Happiness Is... Spirituality

With the holidays coming up, there can be a lot of nudges towards the conversation of spirituality. Whether those promptings come from an internal place within or an external spouse/partner who wants you to accompany them to a Christmas service with them, the topic of divine connection seems to come up in one shape or another. Yet, spirituality can take many forms and doesn't just have to be limited to looking like a specific type of organized religion. Recent scientific studies published by Time Magazine have stated that connecting with your spirituality may even make you a happier person.

Find Community
There appears to be something to the idea that faith makes us happier and it seems that one of the main reasons is that there is strength in numbers. "When it comes to religion and spirituality, it may not be what you believe if how you believe it that protects you from unhappiness so much as the fact that you believe it at all - and that you practice those beliefs with other people. Scientists have long known that having strong social ties is one of the greatest guarantors of happiness." (Time Magazine, "Science of Happiness" page 84)

Find community whatever it looks like for you - whether that is a local church, a bowling league, or even a Facebook group of people who like the same band as you do.

Pay it Forward
Do something for another individual this holiday season. There are so many ways to pay it forward - you can pay for someone's coffee, volunteer at your local homeless shelter or sponsor a child in a third world country. Science has shown that doing something good for another person feels even better than doing something for ourselves.

Practice Mindfulness
Whether that looks like listening to a sermon, or sitting in quiet with music on, or even slower breathing and an open mind, mindfulness can help you connect to yourself. In one recent study, researchers found that "slow-breathing for 30 minutes a day reduced blue pressure in people with hypertension" and another study showed that "healthy women who did eight weeks of twice-weekly yoga with breathing exercises significantly reduced their anxiety. Those in the control group didn’t." (Times Magazine, page 87)

If you'd like to continue this conversation on spirituality and inner-connectedness, feel free to reach out to me for an appointment. You can either email me at leemiller.therapist@gmail.com or call my office at (310) 614-0323.