Spiritual Well-Being

One's values, conscience, & caring for others and the environment; the ability to consistently take action that align with one's values

An endangered Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle swims with freedom and tranquility

An endangered Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle swims with freedom and tranquility


For our life to be of value, I think we must develop basic good human qualities-warmth, kindness, compassion. Then our life becomes meaningful and more peaceful-happier.
Dalai Lama XIV, from The Art of Happiness

Long before Jesus Christ was born, philosophers and religious leaders across the world debated issues of spirituality and spirituality’s relationship with nature, virtues, and the divine. “Spiritual well-being is about our inner life and its relationship with the wider world … Spiritual well-being does not just reflect religious beliefs although for people of a religious faith it is obviously a central feature … To be spiritually well will mean a positive engagement with others, self and our environment.”

Spiritual well-being includes our unconscious mind, our values and perceptions of our meaning of life, and our place in the universe. It is our inner core—our deepest level of decision-making.[1] It provides hope and reasons to live, and it is critical to happiness and peace of mind.[2] Spiritual practices such as abstinence, moderation, sanitation, forgiveness, meditation, service, connection to nature, and prayer all have documented benefits on multiple facets of health.

New: Wisdom Ways YouTube Video

based on a weekly devotional guide by Pastor David Rivers at Central Union Church in Honolulu, HI

Highlights of Spiritual Well-Being Domain Chapters

Chapter 3: Principle-Centered. Spiritual well-being includes our inner conscience, the principles upon which we make decisions to guide our actions, and our place in the universe. A principle-centered core provides an anchor that secures and stabilizes travelers in a world of turbulence; it can simplify life and lead to peace of mind. The Wellness Compass Travel Guide emphasizes nonreligious themes of spirituality, encouraging travelers to embody universal values as a foundation of wellness, as well as to clarify their own moral code or personal mission statement. To enhance their spiritual well-being, travelers are encouraged to live virtuously, maintain a clear conscience through various spiritual practices, including forgiveness, and to unconditionally care for themselves, others, and our world.

Chapter 4: Clear Conscience. Many travelers struggle with internal anger, shame, or guilt stemming from either a mistake they made or an injury done to them. Without resolution this inner tension festers and negatively affects mind-set, outlook, and interactions with others. Various forgiveness practices, including the nondenominational Radical Forgiveness approach are discussed; these practices can allow one to clear one’s conscience, allowing one’s inner self to thrive.

Chapter 5: Unconditional Caring. We all seek to be loved, cherished and cared for. Unconditional caring for oneself, others, and our world is seen as the pinnacle of spirituality. To reach this pinnacle, one must be able to concurrently balance competing needs of self-love with compassionate acts for others and the world. Travelers are encouraged to establish boundaries and align charitable giving and environmental consciousness with one’s moral compass.

Philosophical approach

Spiritual wellness is truly about being your best self, most of the time, for as long as you can. It’s also about being human, messing up from time to time, honoring our unique differences and needs for flexibility, and believing that we are all in this together. With that spirit, you accept yourself just as you are, no matter what you’ve done. I encourage you to be honest and open-minded, to bravely explore new paths, to learn from your journeys, and to keep growing. Just like any compass, this approach points you in what is believed to be true north—the best direction. But it doesn’t require you to follow. Only you know what’s best for you—what your inner gut, your conscience, tells you is the best course of action. Only you are responsible for your decisions and responsible for the consequences—good or bad, large or small. To be respectful of all religious beliefs, discussion of one’s principles, spiritual practices, and love are either specifically designed to be as universal as possible within most practices or have been noted as a personal decision. Similarly, activities designed to enhance spiritual well-being are specifically designed as open-ended questions to facilitate clarification of one’s own inner code, and articulation in one’s personal mission statement.

Activity 2. My Beliefs

Use to keep you accountable to your religious beliefs and make sure they are integrated into wellness activities.

Spiritual Blogs


[1] J. W. Travis and R. S. Ryan, “What is Wellness” and Iceberg Model outlined on p. xxi, from Wellness Workbook. How to Achieve Enduring Health and Vitality (New York: Random House, Inc., 2004), retrieved from http://www.wellpeople.com/What_Is_Wellness.aspx.

[2] The Wellness Compass Travel Guide understanding of spiritual well-being comes from the nursing diagnosis of readiness for enhanced spiritual well-being, which is the ability to experience and integrate meaning and purpose in life through a person’s connectedness. The defining characteristics of spiritual well-being include hope; purpose; peace or serenity; love; forgiving and forgiveness; joy, courage, or heightened coping; prayer or meditation; connection and service to others; connections with nature, the arts, and a power greater than oneself; and mystical and/or religious activities. (Paraphrased) Anonymous. “Diagnosis Review Committee: New and revised diagnoses.” Nursing Diagnosis 13, no. 2: 68–71.