What is the purpose of the spirit? Why does it matter so much?
To have a healthy body we need to exercise and eat healthy foods and to have a better mind we need to exercise the brain, avoid stressful situations, aim for 7-8 hours sleep, have positive thoughts and affirmations. Our spirit though is made up of our character, personality, ethos, values, beliefs, relationships, our actions, our intellect and passions / desires. Our spirit is what makes us unique and there is no one else that could match our individuality therefore it needs some attention as well.
When our mind and body are healthy, we feel like we are on top of the world and we’re ready to tackle any obstacles that come our way. Unfortunately, when the spirit is not in sync with our mind and body, we tend to feel negative, we hold resentments, we don’t know how to forgive and we communicate in a rude way. When we deal with things that we have never dealt with before, our body goes through some physical changes such as feeling sick, tension, we have a rapid heartbeat, we feel lightheaded, we can’t breathe, we can’t sleep, all because our spirit is not in balance.
If we don’t know how to create tranquilly within ourselves to calm our spirit and identify where the triggers come from that cause our spirit to become unbalanced, we can binge on salads every day or run 100 hours per week but the knot in our stomach or feeling like something is crushing us, will remain.
The mind, body and spirit must work in unity for us to live a healthier life.
How to strengthen your spirit
Acknowledge your emotions and feelings whether they are positive or negative.
The most important question you should be asking yourself is, are you acting the way you wish you behaved? When we are faced with new challenges and problems every day, sometimes we don’t have enough time to process how we really feel and we behave in a negative way. Our ego can become our biggest enemy and we always want to be right; we think we are always correct or we just simply act impulsively thinking that what we are doing at the time is right and it will all work out. When we calm down and reflect on the situation, we see how we behaved and what we should have done instead. When you are faced with a situation, observe how you react to problems and what causes them. Don’t think about what happens to you but how you react to a specific issue. Are you being unreasonable? Are you trying to prove a point? Deal with the situation in a calm way and acknowledge not only your emotional state but also other people’s views, feelings and reactions and what they are going through. After all, everyone processes their emotions in a different way.
When you want to achieve a goal in life always choose the longer route to get there, never the easy one because you will simply learn from your new experiences as to who you really are and what drives you. You will also develop as a person. If you take the easy route, the chance to think about your behaviours and emotions and the impact it will have on your spirit are limited and you will never learn what you are capable of.
Never lose momentum.
Why? Because you will remain standstill. When you follow your aspirations and goals, it is always important to stick to the outcome. Sometimes the outcome may be different to what you originally planned but it is important to see it through. Imagine you want to climb a mountain – you’re not going to go halfway up and say, “that’s it, I’ve done it, I achieved my goal!” You will persevere to reach the top no matter what it takes as it probably took you months to prepare physically and mentally to climb that mountain. If you lose momentum you will lose motivation to keep going. Breaking goals down into chunks and ticking them off as you go along, will only fuel you to do more. One thing that may happen to you when you start seeing the changes you have made, your brain and body will wonder what is happening, you may feel weird, and you may want to go back to where you were. Your subconscious will allow voices to enter your brain telling you that what you’re trying to do is not achievable and you will have to motivate yourself to start again. Persevere with your goal, your new character and your achievements to date, and your inner voices and uncertainties will disappear. You don’t want to spend your time and energy on negative beliefs and self-doubt.
Be approachable and friendly towards others.
Whatever you’re going through in your life, others may be going through something similar to you or maybe something worse. Always be the person that when someone wants to vent or express their own emotions, they can do it freely without getting judged. If someone puts you down with their comments or interrupts you every five minutes would you befriend them? Allow people to process their emotions. By doing this, you will understand them better, you will learn from their experiences and your spirit will feel calmer as well.
Avoid negative people.
It doesn’t mean they are bad people. It means they may have no goals or aspirations in life at the moment or they may have been through some experiences they haven’t dealt with and became negative and bitter. By removing yourself from their presence, you’re giving them space to deal with their situations but you are also giving yourself time to achieve the things that you need to do. Your time and emotional energy are all you have and you have to preserve them to go through emotions and challenges of your own. Be careful not to spend your energy on gossiping, complaining, and focusing on what others think of you. It will seriously drain you, crush your spirit and you will become another negative person that eventually someone will want to avoid.
Forgive people who have wronged you and have spoken to you in a bad way. People who have said you’re a failure, people who owed you money and never gave it back, people who belittled you… let it all go. Why? Because these people don’t know any different to some extent, they may think they are great and know-it-all or they haven’t had your experiences to understand you. As a result of all this negativity, you built up toxicity in yourself and inside your consciousness, you stopped releasing your full potential and consequently, you are holding yourself back. By focusing on how people behave towards you, you’re not allowing yourself to see the real you, the kind, educated, talented and smart person. You are preventing yourself from connecting to your spirit, you spend your time thinking of all the things you could have done in the past instead, such as hurting them back and how you have punished yourself over the years. Is it worth it? Let it all go. It is not easy and it will take time to process your feelings and your pain but it is achievable and worthwhile.
Life is all about deciding to follow your passion but sometimes the journey can be overwhelming. Following your passion means taking responsibility for your own path in life. The tendency to want to ‘get it right’ the first time and not to make any mistakes unfortunately never happens. When you try to control a situation or force it, it is usually out of fear, which you may not be aware that you have. Doing things out of fear usually ends in unintended, less than optimal results. When you follow your heart and go after your dreams, you have to let go of your fears in order to soar even higher. Before you do anything though, pray. Praying helps us put our thoughts in order and humble ourselves before God. When we pray we listen to the words we use – are the words kind and do we use our passion to help other people or is it just about us and our needs. Praying helps us to be on the right path with God and to remind us that He is always with us in everything that we do. When you feel His presence don’t let fear or any other emotion scare you, instead follow your passion and face your emotions fully and head on.
Elena Eleftheriadou is an Executive Coach and Integrative Therapist working with Healthcare Professionals with a purpose and passion to help them communicate more effectively, diminish stress and prevent burnout to improve their work-life balance.