Sep 16

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A Holistic Approach to Mental Health: for Your Spirit

Part 3 in the holistic approach to mental health series focuses on your spirit and includes finding a higher power, gratitude, finding meaning & more!


Welcome back to the Holistic Approach to Mental Health Series! Today is part 3, with a focus on your spirit. If you have missed the previous posts you can read them here:


A Holistic Approach to Mental Health: for Your Spirit


Higher Power

An understanding of a higher power, however you perceive that to be, can bring benefits in many ways. You have something you can rely on. No human being can ever be fully reliable, all of the time. Eventually, you are going to be disappointed with your friend or loved one. Your higher power will always be there for you. Developing a relationship with your higher power means that you need never feel alone. There will always be someone (or something) to lean upon. If a problem is too big, you can give it to your higher power and trust it will all sort out for the best.


Finding Meaning

Finding a purpose in life can bring about a sense of deep inner satisfaction and lead to feelings of contentment and joy. However, finding purpose is not necessarily as simple as it sounds. Many people feel chronically dissatisfied with their life, stuck in a job that frustrates them and keeps them from expressing themselves fully.

One clue to finding a meaningful life is to consider what you would be doing if all your problems were solved and you could do anything you wanted. Now you may answer, “Well, I’d be on cruises around the world 6 months of the year and the rest of the time I’d be riding camels across the desert.”

Think about it: how long would this lifestyle really satisfy you? Would having a bigger house or better car ultimately make you happier? More and more people are realizing that there has to be more than life than this.

The above exercise helps you to identify what you love to do. Now, combine this with the question, “How can I help?” and then find ways to combine the two answers, and you have come a long way towards identifying something which will give your life a sense of deeper meaning and purpose, and bring you the inner peace you are looking for. So for the second question, let’s say that your answer is “I can help by cleaning up ocean plastic pollution,” then you could maybe turn the camel trek into a fundraising event so you could create cruises that cleaned up as they went! Just brainstorming some wild ideas here but you get the idea.

Now you have identified your purpose and your goal. If you then commit to the goal and take it step by step, you will have created for yourself a consuming passion and sense of direction that will not only change you for the better but also will then help you by helping others in the process.


The practice of gratitude has many positive benefits, including increasing feelings of happiness and contentment. It is a powerful tool to aid in your mental well-being when you incorporate it into your day-to-day living. When you focus on the feeling of gratitude, it can have a truly transformational effect on your experience of life. Your perspective becomes one of abundance, joy, and contentment when you feel grateful for each little thing that comes your way.

From a beautiful sunset to a delicious home-cooked meal, from a roof over your head to a place to lay your head, when you are grateful for all the things some may take for granted, you will experience a truly blessed life.

Your attitude will change and you will feel more ease and harmony, resulting in much greater peace of mind.

Service to Others

Service to others is a wonderful way to create a sense of purpose in your life. You feel you are a useful member of society and you have something worthwhile to contribute. You get to meet others, support them, connect with them, laugh, and enjoy the company of others all while doing something meaningful. This increases your self-confidence and your feelings of self-worth, boosts your self-esteem, diminishes feelings of isolation, and increases your sense of connectedness to others. All of this helps to uplift your spirit, and if you let it, helps you feel connected to something greater than yourself.



In all the great spiritual traditions of the world, the concept of surrender is a common thread. Surrender is a difficult practice but brings with it a level of acceptance and serenity that increases your sense of mental well-being.

When you surrender to the divine, or surrender to what is, you cease resisting what is. In that moment of surrender, you experience acceptance. You know the outcome is beyond your control. It is in the hands of your higher power. It is a curious thing that in that moment of relinquishing all desire for a particular outcome, very often the outcome you had wanted is given to you. Eckhart Tolle says it well:

“Always say “yes” to the present moment. What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to what already is? What could be more insane than to oppose life itself, which is now and always now?

Surrender to what is. Say “yes” to life — and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.”


Here is a wonderful poem for you to contemplate:

Tripping Over Joy

What is the difference
Between your experience of Existence
And that of a saint?

The saint knows
That the spiritual path
Is a sublime chess game with God

And that the Beloved
Has just made such a Fantastic Move

That the saint is now continually
Tripping over Joy
And bursting out in Laughter
And saying, “I Surrender!”

Whereas, my dear,
I am afraid you still think
You have a thousand serious moves.”

― Hafez, I Heard God Laughing: Poems of Hope and Joy


Please be sure to join us next week for the final part of the Holistic Approach to Mental Health Series where we will focus on lifestyle!

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