreneurs will be inspired by new products and new businesses. And the rest of us will be inspired by new ways to solve an old problem, improve the world around us or think of ways to provide more value to the world.
  4. Synchronicity. Now, you may think this idea is a bit of the deep end but it’s something that you should be experience firsthand before ruling it out. You’ll notice that when you’re in a spiritual place and in tune with the world around you, that circumstances, problems and situations in your life start working in sync for you. You’ll start noticing more coincidences, more serendipity and more favorable events in your life. Instead of rowing upstream in the row boat of life facing strong winds, you’ll feel like you’re on a motor boat cruising along with little resistance.  Being spiritually centered feels like the world around  you is suddenly working for you and in your favor.
  5. Peace of mind. Would you like to feel balanced and peaceful? Ultimately, isn’t that why many people embrace some kind of spiritual or religious practice? Spirituality helps you realize that true peace of mind is within yourself. Instead of finding happiness in professional pursuits or material objects, you come to realize that peace of mind is an internal, not external journey. Imagine being less worried, more in tune with your true nature and having a calmer state of mind? Living a spiritual practice helps you realize that life’s problems and challenges don’t have to turn your life upside down. It gives you the mental and emotional strength to face difficulties and problems.

Despite the bad rap spirituality gets, don’t discount a spiritual practice just because of the zany people you might know, the bizarre practices and stereotypes. Infusing your life in a spiritual practice can help you live a more fulfilled, balanced and happy life.

Do you have a spiritual practice or do you run away from it like your hair’s on fire? Has spirituality helped or failed to make a difference in your life?

——-

Vishnu blogs about spirituality and overcoming challenges at www.vishnusvirtues.com. You can follow him on Twitter here.

  • Filip Andrei Brindas

    I totally agree with you. Spirituality can help you is so many ways. By the way, I have some new stuff at my blog about self development. http://www.developingmyself.blogspot.com

    • http://www.vishnusvirtues.com/ Vishnu

       Thanks for your comments Filip. Spirituality is a real life-changer! Looking forward to checking out your blog.

  • http://www.mazzastick.com/ Justin

    So true Vishnu. Our essence is a spiritual one even though we can lose sight of it in the physical realm. Spirituality is about energy and beliefs. Nothing more.

    Live by the golden rule of treating others as we would want to be treated and we would all get along quite well.

    • http://www.vishnusvirtues.com/ Vishnu

       hey Justin, trying to break through the physical and material realm to live a spiritual life is a challenge but can be done. . And the golden rule is really the only rule in life for life, professional and personal success!

  • http://www.danerickson.net/ Dan Erickson

    I grew up in a cult.  After that experience my mom became a fundamentalist and my dad a news-ager.  One might think I’d hate religion and things spiritual, but I don’t.  I embrace them in my own way.  I’ve written book about my struggle overcoming my past in a cult and my insight to spiritual polarization.  It’s a journey.  You can learn more about my book “A Train Called Forgiveness” at http://www.danerickson.net

    • http://www.vishnusvirtues.com/ Vishnu

       Hi Dan – what a story! Looking forward to checking out your blog and book. I definitely grew up in a spiritual home but i don’t think it was cultish. My parents were definitely religious though and inspired me to follow a spiritual path as well. I could have turned away from it but really embraced spirituality for some of the reasons I talk about above. Thanks for your comments.

      • http://www.danerickson.net/ Dan Erickson

        You’re welcome.  I’d invite you to review my book if you choose to purchase it.  Keep up the good work here!  dan

  • Pingback: What Can Spirituality Do For You?

  • http://www.modernmom.com/blogs/wendy-irene Wendy Irene

    Spirituality has made a huge difference in my life. In fact,
    I can’t get enough because I find it creates peace both within and around me.
    I’m a huge believe in synchronicity. I see it all the time in my life now that
    I am aware. Spirituality is the best gift of love you can give yourself.

    • http://www.vishnusvirtues.com/ Vishnu

       Of course I agree Wendy and get a good dose of how to live spiritually and find peace on your blog. Spirituality, or simply finding your true essence, is in fact the best gift we can give ourselves but so few of us spend so little of our time on it. Why:) ?

  • http://www.financialbailoutnews.com/ Jcrosskey@FinancialBailoutNews

    Spirituality has been huge in my life. It has helped to overcome a number of obstacles in my career and dealing with people. So much to the point that when life swings me away from being spiritual (meditation, church, general mindfulness) I feel it. Great article!

    • http://www.vishnusvirtues.com/ Vishnu

       Appreciate your comments and glad that spirituality has made the difference for you.

  • http://widism.com/ Clay

    Very true! Glad to read an article that goes beyond the cliches of spirituality and exposes the personal benefits for anyone who knows how to use it in line with their own convictions. Thanks for sharing!

    • http://www.vishnusvirtues.com/ Vishnu

       Appreciate the comments Clay. Spirituality has real practical benefits – just tried to list a few but as you can imagine, there’s so many more :) Looking forward to keeping up with ‘widism’!

  • http://glynisj.com/ Glynis Jolly

    You know, you are right. Spirituality does help synchronize thing in your life.  It has never occurred to me before.

    • http://www.vishnusvirtues.com/ Vishnu

       I think once you get spiritual, you’ll (and I do) start seeing a lot syncronicities in our lives.

  • tonythetiger
  • http://howzzdat.com/ Sameer

    It is a known fact tghat 

    • http://www.vishnusvirtues.com/ Vishnu

       hope it’s made a difference for you, Sameer. Thanks for your comments.

  • http://twitter.com/Mark_Bowness Mark Bowness

    Really great post Vishnu, I think you hit the nail on the head. Most people have a previous history with ‘religion’ – whether they went to church as a child, whether they hated Sunday school etc. In most instances the mere mention of the word God makes them run a mile. Our understanding of God or spirituality is tainted with the pain of a past experience. It is so important for people to get past this experience and truly have their life transformed via connecting with One. I share a lot on this subject via my blog http://www.markbowness.com – Thanks Vishnu. 

    • http://www.vishnusvirtues.com/ Vishnu

       hi Mark – formal religion isn’t for everyone and a lot of times ends up turning people away from the inner journey to themselves. If you’re writing about this on your blog, then I’m going to be reading about it! I’ve enjoyed this experience of guest posting here to have gotten the chance to meet so many like minded bloggers, writers, etc.

      • http://twitter.com/Mark_Bowness Mark Bowness

        Thank you so much Vishnu – I appreciate your reply. Great to have connected with you on Twitter and looking forward to learning more!

        • http://www.vishnusvirtues.com/ Vishnu

          THank you Mark! Enjoying keeping up with your blog and following you on Twitter.

  • Guestna

    nice one

    • http://www.vishnusvirtues.com/ Vishnu

       thank you.

  • http://www.30yearoldninja.com/ Izmael Arkin

    Yo Vishnu this is a fantastic post :). 

    My favorites are numbers 1 and 5. A few years ago if I had read this post I would have thought “This Vishnu dude is crazy!” But now I couldn’t agree more. 

    I have seeing it all happen in my life. The reason I enjoyed this post so much was because I hadn’t fully realized how much spirituality has increased my focus until I read it in this post. As soon as I read it I thought to myself “Wow! It has helped my focus!” 

    • http://www.vishnusvirtues.com/ Vishnu

       Haha Izzy – you think I’m crazy in general. And the feeling is mutual haha

      Spirituality helps us improve our ability to focus on ourselves and our minds which usually translates to everything else in our lives. Watching you focus on 30yearoldninja and your goals has been intense. Keep up the good work.

  • Amelie Sophie

    I really like this article, and it helped me in some way. As you’ve stated in your first sentence I was raised in a family where it was a must to be a Christian, but with time I rebelled against it because I felt that I wasn’t given a choice and now I’m stuck with wanting to  have some spiritual guidance on one hand, and not wanting to have anything with any practice there is. I miss this spiritual part of me and I’m even thinking going to church, but I can’t trulybelieve in everything they say so it seems a bit stupid. I’m planning to investigate every religion and practice there is and see if there is something I can believe in that at the same time matches some of my personal beliefs about world and people.

    • http://www.vishnusvirtues.com/ Vishnu

       Hey Amelie – thanks for sharing your story and your future plans to get more spiritual. Sounds like you are going on a spiritual buffet of sorts to find what fits. Do you have a blog – maybe you can write about the journey to find the right religion for you?

  • http://www.vidyasury.com/ Vidya Sury

    Yes! to all 5. Often people confuse being religious with spirituality. Not at all the same thing. Great post, Vishnu!

    • http://www.vishnusvirtues.com/ Vishnu

       Agreed Vidya – and spirituality can do all those things that I mentioned above and more. Thanks for dropping by.

  • Keith Clarke

    Hey Vishnu,

    I think the main barrier for most people is that spirituality is ‘hard’. It means true honest introspection and time. Doing this takes guts and commitment. Something society doesn’t really promote with it’s fast paced, instant gratification, quick fix mentality. And when you take this mentality and mix it with the plethora of self-titled ‘gurus’ out there that can manipulate and ruin lives, it is no wonder spirituality gets a bad rap.

    Personally I have been on and off the spirituality path over the years, and I have found that it does work, but only with full commitment, eyes-wide open, and an ability to honestly look at yourself – the good and the bad – from a loving perspective. AS with nearly everything, the ‘hard’ part is actually getting going. Once the wheels are turning the commitment is still required, but it stops becoming ‘hard’ and finds its own way perfectly.

    It’s like riding a bike. You have to put the hard work in to get to the top of the hill. Then cruising down the other side is easy. But if you don’t stay focused and awake, you can go careening off the side of the road :)

    Great post

    Keith

    • another Mr. T

       Very good post, Vishnu. Perhaps you’ve heard that although most of us probably think of ourselves as human beings with a spiritual experience, but rather that we are spiritual beings with a temporary human experience.

      In addition to finding ourselves through all of this, since we are after all speaking of spirituality, it’s also important to know the spirit within ourselves as well as the Spirit of Spirits. It boils down to a relationship. Our relationship to the Spiritual as well as our relationship to others and to know ourselves.

      • http://www.vishnusvirtues.com/ Vishnu

         Wise statement and powerful. If we see the spiritual in everyone and everything, we will live immensely spiritual lives. Thanks for sharing the quote too about us being spiritual beings which basically sums up spirituality.

    • http://www.vishnusvirtues.com/ Vishnu

       Great to see you here Keith. Appreciate your comments. Getting started is the key to a spiritual life. As well as being aware so we don’t go skidding of a hill like you say. haha!

  • Soknoeun Mek

    So interesting to join this for self improvement.

    • http://www.vishnusvirtues.com/ Vishnu

       thanks for visiting and being part of the Pick the Brain community.

  • http://www.everydaygyaan.com/ Corinne Rodrigues

    Just the other day a friend and I were giving thanks for our faith and the constant growth in spirituality.  This was in the context of her losing her 7 year old son, a Down Syndrome child, who she had nurtured and cherished. She told me she would never have been able to bear his loss without her spirituality. From my own experience of life, I know that to be true, Vishnu.

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