Life can be a complex bundle of earthly concerns. As we age, it can be easy to get swept along in thoughts about finances, health considerations, and the physical objects we surround ourselves with. Unfortunately, this focus on the earthly aspects can distract from the spiritual practices that can be so enriching.
It is, therefore, vital to find ways to explore and embrace aspects of spirituality as you get older. This isn’t always easy, and you will likely have to find a personal approach to embarking on your spiritual journey. Nevertheless, there are certainly some approaches you can take to support and guide your efforts.
Let’s take a moment to dive into a few key ways to maintaining a strong spiritual connection as you age.
Table of Contents
Recognize the Benefits of Spirituality
One of the challenges of spirituality concerning aging is it can be difficult to prioritize it. As such, it’s important to recognize what the benefits of your spiritual practice are. This may help to motivate you to continue your exploration.
Perhaps chief among the advantages of spirituality as you get older is its impact on your mental wellness. Alongside common physical challenges, many older adults find they experience the symptoms of depression. There are practical methods you can use to address this, such as getting better quality sleep and staying busy. But maintaining spiritual practice can also be instrumental in elevating your mood and helping you to cope with the challenges you face.
Another key benefit of a strong spiritual connection as you age is facing your mortality. Getting older inevitably sees us confronting the fact that our time is limited. You may see more deaths among close friends and family around your age, or feel out of step with the world as it changes. This can be a stressful and worrying period. Maintaining your spiritual practice in a personal way may impact your perspectives on mortality and how you choose to navigate it.
Build Your Spiritual Network
Spirituality is a deeply personal experience. It’s about developing your unique relationship with your beliefs and the perspectives you have on your life’s journey. Nevertheless, spirituality can also offer opportunities for a strong community and social connections. By building your spiritual network you’ll have people who support you in your efforts to maintain your practice. It also helps to mitigate the isolation that could negatively impact your health as you get older.
This doesn’t mean you necessarily have to attend services or religious groups — unless you find this a positive part of your spiritual experience. It may simply involve developing a selection of friends at a similar stage of life that also keep their spirituality as a core in their lives. It’s not even necessary that you all share the same beliefs. You just need to feel comfortable sharing your perspectives and struggles with spirituality with one another. You can then provide mutual support in establishing your individual practices and finding ways to celebrate these in your lives.
Your spiritual network may not just be composed of friends, either. For instance, working with a therapist can play a key role in helping you positively incorporate your spirituality into aspects of your life. However, it’s important to make a mindful selection here.
Choosing a therapist at a similar stage of life to you can help you feel more comfortable as they may better understand the challenges of aging. Find someone who can help you explore the relationship between your spirituality and other elements of your life. They may also be able to provide you with insights into where your practice appears to have the greatest impact and how you can embrace this further.
Integrate Daily Spiritual Activities
Consistency and quality of practice can be key components of maintaining a strong spiritual connection and embracing love for yourself and your age. This can certainly be challenging, as it may sometimes feel that your efforts get swept behind other elements of your life. As such, it’s worth establishing ways you can integrate elements of your spiritual practice into other daily activities.
Your regular exercise routine can be a good example of this. Alongside bolstering your health, you can also use it to support your spiritual practice. If you take hikes or cycles, you can utilize these actions to solidify your spiritual connections with the natural world. Take a seat on the trail and spend a few minutes in quiet meditation. Witness the activities of the ecosystem and how this relates to your relationship with your life.
Remember that your spiritual practice doesn’t have to be dependent on the big gestures. Even your small and most mundane actions can be opportunities for reflection and celebration. A trip to the grocery store can offer a chance to better appreciate how your selections of local produce reflect your ethics and beliefs. The movies you watch can spark personal thoughts and conversations about elements of your own life. Look for the spiritual in the everyday.
Acknowledging Differences Between “Then” and “Now”
One of the most crucial aspects of aging is the beauty of perspective. When we gain maturity – that’s going to influence our outlook on life. Maturity also brings about other revolutionary insights that we might have never discovered in our teens, twenties, thirties, forties, etc. What we’re talking about here is recognizing the difference between “what was then” and “what is now.” In some instances, this observation could be construed as a bit of a downer. Sure – we might not be able to lift, heave-ho, or do some of the things we were capable of tackling in our youth. However, that shouldn’t stop us from experiencing a rich and fulfilled life. In fact, as we age, spirituality should naturally take a more strong position in our lives.
The very fact that we cannot tackle herculean tasks as we did in our prime is an elegant way for us to focus more on dreams, intangible concepts, spiritual ideals, and intellectual pursuits. If you take anything from this article – please take this away: Your differences today compared to your younger years are an asset – not a deficit. Recognize all the golden wisdom, knowledge and experience you have and apply that to your spiritual practices. The years you’ve accumulated are tantamount to titanic knowledge and evolution. Recognize that, and love yourself for all that you’ve accomplished and learned. Better yet – reconnect yourself by teaching others what you’ve learned over time. Passing on your wisdom to younger generations is a fabulous way of maintaining a strong spiritual connection as you age.
Conclusion About Spiritual Growth as You Age
Maintaining a strong spiritual connection as you age is not easy but it can certainly be worthwhile. Gaining a better understanding of how your practice can benefit your wellness and perspectives can be key to motivating your actions. Taking the time to build a strong spiritual network provides not just a sense of community but a forum for mutual support. Finding ways to integrate your practice into various aspects of your daily life can also help boost the consistency and quality of your actions.
About the Author: Ainsley Lawrence is a writer who loves to talk about good health, balanced life, and better living through technology. She is frequently lost in a good book.