The Gavin's Village Blog


Nurturing Your Spirit: A Guide to Improving Spiritual Health

health spiritual Jan 03, 2024

What is spirituality? For some, spirituality takes form in organized religion, but for others, it does not. Research professor and author Dr. Brené Brown defines spirituality as: “recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning, and purpose to our lives” (Brown, 2018). 

Having a strong spiritual wellbeing is important because it can help you build personal strength and growth and feel connected in a meaningful way to other people and nature. If you’re looking to improve your spiritual wellbeing, keep reading: we’ll explore the connection between spiritual and overall health, its components, and provide actionable suggestions on things you can do to improve your spiritual health.

The connection between spiritual and overall health

First, let’s explore how spirituality connects to our overall health. The link between spiritual and overall health is intricate, encompassing various dimensions of well-being, including physical, emotional, mental, and interpersonal aspects.

In the physical realm, engaging in a spiritually fulfilling lifestyle can make a positive impact on multiple areas of our physical health. Researchers found, “studies have shown that religious involvement and spirituality are associated with better health outcomes, including greater longevity, coping skills, and health-related quality of life (even during terminal illness) and less anxiety, depression, and suicide” (Mueller, Plevak, Rummans, 2001). For people who say their personal spirituality is very important, they have 80% decreased relative risk of a diagnosis of addiction to drugs or alcohol (Martin, 2023). Spiritual practices such as meditation and mindful breathing can bring about positive impacts. Studies of meditation, “suggest a possible benefit on cardiovascular risk” and scholars suggest it’s worth trying because meditation as a lifestyle mechanism costs nothing, thus it is accessible (Levine, et. al 2017). 

Emotionally, spiritual health provides a foundation for resilience and coping mechanisms. People with strong spiritual connections often exhibit greater emotional stability, finding solace even in challenging circumstances. How? It connects back to having a purpose. When you face a difficult time in your life, believing that there’s a purpose for it can motivate you to get up and face the day and make progress toward overcoming the challenge.

Mentally, spiritual practices contribute to cognitive clarity, mindfulness, and a sense of inner peace.. Researchers have found that academic literature, “suggests that spiritual health has a strong relationship with quality of life, mental health, and job burnout” (Akbari, Hossaini, 2018). Spending time meditating can bring about improved focus, heightened self-awareness, and enhanced mental clarity. 

Interpersonally, spirituality helps to foster meaningful connections. Shared spiritual beliefs often form the basis for communities and relationships, which can build a sense of belonging and support. But it doesn’t rely on people sharing spiritual beliefs; a spiritual person can feel a connection with others simply for sharing the human experience. Compassion, a central tenet of many spiritual traditions, strengthens interpersonal bonds and contributes to a harmonious social environment.

Our physical, emotional, and mental health are all connected, so if spirituality can boost how we’re doing in any of these areas, that can bring about a chain reaction of positive effects. For example, if you’re feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of assignments due at work or school, or juggling family obligations, that can impact your mental and emotional health by causing stress and worry. That stress can impact your physical health in the form of headaches, stomach upset, high blood pressure, and more (Mayo Clinic, 2023). But if you have spiritual health, you may be able to approach your work, school, or family obligations by connecting them to your sense of purpose, which can address the feelings and physical manifestations at the source. 


Understanding spiritual health 

At the core of spiritual well-being lie three pivotal components. Firstly, purpose and meaning imbue life with significance, offering a guiding light for personal growth. Individuals with a clear sense of purpose understand their place in the world and the impact they can make on others.

Secondly, the connection with self and others forms a vital strand of spiritual health. Through introspection and self-awareness, individuals go on a journey of self-discovery. This can allow them to build a profound understanding of their values and beliefs, which they can translate into action. Simultaneously, forging meaningful connections with others creates a sense of belonging and shared experiences, contributing to a supportive social framework that enriches spiritual fulfillment.

Thirdly, transcendence and mindfulness can bring about a heightened state of consciousness. Transcending beyond the mundane, individuals often find spiritual elevation through practices like meditation. Mindfulness, in turn, encourages you to focus on the present moment. This reduces the mental clutter that can get in the way of your spiritual growth. 

How to improve spiritual health

Improving your spiritual health is a journey, though fortunately, there are many clear actions you can take to get started or keep going.

  1. Self-reflection. Self-reflection through things like journaling can help you feel more grounded and better understand your feelings, actions, reactions and help you build a life of intention. If you don’t know where to start, consider following guided journaling prompts. 
  2. Meditation and mindfulness. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life to pause and think intentionally. Even when it feels like you have too much going on to take a break, taking a few minutes to meditate and breathe deeply can help you reset and recharge. Consider learning the profound practice of Transcendental Meditation (TM). Also, simply check out this series of guided 10-minute meditations available on YouTube as a starting point to help you begin this practice.
  3. Cultivating gratitude. When we are grateful for what we do have in our lives, that helps ground us and allows us to feel more spiritually connected. Make a list of all that you are grateful for, then each thing as a journaling prompt for a week or two. Volunteer at a local organization or event that supports those in need to help cultivate gratitude and put out some positive energy.
  4. Connecting with your community. Connecting with other people helps us build our spirituality as we start to see similarities and celebrate the differences with others we know. You can connect with your community in so many ways. Reach out to a friend you haven’t spoken with in a while to check in. Introduce yourself to your neighbors. Attend a local event that aligns with your values to meet others who can build up your spiritual health. 
  5. Connecting with nature. Many people find spirituality in nature as it reminds us that we are part of an environment and ecosystem just like our surroundings and animals. Visit a park, nature reserve, body of water, or hiking trail, and take in the sights and sounds. Consider journaling or meditating while you’re there to enhance your experience. 
  6. Building a personal spiritual practice. Each person practices spirituality in their own way. Some are part of a congregation at a house of worship. Others express their spirituality individually. Try the different things on this list and see what serves you and revisit them from time to time. 



Nurturing spiritual health is a transformative journey. Through purpose, connection, and mindfulness, we discover the profound interconnectedness of our existence. As we strive for inner peace, resilience, and meaningful connections, the pursuit of spiritual well-being becomes a guiding force. In cultivating your spiritual health, you’ll go down the path to a more fulfilling and harmonious life. 

If you’re looking for a community to build your spiritual health, join our online community, Gavin’s Village. Connect with like-minded people on their growth journeys under the guidance of a licensed mental health therapist. 


Akbari, M., & Hossaini, S. M. (2018). The Relationship of Spiritual Health with Quality of Life,
Mental Health, and Burnout: The Mediating Role of Emotional Regulation. Iranian Journal
of Psychiatry, 13(1), 22-31.

Brown, B. (2018, March 27). Defining Spirituality. Brené Brown. Retrieved December 19, 2023,

Levine, G., Lange, R. A., Bairey-Merz, N., Davidson, R. J., Jameson, K., Mehta, P. K., Michos, E.
D., Norris, K., Basu Ray, I., Saban, K. L., Shah, T., Stein, R., & Smith, S. C. (2017).
Meditation and Cardiovascular Risk Reduction: A Scientific Statement From the
American Heart Association. Journal of the American Heart Association, 6(10).

Martin, R. (2023, July 30). This Ivy League researcher says spirituality is good for our mental
health. National Public Radio. Retrieved December 18, 2023, from 


Mayo Clinic (2023, August 10). Stress symptoms: Effects on your body and behavior. Retrieved
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Mueller, P. S., Plevak, D. J., & Rummans, T. A. (2001). Religious involvement, spirituality, and
medicine: Implications for clinical practice. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 76(12), 1225-35.

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