_We are not human beings having a spiritual experience_ we are spiritual beings having a human experience._

Welcome to Spirituality and Mental Health! I, Monique Hassan, am the writer behind the veil and I happily welcome you. Sit back, relax and put your feet up. Let’s explore the intersection of Spirituality and Mental Health.

 

What is Spiritual Psychology

Essentially, spiritual psychology refers to the integration of modern psychology alongside faith. It acknowledges the influence of our soul/spirit on our emotions and behaviors.  Simply put, an integration of the social sciences with spiritual ideologies. This also includes incorporating faith as a part of the healing process.

As an example, within many faith backgrounds, we find beliefs and values that line up with modern psychology. In Islamic tradition, we are taught that nafs (inner self/spirit) influence our desires and we need self-control as well as self-awareness to prevent this from controlling us. In the Christian tradition, some will refer to the holy spirit as influencing them in a way they are not always aware of. Nature-based spiritual practices often refer to the energy around us that influence our perceptions and emotions. Psychology refers to much of this as the subconscious mind which has the ability to influence as well as override our consciousness when emotions, values, and desires run high.

Faith as Part of Healing

Utilizing one’s faith as part of their healing process can be very beneficial. Likewise, therapy and coaching sessions that neglect to incorporate one’s faith can hinder one’s healing process if they are a devoutly religious individual.

Think about how often we hear people praising God when they escaped a dangerous situation or avoided some type of problem. Think about how often we hear people begging God for help when they are anxious about a potential issue. Now, think about when disaster strikes. In these moments of crisis, one with faith can continue to thank God and internalize the concept of “everything happens for a reason, this is part of God’s plan”.

Instead of letting a crisis break them down, they can utilize positive self-affirmations such as “God has a plan for me, this is my test and God loves me”. They are demonstrating an aspect of cognitive therapy by using self-talk to combat the irrational and negative thoughts such as “everything is falling apart, I don’t know what to do”.

This type of Mindset Aligns with Positive Psychology.

In the event that the person is very saddened and distraught by a trauma situation, they can fall upon their faith. It provides them with support and the tests become hidden blessings when the person strengthens their faith as a result of the hardship. In my own moments of crisis and trauma, it was my faith that made me stronger and pushed me forward towards becoming the strong-minded woman that I am today. Alhamdulillah (All thanks and praise to God)

Utilizing one’s faith as part of their healing process

Why Spirituality and Mental Health

The combination of spirituality and mental health gives way to the possibility of deeper levels of understanding into ourselves. Potential to strengthen our resolve and transform our mindsets. Positive spiritual psychology encompasses many aspects of our daily lives such as how we react to situations, relationship dynamics and why we feel how we do.  One’s faith is an integral piece of the puzzle in their psyche.

 

Exercise For You

Take 5 minutes today to sit and reflect on your own spirituality. Reflect on why you believe what you do and how this can impact you.