A look at one of our wellness pillars: spiritual wellness

How are you? No really. How ARE you?

Your automatic response to this question may be to say, “I’m fine,” and keep moving forward. It is definitely my go-to response. 

Recently I was asked this question in an email by a former VWU student, Charlotte Elia, and it caused me to pause for a moment and actually assess my well being—physically, emotionally and yes, spiritually. 

Physically, I could do more situps. 

Emotionally, I have a group of friends who help me relieve my feelings instead of letting them build up. 

Some people may end the evaluation process at this point, but I believe it is just as important to assess your spiritual wellness. 


These past two years have challenged us on so many levels and forced us to look at almost everything that was familiar to us with new eyes. This is not necessarily a bad thing. 

I believe that if we look closely, we will find much good has come from our “time out” from the hustle and bustle of pre-pandemic schedules. One definite highlight is more time to evaluate and strategize our own personal wellness, including spiritual wellness.

Spiritual wellness is generally defined as developing a sense of purpose and meaning in life and striving for consistency in one’s values and actions. It may or may not involve religious activities. 

A spiritually-well individual has a clear purpose in life and is motivated to action by said purpose. 

They are able to process challenges and find a measure of understanding in events and situations outside of their control. 

Finally, persons who possess spiritual wellness have a clearly defined view of right and wrong.  

The National Wellness Institute says spiritual wellness follows these principles:  

– It’s better to ponder the meaning of life for ourselves and to be tolerant of the beliefs of others than to close our minds and become intolerant.

– It’s better to live each day in a way that’s consistent with our values and beliefs than to do otherwise and feel untrue to ourselves.

If this sounds like something you want and need in your life but are unsure of your spiritual well-being, ask yourself these questions:

– Do I have a clear sense of my purpose and meaning?

– Do I take time each day to relax and reflect?

– Do my core values align with my daily actions?

Some great ways to develop your spiritual well-being are daily journaling, taking a walk or run in nature, meditating, praying, volunteering and joining a small group focused on spiritual wellness. Marlin Ministries would love to help you develop a spiritual wellness plan. Come by the Marlin Ministries lounge anytime or contact Marie Porter, director of Student Ministries at mporter@vwu.edu.

By Marie Porter