Podcast: Robert Thurman, Wisdom Is Bliss
The first ordained American Buddhist monk in the Tibetan tradition, Robert Thurman explores his ...
To be spiritually fit, you must work on it every day. Spiritual fitness is a new concept in medicine that centers on how you can reduce the risk of many physical and brain health issues by optimizing your deepest sense of meaning and purpose. Spirituality is a search for a higher power, for something sacred or divine, or for something larger than ourselves. Here are six ways to boost spiritual fitness:
1. Harness the power of meditation. Hundreds of studies have shown the physical, cognitive, and emotional benefits of meditation. Pick a simple meditation you like, such as Loving Kindness Meditation or Kirtan Kriya.
2. Make prayer a daily practice. A wealth of research shows that prayer has been found to calm stress; improve memory, focus, and mood; and enhance function in the prefrontal cortex. Just as you schedule time to work out, make prayer or meditation a priority in your appointment book.
3. Put your faith into action. Regardless of your belief system, make it a central part of your everyday life. For example, if the tenets of your faith lie in forgiveness, find it in your heart to release the grudges you hold.
4. Look for a spiritual trainer. Just as you might hire a personal trainer to help you get the most out of your workouts, a mentor can be beneficial to your spiritual life. A mentor could be a pastor, rabbi, spiritual director, or any other person you trust who can guide you in your spiritual quest. The mentor-mentee relationship isn’t about being told what to do or how to think. Rather, it’s a way to explore and stretch your spirituality.
5. Serve others. Being of service to others is a key aspect of a healthy spiritual life. Research suggests that whenever you feel down, anxious, or angry, it is best to get outside of yourself to change your state of mind. Connect meaningful activities and pleasure by volunteering for activities you love. For example, if you love basketball, you might enjoy volunteering to keep score at local tournaments.
6. Find your purpose. To strengthen your spiritual fitness, you need to know your purpose in life.
Today’s practice: Of the six strategies listed above, pick one to do today.
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