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Home » Blogs » A Neurodivergent Perspective » Mental Health and Self-care: Doing Yoga, Practicing Meditation and Journaling to Connect to Your Spirituality  

Mental Health and Self-care: Doing Yoga, Practicing Meditation and Journaling to Connect to Your Spirituality  

My cousin recently spoke with me about wanting to become more spiritual. A journey she knows I’ve been on for quite some time. To help me work through my trauma. To improve my mental health. She was looking for book recommendations, tips, anything, really. As I began to respond to her, I realized there was so much to getting started that I had to write it all down. So here was my advice to her:

To me, the idea is to get your mind, body and soul synced and then your intuition should strengthen, which is what I always consider my connection to ancestors, Universe, God, spirit, etc. And to my own spirituality. I’ve found the best ways to sync my mind, body and soul are through doing yoga, practicing meditation and journaling. 

Doing Yoga 

Yoga gets your mind, body and soul centered. I have developed my own routines, which you can do too once you know the poses well enough. 

I initially started with a teacher, which I would recommend. A good yogi will teach you how to move with your breath and how to get the maximum benefit from each pose. 

While there are many types of yoga, and I don’t claim to be an expert on the terms, I know that the types I practice focus on breathing and movement, not sweat and weight loss, so if you look for a teacher, make sure to find someone who helps you with your inner self.

After I learned some basic postures from my yoga teacher, I started to do Yoga with Adriene at home. She has videos for different moods and ailments that are useful because they help target the emotion or physical issue. She also has yoga for beginners if you decide to start there. 

I really recommend incorporating yoga into the beginning of your spiritual practice because it forces you to move through your issues, thus unleashing things in your body. Teaching you how to breathe. How to work through things (not to avoid them as we all tend to do). How to focus. And how to be connected.

Practicing Meditation 

Meditating is also a good way to get in-tuned with your center, soul, etc. My understanding is that you are seeking a calm, safe space inside yourself, and you are developing a practice to guide you to that place. It’s taken me well over a decade to get into a daily meditation practice (hence, practice) that I can stick to, so just be patient as it unfolds. I discuss getting started with a meditation practice further here.

Journaling

Writing down your experiences and how they make you feel helps your mental processing of emotions that arise during yoga and meditation, and in life in general. Making note of situations that trouble or interest you. That excite you. Basically just keeping an overall record of what you’re experiencing and how you’re feeling when you’re experiencing it. Remember to focus on the feeling, not the issue itself. Though, writing about the issue can often be therapeutic too. 

Also, write down your dreams right when you wake up. I often have things come up in my dreams that may take me a few days or weeks to understand, so writing everything down helps you look back and learn. Dreams are like glimpses into the psyche that way. They’re pretty cool. 

Keep in Mind, This Is a Process 

Learning to connect to my spirituality has been a long process, which I feel it naturally is — a lifelong process. So while I hope I provided some useful ways to get started, keep in mind not to rush things. Don’t force the process. Let it naturally reveal itself to you. And keep in mind your process may be different than mine, so always be open to what speaks to you. Keeps coming up. Draws you in.

Be curious. About yourself, your experiences. And be open to figuring out all that you feel — the good and the bad. Even if it’s painful at first, it’ll lead to something healing if you continue to follow it. Without judgement. Like following breadcrumbs down the trail, take the path. 

Also be curious about others and about the world around you. If there’s something interesting to you, even if don’t know why, do it. Research it. Write about it. Learn from it. Essentially, you want to do an ethnographic study of yourself. Connect, feel, reflect, record, observe, analyze. And most of all, watch. Listen. And be open to everything that comes your way. 

I wish you light and love on your journey. Namaste.

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Photo by Gian D. on Unsplash

 

Mental Health and Self-care: Doing Yoga, Practicing Meditation and Journaling to Connect to Your Spirituality  


Jenna Grace

Jenna Grace is a neurodivergent writer and educator with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sensory processing disorder (SPD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD) diagnoses. She writes and speaks about topics including neurodiversity and SPD in order to help others and to explore new meaning. Visit her website or Twitter, @jennagracewrite.


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APA Reference
Grace, J. (2019). Mental Health and Self-care: Doing Yoga, Practicing Meditation and Journaling to Connect to Your Spirituality  . Psych Central. Retrieved on December 14, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/neurodivergent/2019/11/mental-health-and-self-care-doing-yoga-practicing-meditation-and-journaling-to-connect-to-your-spirituality/

 

Last updated: 29 Nov 2019
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network (blogs.psychcentral.com) prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.