Wanting to become more spiritual is a noble goal. However, it can mean different things for different people, so you may need to explore some to figure out what it means for you. You could try expanding your self-awareness or use others thoughts to help you gain spiritual insight. You could also try spiritual practices, such as meditation, yoga, and stillness, as many people find these helpful.
Method 1 Method 1 of 3:Exploring Your Personal Well-Being and Self-Awareness
Dig deep to figure out your purpose and your values. Spend time on questions that make you think about your life and its meaning. As you do, you will be forced to acknowledge certain aspects of your self and personality, helping you gain more self-awareness, a spiritual quality.
- For instance, spend time writing or thinking about questions like “Why am I here?”; “What can I contribute?”; “What makes me happy?”; and “Why is life meaningful to me?” The answers to these questions will be different for every person. For instance, you might find that spending time with your friends and family is what makes life meaningful for you.
Acknowledge your feelings instead of trying to drown them out. When you feel something, take a moment to figure out exactly what you’re feeling instead of trying to push it down or numb yourself. Try to find a label for your emotion and express it in some way, even if it’s only to yourself. For example, if you’ve had a bad day, you may want to just drown it out with ice cream. While a little ice cream never hurt anyone, first figure out what you’re feeling and why, which will help you deal with the emotion. For instance, maybe you’re upset and frustrated because your boss didn’t acknowledge your contribution and also wouldn’t give you your requested time off.
- Expression can mean saying it out loud to another person, but it can also mean doing things like screaming into a pillow when you’re angry or having a good cry because you’re sad.
- Understanding and acknowledging your emotions is a big part of being more self-aware, which in turn is a part of being spiritual.
Write about life events and your emotional responses. When you’re having a hard day, spend some time free-writing in a journal about it. You don’t have to write about anything specific, but spend some time on your thoughts and feelings about what happened. Don’t judge what you’re writing; just let it come out and worry about what it means later.
- Writing about what’s going on in your life can help you become more self-aware. It helps you sort through your feelings about events even if you don’t realize it in the moment. For instance, if you’re writing about going home to visit family, you may realize you’re feeling resentment because they don’t reciprocate by coming and visiting you.
Method 2 Method 2 of 3:Gaining Spiritual Insight
Read books or articles about spirituality to increase your knowledge. Whatever your faith tradition, whether connected to a religion or not, you should be able to find books to guide you. Take a little time each day to read from these books, as they’ll offer you guidance on your journey to being more spiritual.
- If you’re not sure where to begin, ask for suggestions from like-minded friends or your favorite librarian.
- If you are wanting to explore different religions, try reading parts or all of the central religious books of the major religions, such as the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and the Quran.
Attend lectures, workshops, and classes related to your spiritual interests. Check your local colleges and universities for free community lectures. You can also check churches, temples, and mosques for visiting lecturers presenting on spiritual interests. Libraries may also have the occasional class or workshop.
- You could also attend religious services at a local church, mosque, or temple.
- You can also look into local spiritual retreat centers for paid retreats and workshops.
- Going to hear others speak can open up your mind to new ideas about spirituality.
- You can also find these online.
Meet with friends who have similar spiritual goals to guide each other. Ask around among your friends to see if anyone would like to have a discussion group. You could set up a weekly or even a monthly meeting where you meet up and talk about an issue or particular book or whatever your group finds interesting. Try to pick a topic ahead of time so people can come prepared.
- This type of group can help keep you committed to your journey!
- If none of your friends are interested, try connecting with people on social media. You may find people in your area who want to meet up, which you can find through sites like Meetup, but you can also just discuss topics online!
Travel to expand your mind and find yourself. Traveling is a great way to learn more about the human experience, which is definitely a spiritual quality. It’s also a great way to rejuvenate yourself and reflect on your place in the world.
- Whether you go to a brand new destination or a tried-and-true old favorite, traveling can jump start your spiritual journey, as it takes you away from your normal stressors and allows time for reflection and relaxation.
Method 3 Method 3 of 3:Trying Spiritual Practices
Practice stillness by unplugging from electronics. In today’s busy world, you’re encouraged to go, go, go all the time. When your electronics are on, your brain is always listening for the next email, the next text message, or the next notification. Turning them off gives you a chance to step out of the rat race for a little while and focus on your own spiritual well-being.
- Try unplugging for an hour each day or set aside one day each week where you turn the electronics off.
Work on deep breathing techniques. Incorporate deep breathing techniques into your daily routine. Try one when you wake up or when you’re feeling stressed throughout the day. Deep breathing techniques help you clear your mind, center yourself, and de-stress. Plus, you can practice them almost any time during the day, as it only takes a minute or so to run through one.
- For a simple technique, close your eyes and breathe in while you count to 4 in your head. Hold your breath for 4 counts and then breathe out to the count of 4. Wait 4 counts before you breathe in again and repeat the process.
Incorporate meditation into your daily life. Meditating when you first wake up can help you start your day with less stress, as you’ll feel more centered, relaxed, and spiritual. You can also take meditation breaks throughout the day to return yourself to that clear state of mind.
- Try a simple meditation first. Sit down somewhere you’re comfortable and close your eyes or lower your eyes to the floor. Check in with yourself while you take a few deep breaths. Feel any pains and aches you have in your body and acknowledge any emotions you might be feeling.
- Now, focus on what your body can feel. Think about the weight of your body in the chair or on the floor, the cool or warm air surrounding you, the feel of the carpet or clothing on your skin, and anything else you can feel.
- Try to keep your mind focused on just being aware, not drifting off into thoughts. When one pops up, just acknowledge and gently push it aside to go back to the feelings in your body.
- You could also try prayer as a part of your religious tradition if you have one.
Take a yoga class. Look for classes in your area. Check local yoga studios, your parks and rec department, and your local gym for classes. Sometimes, even libraries will offer these classes. If you don’t have the time or energy to go to a special class, try exploring yoga at home through videos or online tutorials.
- Yoga can help you destress, focus your mind, and feel more centered in your life.
- You can also try other types of classes that get your body moving and focus on centering the mind, such as tai chi.
Spend time outside in a natural environment. While you likely won’t be able to go on a hike in the mountains each day, just spending a little time outside in any natural environment you can find can be beneficial. It can draw you back to your body and help you find your center.
- Find any place in which you can connect to nature, from your backyard to a small neighborhood park or an office courtyard.
- When you’re outside, take in the environment. Focus on the warmth of the sun or the cool breeze against your skin. Take in the bright green of the trees or the light tan of winter grass.
Acknowledge and express gratitude on a daily basis. Expressing gratitude helps you be satisfied with what you have in your life instead of always wanting more. Practicing daily gratitude is a spiritual practice across many faith traditions.
- Try acknowledging something you’re thankful for right when you get up and when you go to bed.
- Let people in your life know when you’re thankful for them and the things they do. It’s helpful to say your gratitude out loud at times!
- Write 3-5 things you’re thankful for each day in a journal.