"Fulfilling Your Spiritual Needs"
By Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD

Spiritual health is the ultimate goal to achieve total wellness, and leads to a heightened awareness of the Divine Spirit referred to, but seldom fostered by religions. It doesn’t matter how you achieve Spiritual health. What matters is that you come to know and attune yourself to spiritual guidance in all areas of your daily life. Doing so reduces fear, anxiety, worrying and provides a greater capacity for loving oneself and others unconditionally. Spirituality helps you reconnect to your special talents and gifts so that you can fulfill your life’s purpose.

An intimate emotional connection to one’s spouse, partner, family, friends, and community provides the greatest opportunity for spiritual growth and for learning how to receive and impart unconditional love.
The four most important practices to achieve spiritual health are: Prayer, Meditation, Gratitude, Spending time in nature, including near fire and water.

Prayer: Harvard researcher and mind/body medicine expert Herbert Benson, M.D., author of The Relaxation Response, has found that regular prayer or the repetition of spiritual phrases—“Shalom," "Hail Mary,” “Amen” triggers relaxation and reduces stress.

Prayer is the most common spiritual practice. Some engage in personal conversations with God, stating their need/concern and asking for divine intervention. Others find acknowledging all one is grateful for and giving thanks for what one desires highly effective. Giving thanks for what one desires is more effective than asking for what one desires, because God knows what is needed before one needs it—therefore giving thanks acknowledges what one hasn’t experienced yet, thus drawing it toward oneself. Others walk silently in nature as prayerfulness.
Meditation: Meditation has been scientifically researched and proven to have physiological benefits. Besides its physical benefits, which include stress-relief, improved immune and cardiovascular function, relaxation, and decreased pain, the regular practice of meditation can lead to new insights about life issues (often healing past emotional trauma), heightened creativity, inspiration, greater compassion for others, and a greater connection to one's own inner guidance.

Meditation can be done while sitting, lying, walking or jogging. Some people include singing, chanting a word or phrase that has spiritual significance. Meditation has one commonality—conscious breathing and focusing on what is transpiring in each moment, until the mind becomes empty of thoughts, judgments, and past/future concerns.

Gratitude: Dr. Robert Anderson describes gratitude as the Great Attitude. "Gratitude produces feelings of joy and self-acceptance, and is an attitude that anyone can choose, just as we can choose to see the glass half full or half empty. Being grateful for what you have, instead of worrying about what you lack, enables you to let go of negative thoughts and attitudes more easily.”

One method of cultivating feelings of gratitude is keeping a gratitude journal. Another technique is closing your eyes before bed, and recognizing everything you experienced—give thanks for them. Every experience is an opportunity to learn. "By making gratitude a regular part of your daily experience, you set the stage for living connected to spirit. In the process, your life will be transformed into an increasingly joyous adventure," Dr. Anderson stated.
Spend time in nature: The most visible manifestation of spirit is nature, where one fully encounters and interacts with life's primal energies—earth, water, fire, and air.

Walking barefoot in the back yard, gardening, walking in a park, hiking, biking in the country, camping and boating are excellent ways of reconnecting with nature. Spending regular time in nature enables one to understand the rhythms of life, including ones own. Staying connected with nature wherever you live is important.

Spend time near/in water: Water's higher concentration of negative ions contributes to feelings of well-being. Being in the ocean, lakes, rivers, or soaking in a mineral hot springs is a great way to benefit from nature’s life-enhancing energy.

Exposure to fire: A campfire or a fireplace has health benefits. Leonard Orr discovered fire cleanses the bio-energy field of negative energies, and can be a powerful aid in curing physical disease. Native Americans connect with the Great Spirit and discover their life purpose through sweat lodges heated by wood fires.

Of all nature's elements, the closest expression of Spirit is the air. Clean, fresh air is essential to health on all levels, and practicing conscious breathing is a potent self-care method for restoring energy and creating awareness of the power of Spirit as it flows through you.

Regular exposure to these four elements helps you become more conscious how Spirit's loving intelligence sustains the world, while more deeply recognizing your place within it.

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Author's Bio: 

This definition is part of a series that covers the topic of Spiritual Guides. The Official Guide to Spiritual Guides is Reverend Barbara Marie Babish. Reverend Barbara Marie enjoys the life purpose of assisting Lightworkers and Healing Facilitators in deepening and strengthening their Spiritual Connection. She is successful in doing this by providing Divinely Inspired Services.

Additional Resources on Spiritual Guides can be found at:

Website Directory for Spiritual Guides
Articles on Spiritual Guides
Products for Spiritual Guides
Discussion Board
Reverend Barbara Marie Babish, The Official Guide to Spiritual Guides