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Activate your faith to strengthen spiritual wellness

  • Published
  • By Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Timothy Sturgill
  • Air Force Materiel Command chaplain’s office
When I think of spiritual wellness, I think of inspiration that produces strength, resiliency and hope!

July is Spiritual Wellness Month throughout Air Force Materiel Command. The purpose is to raise awareness and focus on the proven benefits of being spiritually well.

Spirituality is a deeply personal matter, thus a “one-size-fits-all” mentality is not applicable. Even among people in an organized religious faith or spiritual group, spirituality is defined and experienced by one’s individual choices and beliefs.

If wellness is an attitude, as the AFMC Wellness and Safety Campaign suggests, then spiritual wellness is a belief — a belief in something outside of your self, a belief in a higher power that helps you understand the meaning and purpose of life. Spiritual wellness offers you protection against feelings of despair, depression and hopelessness.

It is easy to see the benefits of physical wellness. Likewise, there are many benefits to being spiritually healthy. Scientific research is yielding many results.

For example, research shows that spiritually well people have lower blood pressure, significantly lower anxiety and depression, lower heart attack risk factors and stronger family relationships. Additionally, research suggests spiritually well people deal with crisis better, cope with illness better and have a greater ability to moderate feelings of anxiety, hopelessness and isolation.

Beginning a journey to spiritual wellness is relatively simple. Start by setting aside a regular quiet time for reflection, prayer or meditation. Begin a study of spiritual material, which may or may not be affiliated with a religious denomination. Engage in supportive friendships with others, sharing similar spiritual goals or aims. Attend an organized gathering or event.

Spiritual well-being is a part of the AFMC wellness equation that should not be ignored. Overlooking faith or hope as part of your overall wellness is like overlooking a well-balanced diet and exercise in regards to physical well-being. To be wholly healthy, one must be physically fit, emotionally strong, socially engaged and spiritually well. Activate your faith!

For more information about spiritual wellness, log onto the AFMC command chaplain Web site at HQ-AFMC/HC. For more information about wellness, AFMC command civilian and military Airmen may log onto from home or at work. You may also call the chaplain’s office at (937) 257-7427.