Optimal Care Model Supports Spiritual Wellness
When we developed our Optimal Care Model we focused on the four main aspects of the self which we can improve through self-care measures: spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental.
Sadly, Western Medicine is severely lacking in the area of spiritual focus. In the early years of my nursing education, when patients talked about spiritual/religious issues they were identified with “religiosity” which implied a psychiatric diagnosis. However, throughout my years as a therapist, I discovered that clients who had a belief system of “some sort,” in something/someone beyond the self or who had dreams or a sense of purpose/meaning in life, were much more successful in treatment.
So how do we develop our SPIRITUAL SELVES?
There are many self-care activities which support one’s spiritual well-being:
- Visualization: I have seen much spiritual growth through opening oneself to visualize and create what is desired while in a state of relaxation.
- Guided Imagery: Guided meditations can improve, not only one’s mental/emotional state, but also, create a state of openness to spiritual connections and bliss.
- Meditation: There are many meditation methods to help disconnect from one’s external “noise” in order to go inward where there can be peace, calm, and wisdom.
- Love and Gratitude: An attitude of love and gratitude is correlated with mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. A loving heart is a compassionate heart. As my Native American teacher stated, “Gratitude is the highest form of prayer.”
- Social Support: A strong support network is one of the strongest self-care coping resources one can cultivate.
- Creative Expression: Opening to our creativity connects us to our inner selves and helps us to share our inner essence with others.