Many people who identify as spiritual, not religious, have trouble with the idea of an outside figure who controls everything for them. They find that either hard to believe or patronizing and some reject the notion entirely.
Instead of trusting an outside figure, these people turn inwards, looking to themselves to find the answers to the problems they’ve had all along. That’s not to say they don’t use outside tools, like the ones we’re listing in this guide, but there’s a good amount of self-reflection along the way.
After all, many practitioners and psychologists, even, believe that we already have all the answers we need inside of us, and to hear them, we have to learn how to get out of our own way.
Committing to your spiritual health is an everyday practice. You can intensify it and recommit to it by going on a spiritual retreat at Pali Retreats, but you have to put in the work, whether you’re on our campus or on your couch.
As the saying goes – wherever you go, there you are.
Committing to Your Spiritual Health
There are no best practices when it comes to spiritual health. And if that sounds contradictory to the title of this article, it should. There are only the “most researched” and “most popular” practices when it comes to spiritual health. These are things that so many people do on a daily basis that there’s enough evidence to advise others to do the same.
But that doesn’t mean that they’re going to be the right techniques for you. You should try them, of course, because you’ll never know if you don’t – but don’t take this advice as the be-all-end-all.
One part of your spiritual journey is to be constantly seeking and learning, however that looks for you (like maybe by going on a Spiritual Retreat at Pali).
The suggestions below are things that help us and many people on our team, as well as millions of people all over the world. Here are three practices we love – we call them the three m’s of mindfulness. They are mantras, manual journaling, and meditation.
Mantras: They’re Not as Silly as They Feel
Here’s a good experiment to figure out where you are in terms of positive thinking and creating the kind of thoughts you want to have. For three days, pay attention to and count the number of times you find yourself complaining.
That could be complaining about the bus being late, someone being annoying, that you don’t like the weather, or something as small as your coffee being too hot to drink. Download a tally app on your phone and make a mark every time you catch yourself in a complaint.
Don’t worry if you don’t record everything. It’ll get easier to realize you’re doing it the second and the third day. At the end of three days, take a look at how many complaints you made. Was it a lot?
It probably is. It’s not uncommon for people who do this experiment to notice 50-100 (though, please don’t set that as your threshold) complaining thoughts a day. That’s a lot of negativity you’re affirming in your life, with your own brain!
And those negative thoughts do nothing for you. So after the three days, try to think about what your most common complaints were. Then reword them into something positive, and when you notice yourself complaining, replace the complaint with your positive mantra.
You’ll be shocked at how quickly this changes your mood, your productivity, and your life!
We have over 9248309284 thoughts per day. That’s a lot for your brain to organize and deal with, especially as you have to work and maintain relationships with others at the same time. Journaling (with pen and paper), allows you time to organize your thoughts at the end of the day.
And you don’t have to do complex journaling to get results. Set a timer for five minutes and write down everything you can remember about your day. If you’re annoyed at someone, write it down. If you were happy about something, write it down.
Have questions in your thoughts? Write them down. As you get better at journaling, it’ll become commonplace to be able to write down a question and answer it for yourself during your writing flow.
Try doing it before bed every night for a week (for five minutes) and see how much better you sleep!
Slowing your brain down and being in your body for as little as five minutes a day can prolong your life. There are multiple studies proving the benefits of meditation, tens of which are available for free, in their entirety, on the internet.
And while most of us want to meditate or get better at it, it’s one of the most frustrating skills to learn.
If you’ve never meditated before or find you need help, download a guided meditation app. Headspace is a great app, though it does charge a monthly fee. If you’re more into the free thing, try the app Stop, Breathe, & Think.
It not only has guided meditations, but also a check-in tool that will help you realize what you’re feeling, where in your body you’re feeling it, and when. For the best results (especially if you’re new to all this!), set an alarm on your phone twice a day and check-in, then do a quick meditation.
Your mind will clear, you’ll understand your emotions better, and you’ll be more productive overall – just from committing to yourself for five to ten minutes a day!
Come Attend a Spiritual Retreat
Need help recommitting to your spiritual practices? Feel like you’ve lost yourself in the shuffle of your everyday life?
That’s what Pali Spiritual Retreats are for. Whether you’re looking for something completely meditative or a yoga retreat, we’ve got them on our beautiful mountain campus. Explore our site to learn more.