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Transitions in Aging

Successful Aging

Spiritual Well-being and Aging

  • Interest in spirituality may increase with age

pictures of people praying together, a figure meditating, and of a person's hand covered with hearts


NEXT: Emotional Well-being and Aging


Notes and References

As we age, we tend to become more spiritual than we may have been in our earlier years1 and faith may become very important to us.2



Spiritual well-being is defined as having a sense of life purpose and meaning as well as a connectedness to a higher power or beliefs, so it is something unique to each of us.3 Let's talk about the benefits of spirituality. Giving attention to our spiritual well-being can have a positive effect on the way we feel about ourselves and other people.2 Spiritual and religious institutions can also provide us with education, counseling, social support, and health promotion services.4 Having a faith or believing in a higher power can help us cope with the challenges life can bring, such as the death of loved ones.3

Other than being involved in spiritual and religious communities, we can also participate in several activities that foster a spiritual connection between the mind and the body such as yoga, tai chi, and meditation.5 The website 'YouTube' can be helpful in finding yoga, tai chi, or meditation videos to participate in from home. The most important factor to spirituality is connection. If we feel a connection to something, such as nature, that can be our form of spiritual engagement.

Let's see how Lucy enriches her spirituality. Lucy likes to go out with her family members in the community. During one of their routine outings, she found a group of people who were performing some slow movements. What caught Lucy's eye was there were two instructors, one standing and one in a seated position. She later realized what they were doing was tai chi. She did not know that tai chi could be performed in a seated position and thought that it might be a good idea to expand her exercise routine. Lucy decides to join the group. After about three months of constantly participating in the tai chi group, Lucy has gotten to know many of the group members and feels a sense of belonging and acceptance with the group. She also feels peaceful when practicing tai chi and doing meditation.

References:

  1. Boynton, H. M., & Vis, J. (2014). Conclusion: The evolution of spirituality across the lifespan. Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought, 33(3-4), 377-379.
  2.  
  3. Payne, L., Ainsworth, B., & Gobey, G. (Eds.). (2010). Leisure, health, and wellness: Making the connections. State College, PA: Venture Publishing, Inc.
  4. Haber, D. (2013). Health promotion and aging: Practical applications for health professionals. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.
  5. Vogel, J., Polloway, E. A., & Smith, D. (2006). Inclusion of people with retardation and other developmental disabilities in communities of faith. Mental Retardation, 44(2), 100-111.
  6. Dattilo, J., & McKenney, A. (2011). Facilitation techniques in therapeutic recreation. State College, PA: Venture Publishing, Inc.