Regardless of one’s particular religious beliefs, I believe we are all spiritual beings. I find that when I am adhering to society’s values, my thoughts and behaviors skew toward materialism, vanity, more self-focused thoughts, less altruism, and a sense of comparison or never enoughness. Of course, all of this is exacerbated by an endless stream of media that highlights all that we “need” and all that we are “lacking” as well as our think it- push a button- have it within hours later- society. When I’m caught up in it, I find myself feeling more anxious, more untethered, and more unhappy.

I find that I am more content, grounded, compassionate, and fulfilled when I am practicing gratitude, counting my many privileges and blessings, and connecting with my fellow human beings. I am prioritizing relationship and nature and moving my body over ruminating about things I think I want or need. I am less caught up in social media and more present in my life. I am reading, writing, and spending less time in virtual la la land where I lose track of time and what’s important to me. I am more in touch with my values and what actually matters to me.

In a world where we are addicted to screens (literally since chronic phone use has been proven to change the reward circuits in our brain), I truly believe it takes intentionality, mindfulness, and deliberate practices (whether you want to call them spiritual or not) to live a more fulfilled, wholehearted, connected, and happy life. There is evidence that spirituality and gratitude promotes meaning, purpose, contentment, peace, and transcendence, all which increase the quality of our lives.

What are practices you utilize to help you return to your truer, higher, more authentic self?