Spiritual Repair for Mental Health

mental health spiritualityDo you struggle with mental health problems? Are you frustrated by a seeming┬áinability to get on top of them? Have you tried counseling and medications and feel like nothing works? Perhaps it is time to think outside the box. The four main elements that make up a person’s quality of life are their physical health, relationships, purpose and spirituality. I would like to focus on the spirituality aspect as it relates to mental health.

A person’s spirituality is not their religious beliefs. It is what is at a person’s core about why they believe we are here, and why they believe they,┬áin particular, are here. Another important component to spirituality is believing that our existence is significant on some level. This is what motivates a person to be effective and moral. This is a simple matter for some and a very complex matter for others.

Some people have never questioned what they believe about why we are here. People are often born into a community that holds spiritual beliefs and those being raised within the community adopt those beliefs for life. Others take the personal journey of discovering what they believe about why we are here very seriously and may try a number of different beliefs on for size.

The importance of spirituality to everyone – not just religious people – is this: it affects how you think about the meaning of your own life. You have probably seen the social media debate about whether or not religion is responsible for morality. Many people have taken offense to that claim, but the truth is that spirituality is responsible for morality, because spirituality informs all of us that our actions have consequences, and the actions we choose affect us and those around us for better or worse.

Those who embrace an uplifting form of spirituality in their lives, and have taken the care to develop their personal spirituality into something substantial, are far more likely to have good mental health because they believe in the meaning that their life carries. They also believe that their own spiritual state is bettered by healthy lifestyle choices and by their own attitude.

Addictions and Disorders

disorder and addictionThere is little that is more destructive to the life of the spirit than an addiction or a mental disorder. The embodiment of mental unhealthiness, addictions and disorders are serious conditions that keep a person from thinking in a healthy way and becoming who they are. They come in many shapes and sizes, but they are always destructive. A person who is suffering from an addiction or a disorder will have to undergo a great deal of spiritual healing before they can be healthy again.

Addiction, from a spiritual standpoint, is a major diversion away from a person’s true self. A person cannot become who they are and have an addiction, because addiction will always take over the person’s identity if it is allowed to survive. An addiction is like a cancer, eating away at all the things a person truly values and replacing them with an obsessive need to serve the addiction. This moves a person further and further away from having a healthy spirit.

Mental disorders are road blocks that keep a person from becoming who they are. Mental disorders are sources of low self-esteem and of underperformance. They have the effect of a toxin that inhibits a person from personal growth and keeps them stagnant and trapped by the disorder. People with mental disorders desperately want to end them, but there is no quick fix to a mental disorder. Only with time, perseverance, courage, spirituality and surrender will a person conquer their mental disorder.

Spiritual healing is necessary in order to grow out of addiction and mental disorder. Letting your spirit recover as well as your physical health and mental health is very important to the healing process. It takes time, and there is no one method of achieving spiritual growth, but there are basic principles of spiritual growth. Namely, your life should reflect what you believe in your heart about why we are here. Your beliefs should carry a sense of optimisim, as optimism is what moves all things forward. This optimism may come in many forms, so long as it allows you the strength you need to live a full life of purpose.

Different Spiritualites

spiritualitySpirituality is often mistaken for religion, but those who identify themselves as spiritual know that spirituality is very distinct from religion. A spiritualist usually comes in one of five different forms: religious, theist, deist, agnostic or spiritualist. All five represent unique ways of thinking and of believing why we are here.

  • Spiritualist. A person who identifies themselves strictly as a spiritualist may have a more broad belief system than other kinds of spiritualists. Agnostics and theists are also spiritualists, but a person can be a spiritualist without being an agnostic or a theist. A spiritualist is simply someone who believes that the spirit realm is just as real as the realm of space, time and matter. They may be specific about the forms that spiritual beings take or they may believe that the forms of spirits are unknowable to people. One does not need to believe in God to be a spiritualist.
  • Agnostic. A person who identifies themselves as an agnostic is a person who believes that there is a God but we cannot understand or know anything about him / her. They may believe that religious interpretations of God are a good effort at understanding him / her, but they put no stock in any one religion’s interpretation of God. They believe that God is mysterious and unknowable, and anyone who claims to understand God is foolish.
  • Deist. A person who identifies themselves as a deist is someone who believes in a powerful God but does not believe that he interacts with people or oversees the affairs of people. A deist believes that we are inherently separated from God by circumstance.
  • Theist. A person who identifies themselves as a theist is one who believes in a personal, all powerful God who governs his / her creation and is concerned for the affairs of people. This sounds similar to what some religions believe about God, but theism is not tied to any particular religion.
  • Religious spirituality. It is true that not everyone who is religious is spiritual, however, a spiritual religious person channels their spiritualism into the beliefs that their religion defines.