Spiritual health is achieved when you feel at peace with life. It is when you are able to find hope and comfort in even the hardest of times. It can help to support you as you experience life completely. Spirituality is different for everyone. Possibly the most abstract of the various dimensions of health, spiritual health is challenging to define, develop, and maintain.
But this aspect of wellness should not be underestimated. An individual with high levels of spiritual wellness will experience increased physical, social, and emotional health. There are well documented and tested characteristics of spirituality that the Health Guardian can develop using recognized evidence driven approaches toward increased levels of spiritual health, self-reliance, wellness, and pathology prevention.
Relaxation and biofeedback are directed toward helping persons with chronic pain become aware of their ability to exert some control over physiologic processes of which they are not normally aware (e.g., muscle tension, heart rate, skin temperature, and respiration). Relaxation, self-hypnosis, and meditation techniques are a form of physiologic self-management. They assist individuals with muscle relaxation and distraction away from pain perception. Biofeedback uses feedback from a device or computer to give information about a person’s progress. This can be particularly useful in headaches and chronic pain in which pain tends to tense muscles, which often causes increased pain due to muscle fatigue.
Hypnosis is a state of deep relaxation, which involves selective focusing, receptive concentration, and minimal motor functioning. A National Institutes of Health Technology Panel found strong support for the use of hypnosis for the reduction of pain. Individuals can be taught to use hypnosis on themselves (self-hypnosis) by the Health Guardian, and the use of self-hypnosis can provide pain relief for up to several hours at a time.
There are a variety of meditative practices, with the most studied one for chronic pain being mindfulness-based stress reduction. Mindfulness is a way of learning to relate directly to whatever is happening in your life, a way of taking charge of your life, a way of doing something for yourself that no one else can do for you — consciously and systematically working with your own stress, pain, illness, and the challenges and demands of everyday life.
For the person moving toward the self-actualization of her/his values, they increasingly become other-oriented. Such a mental stance allows the listener to love the other for who they are. It strips the judgmental attitude of being ‘holier than thou.’ The Health Guardian, enjoys this opportunity to move towards self-actualization as they reach out and help others with their experiences in pathology prevention.
People of all walks of life have this opportunity daily. It is not the giving of an empty handout, rather, it is a daily venture of truly listening to what the other person needs at that time. When a Health Guardian truly can hear her/his clients, they know what the client needs. Sometimes, frequently, it is passionate words which release an unnecessary sense of guilt. Sometimes, the person needs a two-by-four across the head, as only a best friend could get away with.
The Health Guardian can suggest behaviors that are recognized as those which lead to self-actualization. For pathology prevention, you need to be present. The un-self-conscious ability to be wholly absorbed in the present. Self-actualization, means experiencing fully, vividly, selflessly, with full concentration and total absorption. It means experiencing without the self-consciousness of the adolescent. At this moment of experiencing, the person is wholly and fully human. This is a self-actualizing moment. This is a moment where the self is actualizing itself.
Be aware of your choices. Throughout our days, we are consistently presented with choices. Many of these choices, we could classify each option as being either progressive or regressive. Rather than instinctively choosing the safe, fear-motivated option, we need to be aware of our choices and whether they encourage growth. Self-actualization is an on-going process. It means making each of the single choices about whether to lie or be honest, whether to steal or not steal at a particular point, and it means to make each of these choices as a growth choice.
Get to know yourself. To talk of self-actualization, implies there is a ‘self’ to be actualized. A human being, according to the Humanistic Theory, is not a lump of clay or Plasticine. He/She is something with agency that is already there. Rather than consult society, your peers, or the establishment about how you should feel and think about something, get to know your internal self. Far more often than we realize, we offload our opinions to authority, but it's in those opinions that we can identify our true selves.
Most of the time, be honest. Not all of the time — sometimes we need to be diplomatic, or polite. Being truly honest, especially with oneself, is a method of taking responsibility. The Health Guardian can see it, can feel it, can know the moment of responsibility. Then there is a clear knowing of what it feels like. This is one of the great steps. Each time one takes responsibility, this is an actualizing of the self.
Don’t worry about conformity. Part of learning more about yourself means that you can more often rely on yourself to make judgements. Various authorities act as arbiters of taste, but when you understand yourself better, you'll also understand what works for you and what does not. The Health Guardian acknowledges that relying on yourself may not make you popular with everybody, and being okay with that is something believed indispensable for self-actualization.
Self-actualize continuously. Self-actualization is not an end state. It is the process of actualizing one's potentialities at any time, in any amount. Self-actualization is a process, and it's a difficult one. If you are ‘meant’ to be a fantastic musician or an inspiring leader, you won't be satisfied with being just a decent musician or a decent leader. Self-actualized individuals are constantly working to be the best they can be.
Recognize peak experiences. These peak experiences are transient moments of self-actualization, brief moments of beauty and wonder. Everybody experiences them to some degree, but the Health Guardian can’t pass these experiences out. Instead, each person must recognize them when they do happen as they can point you in the right direction for your self-actualization. The Health Guardian can at best help you see the experiences after the fact, and help build confidence.
Taking control of your emotional health involves realizing that choices you make about sleep, diet and exercise can have a direct impact on your emotions and state of mind. It also means being proactive when you are concerned about your thoughts or feelings. When unaddressed, mental health problems like depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, eating disorders and addiction can make it hard to do well or feel good. The good news is that these problems are treatable and getting help is the first step towards feeling better and moving forward.
Emotional health isn't always about being in a good mood. It’s about equipping yourself to deal with the good, the bad, and everything in between. The Health Guardian can help improve emotional health buy practicing emotional regulation such as meditation, journaling, and listening to music. Exercise is another emotional improvement method of the Health Guardian. They can also help strengthen social connections. Your links to others can have powerful effects on your emotional and physical health. Staying connected with loved ones can provide a buffer when you’re going through challenges.
Be mindful. A growing body of research links mindfulness with less emotional reactivity and greater relationship satisfaction. Mindfulness can be as simple as focusing on one thing at a time, trying a social media detox, or turning household tasks into a mental break. The point is to be consistent with your mindfulness practice.
Get quality, regenerating sleep. Being sleep-deprived leads to more repetitive negative thoughts. Being overly tired can make you more emotionally reactive. Good emotional health is crucial to your overall well-being. If you feel like your thoughts and emotions are getting the best of you, take care of your core needs — like sleep and connecting with loves ones — this can help.
Here are some ways to create a better work-life balance. Accept that there is no 'perfect' World-Balance. When you hear "World-Balance," you probably imagine having an extremely productive day at work and leaving early to spend the other half of the day with friends and family. While this may seem ideal, it is not always possible. Don't strive for the perfect schedule; strive for a realistic one. Some days, you might focus more on work, while others you might run errands, still others you may have more time and energy to pursue your hobbies or spend time with your loved ones. Balance is achieved over time, not each day. It is important to remain fluid and constantly assess where you are [versus] your goals and priorities. At times your children may need you, and other times, you may need to travel for work, but allowing yourself to remain open to redirecting and assessing your needs on any day is key in finding balance.
Your overall physical, spiritual, and mental health should be your main concern. If you struggle with anxiety or depression and think therapy would benefit you, fit those sessions into your schedule, even if you must drop other obligations, leave work early, or ditch your evening spin class. If you are battling a chronic illness, don't be afraid to call in sick on rough days. Overworking yourself prevents you from getting better, possibly causing you to take more days off in the future. Prioritizing your health first and foremost will make you a better person. Prioritizing your health doesn't have to consist of radical or extreme activities. It can be as simple as daily meditation or exercise.
Don't be afraid to unplug. We live in a connected world that never sleeps. Cutting ties with the outside world from time to time allows us to recover from weekly stress and gives us space for other thoughts and ideas to emerge. Unplugging can mean something simple like practicing transit meditation on your daily commute, instead of checking work emails. Taking that time to unwind is critical to success and will help you feel more energized when you're juggling plates.
Take a vacation. Sometimes, truly unplugging means taking vacation time and shutting work completely off for a while. Whether your vacation consists of a one-day 'staycation' or a two-week trip to Bali, it's important to take time off to physically and mentally recharge. The truth is, there is no nobility in not taking well-deserved time away from work; the benefits of taking a day off far outweigh the downsides. With proper planning, you can take time away without worrying about burdening your colleagues or contending with a huge workload when you return.
Make time for yourself and your loved ones. Don’t leave these 'plates' out of the juggle. While one 'plate' may be more important, it shouldn't be your entire life. You are an individual, and you should prioritize the activities or hobbies that make you happy and add them to your collection of 'plates' needing juggling. Achieving World-Balance requires deliberate action. If you do not firmly plan for personal time, you will never have the time. No matter how hectic your schedule might be, you ultimately must take control of your time and life. When planning time with your loved ones, create a calendar for romantic and family dates. It may seem weird to plan one-on-one time with someone you live with, but it will ensure that you spend quality time with them without interruptions or excuses.
Set 'plate' boundaries. Set boundaries for yourself, your colleagues, relatives, and other relationships to avoid overworking and burnout. When you leave the office, avoid thinking about upcoming projects or answering company emails. Consider having a separate computer or phone for work, so you can shut it off when you clock out. If that isn't possible, use separate browsers, emails or filters for your work and personal platforms. Additionally, it is important to set specific times, for different plates. Notify others about your time boundaries beyond which you cannot be accessible, because you are engaged in other activities. This will help to ensure that they understand and respect your limits and expectations.
Set goals and priorities (and stick to them). Set achievable goals that you are passionate about, with respect to your career, health and relationships. Think about what tasks are most important for achieving a healthy World-Balance and prioritize them. Make your day as productive as possible by implementing time management strategies, analyzing your to-do list and cutting out tasks that have little to no value.
Pay attention to when you are most productive, block that time off for your most important activities. Avoid checking your emails and phone every few minutes, as those are major time-wasting tasks that derail your attention and productivity. Structuring your day can increase productivity, which can result in more free time, or time for additional ‘plates’. Regardless of what your goals and priorities are, make sure that they are aligned and not in conflict to maintain a healthy World-Balance.
The Health Guardian must keep in mind that World-Balance will mean different things to different people because, after all, we all have different life commitments. Balance is a very personal thing and only the individual can decide the lifestyle that best suits them.
Step 1: One method the Health Guardian can use for finding a purpose in your life is a five step process. In the method's first step, you must find out what drives you. So, one way to find your purpose is to ask yourself: What pain or injustice or unhappiness have you witnessed that you just can't live with? Is there anything that touches you so deeply that it drives you? Often, a powerful purpose can come from powerful pain.
Step 2: Find out what energizes you. Be careful, you can burn out your life purpose if you pursue it in the wrong ways — ways that deplete rather than energize you. It is not enough to know the problem you want to solve; you have to think carefully about the way that you want to solve it. So to find your life purpose, ask yourself: What energizes you?
Step 3: Find out what you are willing to sacrifice for. When you find something that you are willing to sacrifice lots for, you know that you've found your purpose. So ask yourself: What are you willing to sacrifice for?
Step 4: Find out who you want to help. To find your life purpose, ask yourself: Who do you want to help? There are many ways to chip away at the same problem, and it's up to you to find out who you want to help. By figuring out the specific person or people you want to help, you can more easily find your purpose.
Step 5: Find out how you want to help. Ask yourself: What do you love to do? And how do you apply this passion to your purpose? To find your purpose, you need to figure out how you can best use your passions and skills to achieve your unique goals and solve your unique problems.
Finding your life purpose is a lifelong journey. It's OK to take it one step at a time. It's normal to pause and reevaluate regularly. And it's OK to feel overwhelmed. Nothing worth doing is easy, and this will not always be easy. You will encounter frustrations and challenges along the way. Some days, you'll throw your hands up in the air in defeat. But then you'll remember Step 1. You're driven to solve this problem, and for some reason, you won't let yourself give up.