Why is it so easy to hop in the shower when we’re in desperate need, yet so difficult to sit on our floor in silence? Physical health has long been held as a priority over our mental state, but what good are we without a healthy spirit or mind?
What the Heck is Spiritual Hygiene?
I recently heard a term that sparked my attention and it was the idea of “spiritual hygiene”. Hygiene itself is the science concerned with the maintenance of health or the practice of keeping yourself and your surroundings clean, especially in order to prevent illness or the spread of diseases. Spiritual hygiene is the maintenance of mental health by keeping your thoughts clean to prevent the spread of negativity or lack of conscious awareness is day-to-day life.
How Do You Stay Spiritually Hygienic?
As I fell deeper into my low period, I realized that I was dropping essential spiritual habits. To keep up our physical hygiene we engage in habits that become routines. We brush our teeth and hair in the morning, we shower regularly, we clip our nails and moisturize our skin. There are a number of activities that we see as necessary for our health, so we do them (even if we don’t feel like it).
Many people believe spiritual hygiene to be more of an “extra credit” than a required course. Meditating in the morning, being mindful of the moment, keeping a gratitude journal, staying inspired, journaling thoughts, or setting intentions, are often seen as going the extra mile. I would argue that staying spiritually hygienic is even more necessary than brushing those pearly whites.
I Feel Bad, Therefore I Act Bad
How can sitting in silence for ten minutes really be more important than protecting against oral disease? We diminish the value that meditative practice can have in our lives, and just as physical disease has often taken centre stage over mental disease, we fail to see the value of a healthy mind and spirit.
In my low period I was losing motivation and inspiration and with the decline of my mental health, I felt my physical health slip with it. I was getting less sleep, abandoning my work outs, eating comforting yet fatty foods, and skipping showers to stay in bed. Our mental well-being governs our physical habits.
Recharge Your Spiritual Battery Pack
Being spiritually aligned is like pressing the “on” button on my battery pack. When I engage in my spiritual routine, I feel like I’m filled with a new energy. If I skipped one thing in the morning to make time for a meditation or reading, I can feel that every moment of the day is infused with higher productivity.
Have you ever started the day rushed and woken up late without a moment to breathe before launching into panic-mode? It’s common for the entire day to spiral in the same out-of-control manner. This is because we aren’t taking the necessary time to choose our day, we let negative thinking hand it to us and we say “it’s just one of those days”. Pausing before starting, allows us to pick the direction we choose to go.
But I Don’t Want to Wake Up Early
It often feels like we have to give up something to maintain a spiritual routine. We have to give up sleep to get up a little earlier and meditate, or give up scrolling on our phone to be mindful during the commute; overall, it feels like we’re giving up time. We aren’t giving up time, we are investing it. Investing time in a spiritual routine gives back much more than it asks for. The result is a string of moments with more meaning, more presence, and more inspiration.
Create habits that form a routine for spiritual hygiene. Treat your spiritual hygiene the way you treat your physical hygiene. Even if you don’t feel motivated or particularly excited to engage with a meditation or journal session, do it anyway. Watch the transformation of your day when you start incorporating important tasks you used to skip.