Spirituality is mistakenly confused with religion frequently, but they are two entirely different entities. Religion is something that many people live without, but spirituality, according to mental health experts, is something that no one should be without. Spirituality constitutes an organized, reverential personal value system that informs a person about why they exist and why the things that take place in existence matter. Some people have a very strong sense of spirituality while others have little to none, but mental health experts agree that spirituality is critical to a person’s personal condition. It is considered to be one of the four primary factors that determine a person’s quality of life. Spirituality is profound its own right and in the way it informs the other factors that determine our personal condition.
People highly value their personal relationships as safe vessels on turbulent seas, but people seldom appreciate how spirituality informs how we think about our personal relationships. A person with no spirituality will think differently about their spouse than a person who believes that a personal God brings spouses together. In the same way, a person with no spirituality will think differently about their child than a person who believes in reincarnation.
In the same regard, people who are not spiritual have a very different take on the purpose of existence than spiritual people do. People who are spiritual tend to feel that existence is very purposeful and meaningful. They also gravitate toward optimism and positivity being the true nature of existence. People who are not spiritual are either much less organized about their thoughts on purpose and meaning, or they are decidedly uninterested in it.
Even when it comes to personal health, being a spiritual person means you will respect your state of health in a different way than a non-spiritual person. Spiritual people feel there is a great deal of meaning to our personal health while non-spiritual people believe that health has no consequence beyond personal comfort and longevity.
Apart from how spirituality informs other areas of life, spirituality has a very profound effect on people in its own right. Spirituality is something that people interact with when they have it because it is essentially some form of belief that a greater plan is unfolding around us and within us. Whether it is a great reverence for nature, a belief in organized cosmic energy or a meaningful relationship with the one called the God of the universe, it is its own life-altering pursuit that greatly enriches the lives of those who embrace it.
Personal relationships are very commonplace. We all have them to some degree. Some are chosen for us and some we hand select. Because they are so common, we often take them for granted for what they really are. Personal relationships are one of the four main factors that determine our quality of life and our personal condition. Despite being so accustomed to our friends, family and peers, if they were taken from us, our sense of self would be lost. At some level, we are acutely aware of this as we love and have concern over the people we care about. This should make us appreciate the importance of our personal relationships, and how they should be prioritzed over a great many other things we think we need.
We humans are evolved to be social creatures. We thrive when we are in cooperation with one another. No matter what you believe about why we are here, it is indisputable that humanity could not have been the most prosperous animal on the planet if it were not for our social sensibilities. We have a very long history of social organization which begins within the family unit and extends outward to larger communities. A large majority of the things we do in life are set up to be done socially because it is how we know to operate.
We have evolved to have strong, personal attachments to the relationships we consider most valuable in life. One reason for this is because it makes the hardships we encounter much more bearable. Life can be dark even for the strongest among us, let alone for people who struggle with mental issues. Personal relationships are very important to coping with life’s hardships. Those who feel a loss for personal relationships in their lives are more likely to fall into depression.
And even when times are not hard, personal relationships do a lot to enhance the quality of a person’s life. Most people’s favorite moments are ones that they shared with their loved ones, laughing, having fun and making memories. Loving personal relationships are a comfort and a source of joy to people.
Having a purpose in life is often considered a way to live life to its full potential. This sentiment almost makes it seem unnecessary to have a true purpose, as if life is manageable without one. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Purpose is actually one of the four main components that determines our personal human condition. If we forego purpose and try to subsist on a totally uninspired life, it will deteriorate us from the inside out. Living without purpose is toxic to our personal condition and can actually depreciate the quality of our health, spirituality and personal relationships.
Without purpose, we struggle to feel a sense of worth and usefulness. It is innately human to attribute value to one’s self based on one’s talents, intellect or ability. In general, people are aware of what they are good at or in what ways they are intelligent, and they strive to make use of their abilities in their vocations. One enormous frustration with capitalistic values is that people cannot always make a living at their talents and are forced into vocations that do not meet their need to be purposeful. This is often referred to as “giving up on your dreams,” but the question is, is it the individual who gives up on their dreams or is it society that gives up on the individual? Humanity would be much happier if everyone was filling their time with the things they considered meaningful instead of lowering themselves from their talents in order to make a living.
The other thing about having purpose in life is that it occupies our talents and minds in the way they were meant to be occupied. People are aware that their personal talents are where their full potential lies. Our brains all have different areas of development which gives us our incredible diversity of talent and ability. Finding one’s purpose in life involves matching up these talents with a legitimate vocation that a person can spend their lifetime focusing on, which will keep their interest better than any other pursuit. When a person is forced to settle for a vocation that does not make use of their true abilities, they are condemned to a life of feeling unsatisfied and not using the most developed parts of their brain. The moral is, a purposeful life is worth fighting for, even if the cards are stacked against you.
Physical and mental health are key components to every individual’s personal condition. Arguably, every component in an individual’s life is either helping or hurting their mental and physical health, but mental and physical health are certainly their own entities. We depend on mental health to interpret the world around us correctly, as well as the world within us. Those who are unable suffer a great deal, while those who are able grow steadily in character and strength. We depend on physical health to keep us actively engaged in life. Pain and illness have a way of removing us from the moment and making us less capable. When we are in good physical health, we are able to reach further potential.
Mental health has as much to do with your current circumstances as it does with the circumstances of your past. Much of our mental health is determined by our biology and our environments. Mental health experts understand that the way we experience the world when we are children has a great deal to do with the outcome of our psychology as adults. People who had a mentally healthy childhood become mentally healthy adults. They are the fortunate ones. People who had a mentally unhealthy childhood are likely to be mentally unhealthy adults. These mentally unhealthy adults have the option of living life according to their past and remaining mentally unhealthy, or beginning the uphill battle for mental health that takes years of work. Good mental health is worth working for in every case because of how greatly it improves one’s quality of life.
Physical health is very similar to mental health and is tied to it in many ways. Much like mental health, physical health is very dependent on biology and environment as they are the two primary factors that influence physical health the most. Many factors that relate to a person’s physical health are passed down through genetics, which are out of a person’s control. Other factors are strongly tied to our childhood, as many health habits from childhood translate directly to adulthood. And recent information indicates that people who had adverse childhood experiences are more likely to struggle with physical health issues. The best thing a person can do to manage their personal health is live in a way that counters the biological misfortune they received through genetics and past experiences.
All too often, substance abuse either enhances or occurs as a result of mental or physical problems. Alcohol and drug abuse are one of the greatest enemies to good mental and physical health. If you or someone you care about is struggling with a substance abuse problem, reach out to alcohol and drug detox centers for help.