Three Habits to Encourage Spirituality in the New Year
January is a time of new horizons and possibilities. As you make your plans for the coming year, take time to reflect back on the last 365 days. Specifically, how has your spiritual health been this year? Today’s society is fast-paced, and sometimes we are so focused on what’s around us that we neglect the voice within. Here are three resolutions to help you get back in touch with your spiritual side this year.
Break Up with Your Phone
Technology can either be an amazing tool or a hindrance to our spirituality and relationships. Most people will readily admit that they spend way too much time on their smartphones. If you want to foster deeper connections with yourself, your loved ones, and your Heavenly Parent, consider cutting back on the phone time in 2019.
For some of us, the phone is the last thing we check when we go to bed at night and the first when we wake up in the morning. To curb this habit, buy an old fashioned alarm clock and keep your phone charging outside of the bedroom (or at least away from your bed). At night, instead of checking social media, emails, or the news, reflect on your day and the choices you made. Did I treat others with kindness? Did I accomplish what I wanted? Where will I be heading tomorrow? In the morning, take a moment to pray about the day to come. What kind of person do I want to be today? You may find that turning your bed into a no-phone zone enhances your ability to self-reflect and connect to God.
If you notice that you check your phone too often during the day and that this interferes with your spirituality, there are ways to curb the habit. To stay truly present in the moment, turn off your phone for a few hours during the day. Yes, you can do it. If you simply want to become more aware of the time you spend with technology, there are many apps to support you on your journey.
Research shows that gratitude makes you happier. It can also help you with your relationships, including the one with our Heavenly Parent. Start your practice by making a list of everything that you were grateful for in 2018. You can think of your list as an acknowledgement of the divine influences in your life. If during your reflection you find that there was a person or people who made a difference for you this past year, thank them.
If you want to truly cultivate gratitude, start a gratitude journal. Your goal might be to write down five good things that happened in your day. If you’re not sure where to begin, there are no wrong answers. You can be grateful for something as simple as finding the watch you misplaced yesterday or as profound as having a living, breathing body. With each thing that you write, sincerely thank God for giving you these blessings.
Meditation is one of the oldest forms of spirituality. The ancients believed that silencing the world around us and practicing stillness would bring us closer to the divine. Today, research suggests that there are numerous health benefits to even just a few minutes of meditation each day. Make a commitment to mediate for just 10 minutes in the morning or evening. You may find that doing so helps you feel more connected and calm.
If you want to meditate but feel overwhelmed and don’t even know where to begin, just breathe! Start by closing your eyes and listening to your own body. When your mind is still, you can hear each breath and feel the sensation of your lungs expanding. If you can do this, you have already mastered the basics of meditation.
Lastly, remember that what you think about, you bring about. If you make a conscious effort to revive your spiritual life this year, you will see growth over time. Good luck on your journey!
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