Fostering Spirituality In Your Home

Medical studies have shown that spiritual people, irrespective of the faith they practice, exhibit lesser self-destructive behaviours, experience less stress, and have a greater total life satisfaction. Among the keys to a successful family life are the spiritual values of a family. 

Even though most of the research linking spiritual and physical health has involved elderly patients, a connection between a spiritual life and good health for people of all ages is very real. A family that has a spiritual life of its own has unity and direction and offers love, support, and a sense of identity to its members. It is this love and spirituality that proves to be healing and a positive influence on the wellbeing of everyone in the family irrespective of their age.

Spirituality has been shown to reduce depression, improve blood pressure, and boost the immune system. When combined with proper medical care it may be the answer to your family’s emotional and physical health issues. So what exactly is spirituality and how can it enhance your family’s health? Spirituality is an awareness of the divine that underlies everyday life. Studies show that spirituality and faith in the divine powers can help promote good health and fight disease by offering additional social support, such as religious outreach groups and improving coping skills through prayer and a belief that all things have a purpose. Medical studies have confirmed that spirituality can have a profound effect on mental states. In a study of men who were hospitalised, nearly half rated their faith as helpful in coping with their illness. A second study showed that the more spiritual patients were, the more quickly they recovered from some disorders. A third study revealed that high levels of hope and optimism, key factors in fighting depression, were found among those who practiced their faith sincerely. The advantages of having a spiritual life at home are:

  • Spiritual beliefs determine how people deal with life’s joys and hardships. It can make you more optimistic and resilient.
  • Spirituality can provide people with a sense of purpose and guidelines for living. When families face tough situations, including health problems, their spiritual beliefs and practices can help them fight feelings of helplessness, restore an order to life situations, and promote regaining a sense of control.
  • For some families, spirituality can be a powerful source of strength.
  • Spirituality brings family members together by encouraging forgiveness and reconciliation of relationships.
  • Strong families share a belief in something greater than themselves. They agree about what is right and wrong and what is really important to them. These shared values give families purpose and help them unite on goals.
  • Your spiritual beliefs enhance your parenting. Some parents emphasise faith in God, others focus on faith in humanity, moral behaviour, and unity with all living things. Some may introduce their children to practices like prayer, meditation, and scripture study. Still others refer to conquering faults and developing virtues like honesty, integrity, and kindness towards others. To foster spirituality within your own family, you may want to examine your own values. The parents who inculcate the right values in their children automatically are more successful in their role as way-showers and guides to their children.

Activities that foster spirituality at home include the following:

Daily practice. Some families make prayer an important daily practice. You could gather for prayer before the rush of the day begins. Encourage each member of the family to set aside time for personal prayer and, for grown up children, even meditation would be a good idea.

Be inspired. Enrich your spirituality by letting nature inspire you. Taking evening walks in the park, around a lake, or any other natural setting can be inspiring. Plan an occasional hike in the mountains and take time to admire the beauty of nature together with your family members.

Build spiritual strength. This could include caring for the needy or acts of charity, reading sacred texts or other such literature together, visiting a place of worship at least once a month etc.

Try and inculcate spiritual values in everyday life. Merely knowing that curbing anger or greed is good for you is not enough. Making conscious attempts to make it a part of your day-to-day life at home and outside will have a calming influence. Help family members remember these values the next time they struggle with negative emotions. Family life will, automatically, be more harmonious.

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