Spirituality and Aging go hand in hand. “Positive spirituality is defined by developing an internalized relationship with the sacred and transcendent world that is not bound by race, ethnicity, economics or class, and promotes the wellness and welfare of the self and others.”
Study after study confirms what many may already know: spirituality can have a tremendous positive effect on health, wellness, and longevity. Also, as people age there is often a turn to a deeper sense of spirituality. Let’s take this as strong encouragement that spirituality is good for us.
What is spirituality? How do we develop our own spirituality? How do we encourage the growth of spirituality in older adults? Three big questions. We will be peeling back the layers and offering concrete suggestions as we go. For today, please check out these articles that support the benefits of deepening your spiritual life at any age, but particularly as you age.
Today’s Spiritual Practice: Gratitude Journal
What can you do today to grow spiritually? An easy first step? Begin to practice gratitude. Find a small notebook, a pad of paper normally used for a grocery list, a list app on your phone, any place you can keep an ongoing list. List just 3 items in your life that your are grateful for today. Tomorrow, reread today’s list and add 3 more. The next day review the whole list and add 3 more. Keep going.
Throughout your days look for things to be grateful for. Did someone smile at you in the grocery store? Is the sun shining or are the temperature rising from this blast of frigid air we have just experienced on the east coast? Did your power stay on when the strong winds blew ushering in this arctic blast? Some days you will really need to look hard. Some days you may find it extremely difficult to be grateful. Press on. Keep looking. Keep reviewing. This is a strong first step to deepening your awareness of life. It is a strong yet simple step. Take it with us. Stay tuned for next steps on deepening your spirituality. Have a blessed day.
- Crowther MR, Parker MW, Achenbaum WA, Larimore WL, Koenig HG: Rowe and Kahn’s model of successful aging revisited: positive spirituality – the forgotten factor. Gerontologist 42, 613–620 (2002).