An essential part of overall health and wellness that many people tend to overlook is Spiritual Fitness. Unlike body building or losing weight, the changes that occur with Spiritual Fitness transformations are not necessarily visible from the outside, but that doesn’t make them any less important.
Inner peace is important, especially in this day in age where we are constantly “plugged-in” and on the go. While pursuing your physical fitness goals, it is important to find balance within, to find a place where you feel mentally and spiritually at ease. Doing so will not only help your emotional and mental state, but it will also help you during your workouts because you will be able to better manage and channel your stress, rather than letting it consume and sidetrack you.
Having inner peace also means staying calm during difficult times and living stress free. It may not be realistic to live stress free 100% of the time, but it is possible—and necessary—to be stress-free most of the time. This is extremely difficult to do for many people. Stress is everywhere and can eventually wear a person down. Stress can come in many forms: work, financial woes, family issues, illness, etc.
The key with inner peace is knowing that things out of your control will happen, good and bad. Oftentimes, these events will happen unexpectedly and without warning. It’s important to have that inner peace so when things DO happen (and they will) you can withstand and endure.
“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make inner peace with ourselves.”- Dali Lama
The benefits you can gain from learning to let go of what you can’t control are infinite. We ALL have fears. We all have doubts. We’ve all worried or been anxious about something in our lives. These feelings are normal, and if you have them it simply means you are human—congratulations! There is nothing wrong with feeling these emotions, not if you have the proper tools to use them effectively.
On the path to improving your spiritual fitness, it is important to determine what you can and cannot control and, also, how to let go of certain emotions and problems in your life. Below are just two of many tactics to use:
- Closure: Instead of letting feelings of anger and resentment pile up, we prevent ourselves from moving forward We become prisoners of this toxic state, and the only way to free ourselves of it sometimes is to seek closure in the situation.
- Face your doubts and fears: Ask yourself: “What am I doubting?” “What am I afraid of?” Don’t be afraid to face these issues. Be honest with yourself. These could very well be tied into physical and mental fitness also.
It’s important to remember that if something doesn’t work out, use it as a learning experience. It is NOT the end of the world if something doesn’t go as planned! People often spend far too long worrying about a problem that they can’t actually exercise any control over. As a result, they neglect making progress in the areas of their lives they CAN control, and at the same time harm their own health by repeatedly worrying and excessively stressing over something.
My book is designed to tie all three aspects of fitness together, and show how all three can be used in unison. For example, having inner peace goes hand in hand with Mental Fitness. In both instances, removing any negative thoughts from your mind is of utmost importance. A person can’t be mentally strong if they don’t believe in themselves and are full of negative thoughts about themselves or their abilities.
If you are someone who is working to improve your physical and mental fitness, but find yourself often feeling frustrated or angry with your lack of results, the key component you might be missing is spiritual fitness. Don’t get this confused with religion, either. It has nothing to do with the faith you do (or don’t) practice!
Also, don’t confuse having inner peace with giving up too easily. Inner peace is crucial, but don’t sell yourself short. Make an effort to be the best you can possibly be. Make a serious effort to succeed, then let the cards fall where they may. When the results come, live with them and learn from them.
That’s the inner peace we’re striving for!
Above information excerpted from Jeff White’s book, “The 3 Pillars of Strength: Increasing Your Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Fitness.”