Physical health provides a person with stamina, endurance and functional strength. Mental health enhances a person’s verbal, analytic and numerical skills. Do you know what benefits spiritual health provide an individual? Spiritual health allows an individual to achieve a sense of peace, fulfillment and joy. Although external factors affect how a person feels, our emotional responses to circumstances are determined by our internal harmony. The process of spiritual development allows an individual to be calm in dangerous situations, comfortable with silence and content with even the most modest of lifestyles.
However, there are aspects of the self that may hinder an individual to achieve such enlightenment. Here are five influences that each individual must avoid or overcome.
1. Negative Thoughts
Spiritual development is about attuned to the universe and expecting positive outcomes. It is about living with optimism and trust. Negative thoughts cause fear and doubt in the minds of individuals. It forces an individual to live with anxiety. The peace of mind required to develop internal harmony cannot be achieved if one lives in fear. When negative thoughts come along, do your best to overcome them. If they persist in your mind, meditate and recall what aspects of your life you should be grateful for. The best weapon against negativity is simply an attitude of gratitude.
Regret and guilt are among the most common hindrances to spiritual development. One of the best ways to combat such feelings is to avoid reckless actions. It is the things we say and the actions that we do in the heat of the moment that we regret and feel guilty about the most. When such high-stress situations arise, try your best to maintain your internal harmony by thinking before acting. The more developed your spirit is, the longer you’ll be able to prevent emotional outbursts that damage valuable relationships.
3. Lack of Humor
Laughter is the best medicine. There are circumstances and situations in life that can’t be prevented, regardless of how well we handle ourselves. Some of these situations are going to be so absurd that they could get very frustrating. Transcend these frustrations by developing a healthy sense of humor. A person who takes himself too seriously will always find something to frown about. Spiritual development and internal harmony can be achieved by developing an ability to find amusement in the absurdities of life.
One of the most common stumbling blocks to spiritual development is impatience. Because of how fast paced life has become, a lot of people have lost one of the most important human skills – the ability to sit still and wait. Chinese scholars have spoken highly about the habit of making traditional tea. Everything about making tea is slow. You have to slowly brew and boil herbs and leaves. You have to slowly pour it into a tiny cup, otherwise it would spill. You have to drink it slowly too, because it’s hot. This exposure to slowness develops internal harmony and trains the mind to be patient. If you’re feeling a little too impatient these days, have a cup of tea to remind yourself the value of taking things slowly.
There are two types of people in the world. There are those who find how similar they are with other people and those who find how different they are from other people. Those who look for similarities between themselves and others always find a common ground, a common experience or preference, which they happily share with new acquaintances. Those who look for differences find only petty conflicts. Spiritual development can’t be achieved with intolerance. Spiritual development is about sharing and connecting. If you want to find a deep sense of internal harmony, you have to learn to see values that you can share with your fellow man.
There are some notions regarding spiritual development that associate it with having to stay at monasteries or other isolated locations. Although there is some truth to these notions, because some people do find more internal harmony when they’re alone, not everyone is the same. Some individuals are most comfortable sharing moments with their loved ones. Some are completely at peace when they’re walking along the beach with a romantic partner. Every individual has a different preference. The important thing is to seek out this sanctuary where you can feel safe, secure and fulfilled.