How our lack of spiritual health affects our overall well-being.
The state of health and well-being is becoming a topic of great concern given the coronavirus pandemic. The stressors that many face every day have been exacerbated by the pandemic which isolates us, disturbs our sleeping and eating patterns, leads to irritability or emotional outbursts, low motivation, and changes in use of alcohol or other drugs.
The lack of connectedness with each other and humanity in general can lead to depression and worse, physical symptoms that are difficult to treat with western medicine. It becomes a viscous cycle with one state contributing to the deterioration of another. Moreover, prolonged state of stress can also impact mental health which inhibits the ability to change these unhealthy habits and get back to a healthy routine.
Health and wellness are two distinct states of being.
Health is defined as the overall mental and physical state of a person; the absence of disease. This isn't entirely the same thing as wellness. Wellness refers to the state of being in optimal mental and physical health. But wellness is more than that. It's about living a life full of personal responsibility and therefore taking proactive steps for one's entire well-being.
There are several dimensions of wellness. They include:
- Physical (i.e., exercise, diet, sleep, etc.)
- Intellectual (i.e., critical thinking, curiosity, learning, etc.)
- Emotional (i.e., self-esteem, coping skills, trust, etc.)
- Interpersonal (i.e., communication skills, relationship skills, etc.)
- Spiritual (i.e, empathy, purpose, compassion, etc.)
The Research Results
To understand what people are experiencing, Honeyopathy conducted a survey that examined how Americans assess their health and well-being. In this survey, we are measuring people's lifestyle choices, their potential impact and how they're coping.
The survey consisted of eight questions to respondents across different ages, genders and household income demographics in the United States. The survey was conducted in August of 2021 and the results are as follows:
More than their physical and emotional health, 80% of respondents were dissatisfied with their spiritual health and unsure about how to change it.
of respondents are more than and completely dissatisfied with their Physical health and 67% were not optimistic that would change over the next year.
of respondents are more than and completely dissatisfied with their Emotional health and 67% were not optimistic that would change over the next year.
of respondents are more than and completely dissatisfied with their Spiritual health and 87% were not optimistic that would change over the next year.
People tend to focus on diet and exercise rather than spiritual awakening like meditation as their methods for improving their overall health and wellbeing.
People are self medicating with behaviors to deal with stressors that have unhealthy consequences.
The best methods for dealing with stress are not being utilized and people are falling back on unhealthy habits or do nothing at all.
Although people are communing with nature on occasion, they are not doing it as a daily ritual.
There are many studies that demonstrate the clinically therapeutic benefits of spending time in nature. In Japan, the practice of forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku, has been proven to lower stress–and that spending time in nature is responsible for many measurable beneficial changes in the body. Moreover, when people walk through or stay overnight in forests, they often exhibit changes in the blood that are associated with protection against cancer, better immunity and lower blood pressure.
When in nature, we can improve all areas of our wellness (i.e. physical, intellectual, emotional, and interpersonal) but it seems that connecting with our spiritual eludes us the most. While in nature, it becomes possible to go deeper and develop a better self-awareness and mental clarity.
CCM: WHAT'S IN A SPIRIT
At Honeyopathy, we're on a spiritual journey to elevate our consciousness and understanding of our spiritual selves. In Classical Chinese Medicine (CCM), our Spirit (or Shen) is considered a vital substance as it completes the fabric of our physiological makeup and human life. Our Spirit allows us to express ourselves in a unique way and connect to the basic everyday wonders that surround us--with the universe, the earth at its core and humanity.