Welcome back to “The Whole Picture,” The Mayflower’s blog series where we discuss the elements of a balanced lifestyle. (First time reading? Get started here!) As we close the loop on the Eight Dimensions, we’re pondering the many facets of “spiritual wellness” and exploring their meaningful impact on health and happiness.
Does your life have a strong sense of meaning? Can your actions shape the world and impact others? Do you feel like you’re a part of something bigger than yourself? As abstract as those questions may sound, how you answer them can have real-world consequences for your lifelong health.
Over the years, many studies have supported the idea that spirituality is associated with higher quality of life, improved emotional well-being, and even better recovery from illness. And while that may sound like a matter of faith, spiritual wellness isn’t associated with any specific belief or value system – instead, it’s rooted in traits like optimism, purpose, and community support.
“To me, spiritual and emotional wellness are two sides of the same coin,” says Mayflower Wellness Coordinator Sarah Burke. “Both are about caring for the ‘inner self’ by focusing on mindfulness, gratitude and self-reflection.”
While researchers are still studying the connection between spirituality and health, there’s evidence to suggest that lifestyle plays a big role:
- Spending time in reflection, meditation, or prayer. In our fast-paced world, it can be easy to move mechanically from task to task, checking items off lists and spending more time doing than thinking. Making time to be mindful and appreciate the smaller things in life can help us cope better with life’s challenges and maintain a balanced, positive outlook for the future.
- Contributing to a greater good. Charity, volunteerism, and acts of service are cornerstones of many forms of spirituality, and the benefits of doing good go both ways. In fact, a growing body of research suggests that older adults who volunteer on a regular basis tend to be more active, build more social connections, and enjoy better physical health – including lower blood pressure and a longer lifespan.
- Collaborating closely with others. Throughout much of human history, spirituality and social connection have been closely linked. If you’re part of a faith group, getting involved with service projects, social events or committees can be a great way to build strong relationships that support health and well-being throughout life.
- Finding purpose and passion. Where do you find joy in life? What impact do you want to have on the world? Whether you’re giving to a good cause, expressing your creative side, or helping others, living with a strong sense of purpose is also associated with greater life satisfaction and fewer health problems.
As The Mayflower looks forward to the opening of our brand-new, freestanding Health Center in our upcoming Bristol Landing neighborhood, we’re doubling down on our commitment to whole-person wellness in body, mind and spirit.
Now is the time to learn how a community like The Mayflower can add years to your life – and life to your years. Send us a message or give us a call at 407.672.1620 to schedule your visit today. We look forward to hearing from you!