This is a pop-up guest post in the middle of the week to remind you to pause and breathe. Pay attention. Reflect. Evolve. Enjoy!
Spirituality is the focus on the self, personal growth and understanding. For introverts, this can be daunting. It means stepping away from the laptop or book and spending time with our inner most thoughts. In many ways, introverts are perfectly suited to spirituality as it is often a solitary pursuit. While solitary confinement is used as a punishment in prison, it is used by spiritual seekers to achieve wisdom and transcendent feelings of wellbeing. Here’s how spiritual practices can help introverts to overcome their weaknesses and find inner peace in an extroverted world.
Becoming Outwardly Focused
To easily achieve spirituality, try reconnecting with nature. This takes you away from the everyday distractions of modernity, into a place of calm and tranquility. You have probably already felt the liberating feeling of being alone in nature. It is the perfect way to relieve stress and feel a sense of inner peace.
The reason for this has been found by researchers at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. They found that the brains of those who had spent time listening to the noises of nature revealed an outward focus, while those who listened to artificial noises showed an inward focus. Inward focused minds are linked to feelings of depression and anxiety. An outwardly focused mind has become mindful of the external world, so the perception of self begins to drop away.
You can practice this skill when feeling nervous in a social situation. Simply refocus your attention to the people and objects around you, rather than becoming lost in your own head. Once that sense of self begins to recede, so too will feelings of anxiety.
Mindfulness Links to Happiness
If you are spending substantial time alone and less time interacting with others, then you need to be able to control your thoughts. Being alone with dark or negative thoughts will start to chip away at your wellbeing, with the potential to lead to serious mental health problems.
Mindfulness can create happiness by helping you become aware of your thoughts and understand that they are separate to you. You are not defined by them. Mindfulness is a kind of meditation focused on the present moment, to stop you becoming lost in the anxieties of the past and the future. It can be practiced at any time or place, whether you’re alone or interacting socially. For beginners, try using a guided meditation app.
Introversion and spirituality go hand in hand. You may have thought that it is for social people who spend time at festivals attending communal yoga ceremonies. In reality, spirituality is for anyone who wants to take control of their thoughts and find inner calm and happiness. Overcoming the ego is within anyone’s grasp, so why not start your spiritual practice today?