Accessing Spirituality For Mental and Emotional Well-Being
Spirituality – correctly applied and understood – is the basis of mental and emotional health and of much psychological healing. Most people do not know this, as many people today have little or no knowledge of spirituality or religious training or training in spiritual practice. But for those who do, religious faith and spiritual awareness can be tapped and developed in counseling and psychotherapy to greatly facilitate the healing of many problems of life, such as anxiety and depression, relationship problems, and the challenges and struggles of living.
Many of the practices, techniques and skills taught and counsels given by therapists and mental health providers are based in spiritual principles and draw upon strengths and potentialities of the human spirit. In either case, conscious awareness of these realities and of spiritual principles can be a great assist to those who are striving to cope with life in a mentally and emotionally healthy and effective way.
By spirituality is meant the abilities and faculties of the human spirit – of the human soul – that are so often ignored and underdeveloped, but which are nevertheless present in everyone but are typically utilized unconsciously and often in counterproductive and harmful ways. Among these are the faculties of mind, imagination, reason, perception, feeling, heart and spirit – the capacities for love, volition, choice, drive, motivation, goal-directedness, intentionality, purpose, and for moral and ethical behavior, etc.
All of these are faculties and potentialities of the inner metaphysical self, the eternally existent soul, can be consciously developed and utilized for purposes of self-monitoring, enabling us to make choices and discoveries that can free us from the constraints of circumstances, from control by others, from habits and vices, and from physical and temporal difficulties and limitations, and are fostered by effective psychotherapy. Currently, the mindfulness practices promoted by many therapists are very helpful in this – especially in managing moods, anxiety, stress and depression, in overcoming personality problems and character defects, in helping people manage panic, access serenity and clearer thinking, make better choices and decisions, and take better actions.
Application in one’s own life of the universal moral truths, principles and values promoted by the great religious teachers of the world is also a spiritual practice conducive to the discovery of greater purpose, meaning, empathy, connection, service and satisfaction in life – all of which are supported and promoted by wise and effective advisors, counselors, coaches and therapists, and are among the concepts they access to facilitate and promote mental and emotional, psychological and social health and healing and increased fullness of life.
Anyone seeking mental and emotional health and healing would do well, therefore, in seeking a helping professional who supports these awarenesses.