Spiritual Health


“Spirituality is a dynamic and intrinsic aspect of humanity through which persons seek ultimate meaning, purpose, and transcendence, and experience relationship to self, family, others, community, society, nature, and the significant or sacred. Spirituality is expressed through beliefs, values, traditions, and practices.” Puchalski, CM, Vitillo, R, Hull, S.K., Reller, N. Improving the Spiritual Dimension of Whole Person Care: Reaching National and International Consensus, Journal of Palliative Medicine. 2014: 17(6); 642-656.

“Interventions, individual or communal, that facilitate the ability to express the integration of the body, mind and spirit to achieve wholeness, health, and a sense of connection to self, others, and[/or] a higher power.” American Nurses Association and Health Ministeries Association, Faith and Community Nursing:Scope and Standards of Practice (Silver Spring,MD: American Nurses Association, 2005)

It is clear from these definitions that spiritual health is much more than having a religious faith and attending church/temple/mahjid. In fact, the importance of having meaning and purpose cannot be overstated (Victor Frankel, Man’s Search for Meaning).

What is Spiritual Distress?

  • Questions meaning/purpose of life/illness
    • Asks “Why me?”
    • Expresses hopelessness/despair
    • Withdraws
    • Grieves
    • Is not coping
    • Is not accepting
  • Expresses abandonment by God or Faith Organization
  • Feels guilty or deserving of punishment
  • Feels self to be bad, sinful or unlovable
  • Stops spiritual practices
  • Raises religious issues
  • Calls out for help from God
  • Experiences a sudden death, crisis or trauma

Spiritual Practices

There is power in having a daily spiritual practice. It can be as short as 1 minute; the power comes in doing it every day.

  • Read a daily reader – quotes, inspirational ideas.
  • Meditate
  • Do a breathing exercise.
  • Chant a mantra.
  • Do a metta meditation: May I be happy, May I be healthy, May I be safe and at ease.
  • Go through a relaxation exercises. Here is Autogenics training: https://www.va.gov/WHOLEHEALTH/veteran-handouts/docs/AutogenicTraining-508Final-9-5-2018.pdf
  • Instead of sun bathing try tree bathing right here in our Sycamore Grove!
  • Join a spiritual community.
  • Have a practice of gratitude, kindness or compassion.
  • Practice social justice!
  • People pray in so many ways.
  • Develop a personal relationship the Divine – whatever that means for you.
  • Sing and/or dance.
  • Listen to music.


Brene Brown, Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, 2018

Richard Davidson, The Emotional Life of Your Brain: How Its Unique Patterns Affect the Way You Think, Feel, and Live–and How You Can Change Them, 2012.

Angela Duckworth, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, 2018.

Eknath Easwaran, Meditation: A Simple Eight-Point Program for Translating Spiritual Ideals into Daily Life, 1993.

Kristen Neff, Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself, 2015.

Shana Shapiro, Good Morning, I Love You: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion Practices to Rewire Your Brain for Calm, Clarity, and Joy, 2020.

Daniel Siegel, The Emotional Life of Your Brain: How Its Unique Patterns Affect the Way You Think, Feel, and Live–and How You Can Change Them, 2010

Oren Jay Sofer, Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication, 2018.

Eckhard Tolle, Practicing the Power of Now, 2001.

Blurbs on Spirituality from Workplace

Practice of Gratitude:




Clearness Committee


Live in Love


Being with Not Knowing


Being with Wild Things and Nature


Translating Meaning









Good morning, I love you


Spectrum of Feelings




Serenity Prayer




Tips on faiths