Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wellness Wednesdays: {Life Task 1: Spirituality}

Welcome back to Wellness Wednesday! If you haven't read the rest of the series, you can catch up on the posts here:
Wellness Wednesday: {An Introduction}
Wellness Wednesday: {An Introduction pt. 2}
Wellness Wednesday: {The Wheel of Wellness Part 1}
Wellness Wednesday: {The Wheel of Wellness Part 2}

For those of you who have read some of the posts, you might recall that I'm using the idea of the Wheel of Wellness to visually represent wellness for the individual.

Today we will be moving to the first Life Task, which is Spirituality. This is placed at the center of the wheel, because spirituality is at the core of each individual. Now before I scare away those who don't consider themselves religious, just keep reading, and you'll understand what it all encompasses! 

This is how Myers, Sweeney, & Witmer define the Life Task of Spirituality:

Personal, private beliefs that enhance one’s life; hope and optimism, purpose in life, moral values, transcendence, over-all spiritual well-being.

Does religion play a role in spiritual wellness? Absolutely! Religion certainly can inform each of the aspects listed above, but if you don't hold to a certain religion, that doesn't mean that this life task is scratched out for you!

Each of us lives our life by a certain code of beliefs, morals, and values. At least we should! If we believe one way and act in another, this can cause great stress in our life. Our beliefs, optimism towards the future, and purpose in life affect every aspect of who we are. Looking at it that way, it makes sense as to why this would be at the center of the wheel, doesn't it? Having a purposeful meaningfulness to life helps one cope with difficulty and trouble, and is a huge component to the "hardiness of an individual". 

You can see the aspect of spirituality in the everyday sayings of individuals. For example, the Golden Rule of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is a well-known phrase throughout many different cultures, countries, and religions. Living life as this phrase suggests would be an indicator for spiritual well-being. 

Here are a few questions to get you thinking:
  1. What breaks your heart and baffles your mind? How does this relate to your purpose in the world?
  2. Do you feel like you know what your purpose in life is, or are you still trying to figure out what it might be?
  3. What are the values in life that you believe are important? How do these play out in your life?
  4. Is there a relationship between your beliefs and values and how you behave in the world?
  5. How do you live life in a way that is true to yourself?
  6. Do you have hope & optimism for the future? If not, how might you begin to develop a sense of hope?
  7. How would you like to transform your life to become a more spiritual being?
What I'd like to know:
What other phrases besides the one mentioned above indicate a sense of "spirituality" within our culture?
Is this an easy component of wellness, or is it difficult to live life according to one's beliefs and values?