The Importance of Spiritual Wellness for Seniors
The notion of spiritual wellness has evolved over time. Traditionally it’s been associated with religious faith; however, today, what we call a spiritual journey and spiritual health is also pursued on an agnostic and even atheistic path. Whether it’s attending religious services, practicing meditation or yoga, or regularly reflecting on one’s sense of purpose, spiritual wellness is an important dimension to a person’s overall health and contentment. The common thread is this: a feeling of connectedness to something larger than oneself — be it a community, humanity, all living things, the universe or the divine.
“Spirituality encompasses wide-ranging attitudes and practices which focus on the search for meaning in human lives, particularly in terms of relationships, values and the arts.” – George Mackay Brown
The importance of spiritual wellness as we age
As we age, it’s common for our spirituality to grow stronger. That’s important, because the older we get, the more our spiritual wellness helps us fend off negativity and contributes to our happiness.
Here are 4 reasons spiritual wellness is important to seniors:
We can fine-tune our sense of purpose.
There comes a time in most people’s lives when careers and family no longer dictate how they spend their time. Though we find ourselves with new and liberating free time, these changes signal a change in our identity. Suddenly, we’ve lost an important role. So where do we find our sense of purpose? Spiritual strength can put our own lives into a larger perspective. Knowing we’re connected to something greater can ease the transition from the role of “earner” or “child raiser” (or both) to something new, energizing and spiritually rewarding.
We can approach grief more peacefully.
It’s true: The longer we live, the more likely it is we’ll experience loss. The death of a friend or family member is often a catalyst for introspection. Spiritual wellness helps us approach bereavement with a greater understanding of what loss means in the grand scheme of life. While grief is naturally painful, we can remind ourselves of another truth: The longer we live, the more joy there is to be had.
It helps us build social connections.
While solitude is relaxing in doses, we humans are social beings, which makes friendships and person-to-person interactions healthy in so many ways. As the saying goes, spending time in good company will “lift your spirits.” And this covers many social scenarios: date night with your significant other, meeting a pal for coffee, attending a party, volunteering and working with others toward a common goal. Social interactions help us feel connected to other people, of course, but also to our world, giving us profound mental and spiritual benefits.
It’s a significant step toward happiness.
“Happiness” is an open-ended term, each person defining it for themselves. In the context of spiritual wellness, we could use this loose meaning (but feel free to apply your own): a feeling of general delight or contentment. Thus, older adults who include regular spiritual practices are more likely to think positively, feel relaxed, and experience their personal version of “happiness.”
Because spiritual wellness can be tied to many of the benefits of living in a community, we invite you to explore the benefits of choosing Galleria Woods. Whether you find your spiritual center through our wellness programs like meditation or you’re seeking spiritual growth through worship, you’ll find it here. You can take a meditative walk through our wooded acres, join us for a yoga class in our fitness center, or hop on our community bus to your house of worship anywhere in the Birmingham area. To learn more about our lifestyle of wellness, contact us here.