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Spirituality and Mindfulness in Mental Health

Spirituality advocates for mindfulness regardless of whichever faith path or belief system one has.  We can see spirituality integrated into many mindfulness practices like holotropic breathing, prayer or yoga. Yoga, for example, can be spiritual or not, but it does advocate for mindfulness and focus.

Mindfulness and increased focus have been shown as an important psychological benefit of many spiritual and holistic practices.  Mindfulness is more than just a hot keyword, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is a very real focus on psychology. Research supports that MBCT is a beneficial therapy for depression and anxiety. While MBCT may not specifically be spiritual in nature, the mindfulness associated with it is often a link to our spirituality.

Increase Your Spiritual Mindfulness

One of the exercises seen in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is meditation. Prayer and meditation are alike in many ways and acts as great tools to increase one’s mindfulness with their spirituality. It is your choice which one is more suitable for you or if you like to do both, try to make prayer and/or meditation a regular part of your daily activities with the intention to improve your self-awareness, your mindfulness, your spirituality and ultimately your mental health.

Can Spiritual Mindfulness Make you Happy

If mindfulness is seen within spirituality as well as within secular therapeutic techniques, we have to agree that it must have some sort of benefit for our emotional state. The American Psychological Association published a blog showcasing multiple studies that highlight mindfulness be of benefit for depression, anxiety as well as improvements in overall cognitive functioning.

When we engage in spiritual practices which use mindfulness, such as prayer or morning meditation, we have an anchor that we focus on and even if external distractions occur (thoughts enter our mind or we hear a car), we accept those and give them their time, we don’t try to change or get mad at the distraction, then we return to that anchor.

We increase our patience with this effort, our awareness is heightened yet it does not pull us away from our anchor. This mindfulness allows us to develop a more serene and level-headed composure, an increased  God-consciousness. That type of calmness and awareness of faith begins to become normal for the practitioner as it extends into their normal daily routine, not just prayer or morning meditation time.

Furthermore, increased awareness of the present moment prevents us from focusing too much on the past, ruminating, revisiting pain and regretting, and helps us to stop inventing hypothetical anxiety-provoking thoughts in our head. If we combine this acceptance and mindfulness of the present, it may help us let go of anxiety and be more accepting of the logical facts.

 

Final Thoughts

Spiritual mindfulness is a benefit for one’s quality of life, prevents us from focusing too much on the past as well as the future. We can become more centered and even more grateful if we are more conciously aware of our faith during the day and accept the distractions, accept what comes into our path, but we do not feel negative towards it. We simply deal with it in a calm fashion and return to our anchor.

 

Spirituality and Mindfulness in Mental Health

Monique Hassan

Monique Hassan is a freelance writer specializing in spiritual psychology. She has a passion for integrating spirituality within the framework of modern psychology. She also works as a patient advocate at an inpatient behavioral health facility and volunteers at interfaith workshops. She has a bachelors of science in psychology with a minor in biology and is certified in crisis prevention and intervention.


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APA Reference
Hassan, M. (2017). Spirituality and Mindfulness in Mental Health. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 19, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/spirituality/2017/12/spirituality-and-mindfulness-in-mental-health/

 

Last updated: 25 Dec 2017
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 25 Dec 2017
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.