When you think of wellness, what comes to mind? Is it smoothies? Kale? Working out?

What about a few moments of meditation? A daily prayer? Or a trip to your local temple?

Spirituality means different things to different people. For some, it relates primarily to a religious faith, while for others, it’s about exploring their purpose and finding a connection with the universe.

There is no one way to be spiritual, and yet having a strong spiritual core is actually very good for us. While it won’t magically change your cholesterol levels or make broccoli taste good, an ongoing spiritual practice can benefit you on a deeper, holistic level. Here’s how.

Decreases The Risk of Loneliness   

Spiritual practices often put us in touch with a larger community, be it a local yoga group, church, or temple. Finding a sense of belonging with others based on shared beliefs is how we prevent against isolation and depression, both of which can have severe consequences on health and quality of life.

Inspires Forgiveness

Whether it’s a Christian tradition of mercy or a Buddhist tradition of letting go, spiritual practices tend to encourage forgiveness. Relinquishing bitterness and anger doesn’t just feel good, it has shown to improve our relationships, decrease stress, and in some studies, has even resulted in lowered blood pressure.

Creates Coping Skills 

Spirituality equips us with healthy rituals that can lower stress and help us manage emotions, especially during difficult times. Prayer, meditation, and journaling all have tangible benefits for mental and/or physical well being. A strong spiritual core often helps individuals draw meaning from their suffering and pain, which can inspire hope and resilience in the midst of struggle.

Spirituality may not be the something you think to develop when focusing on personal health. And yet it is an innate aspect of being human. Tend to your spirit, and you tend to yourself.