spiritual growth exercises for busy people
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10 Spiritual Growth Exercises for Busy People

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Hey, girl! Do you struggle to find time for self-care, let alone spiritual growth? If so, you’re not alone. It’s tough to carve out time for the things that truly matter, including our own personal development.

That’s why in this post, I’m sharing with you 10 simple spiritual growth exercises that you can seamlessly weave into your busy lifestyle. 

These exercises are designed to help you find inner peace, reduce stress, and live your best life, all while juggling work, family, and everything in between. So let’s dive in and find time for spiritual growth, even when life gets crazy!

1. Mindful Breathing

Mindful breathing is a powerful spiritual growth exercise that can help you reduce stress, increase focus, and find inner peace. When you take deep, intentional breaths, you’re not just oxygenating your body but also calming your nervous system and connecting with your inner self.

So what are the benefits of mindful breathing for spiritual growth? When you practice mindful breathing regularly, you might notice that you feel more centered, grounded, and present in the moment. You may also find that you’re better able to manage your emotions and respond to stress in a more peaceful, thoughtful way.

How to practice mindful breathing:

⭐Find a quiet and comfortable space where you won’t be disturbed. You can sit on a cushion, a chair, or lie down.

⭐Close your eyes or soften your gaze, whichever feels more comfortable.

⭐Take a deep breath in through your nose, and exhale slowly through your mouth.

⭐As you breathe, focus your attention on the sensation of the air moving in and out of your body. Notice the rise and fall of your chest or the expansion and contraction of your belly.

⭐If your mind starts to wander, which is perfectly normal, gently bring your focus back to your breath.

⭐Continue breathing mindfully for as long as you like, whether it’s for a few minutes or longer.

⭐When you’re ready to end your practice, take a final deep breath in, and exhale slowly.

⭐Take a moment to notice how you feel. Do you feel more relaxed, centered, or focused?

How to incorporate mindful breathing into a busy schedule:

Start small

Even just a few minutes of mindful breathing can have a positive impact on your mental and physical well-being. So don’t feel like you have to commit to a long meditation session right off the bat. Instead, start with just a minute or two and gradually work your way up as you become more comfortable with the practice.

Set reminders

It’s easy to forget to take a moment for yourself when you’re caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life. To make sure you don’t miss out on your mindful breathing practice, set reminders on your phone or computer to prompt you to take a quick breathing break throughout the day.

Make it a habit

Just like with any habit, consistency is key when it comes to mindful breathing. Try to practice at the same time each day, whether it’s first thing in the morning, during your lunch break, or right before bed. 

Pairing your new habit with an existing habit is called habit stacking, and it really helps me when I’m trying to add something new into my routine!

I learned habit stacking from Atomic Habits.  If you haven’t read this book yet, I highly recommend it!

Multi-task

You don’t have to stop everything you’re doing to practice mindful breathing. In fact, you can incorporate it into your daily activities by taking a few deep breaths while waiting in line, sitting in traffic, or even while washing the dishes. By multitasking in this way, you can make the most of your time and reduce stress at the same time.

Be gentle with yourself

 Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to practice mindful breathing. If your mind wanders or you get distracted, don’t beat yourself up about it. Simply acknowledge the distraction and gently bring your focus back to your breath.

2. Gratitude Practice

When it comes to spiritual growth exercises, practicing gratitude is one of the best. By focusing on what you’re thankful for, you shift your attention away from negative thoughts and feelings and cultivate a more positive outlook on life.

Gratitude can also help you feel more connected to others, increase your resilience, and improve your overall sense of happiness and fulfillment.

And from a spiritual perspective, gratitude is often seen as a way to cultivate a deeper connection with the universe or a higher power. By expressing gratitude for the blessings in your life, you open yourself up to receiving even more abundance and positivity in return.

gratitude is a powerful spiritual growth exercise

How to practice gratitude:

✨Start by setting aside a few minutes each day to focus on gratitude. This could be in the morning, before bed, or any other time that works best for you.

✨Take a few deep breaths to center yourself and bring your attention to the present moment.

✨Reflect on the things in your life that you’re grateful for. This could include anything from your health and safety to the people in your life or the opportunities you’ve been given.  Little things like being thankful for a morning cup of hot coffee count too!

✨Express your gratitude in a way that feels natural to you. This could involve silently saying thank you, writing in a gratitude journal, or sharing your appreciation with someone else.

✨Focus on the feeling of gratitude in your body and let it fill you up. Allow yourself to bask in the positive emotions and sensations that come with expressing gratitude.

The key is to make it a regular part of your routine and approach it with an open heart and mind.  It can be a little hard at first, but over time you’ll find that your gratitude practice becomes more natural and effortless.

It really is true that the more we practice being grateful, the more aware we become of things to be grateful for!

How to incorporate a gratitude practice into a busy schedule:

Make it a habit

Choose a specific time each day to practice gratitude, such as during your morning routine or before bed. Over time, this will become a natural part of your daily routine.

I practice my gratitude each morning as part of my daily mindset routine.

Keep it simple

You don’t need to spend hours on your gratitude practice. Even just a few minutes each day can make a big difference. Find a method that works for you, whether it’s writing in a journal or simply taking a moment to reflect.

Get creative

There are many ways to express gratitude beyond writing in a journal. Try making a gratitude jar, where you write down things you’re thankful for on slips of paper and add them to the jar each day.

You can keep your gratitude jar on your altar or other sacred space.  This is a beautiful visual reminder of the beautiful things in your life.

Or, share your gratitude with others by sending a text or email to someone you appreciate.

Practice gratitude in the moment

You don’t have to wait until your designated gratitude time to express appreciation. Take a moment to notice the small things in your day that bring you joy, and express gratitude for them in the moment.

Connecting with Nature

Connecting with nature is a powerful way to enhance your spiritual growth.  Spending time in nature can help you feel more grounded and connected to the outside world. It can also promote feelings of peace, calm, and relaxation, and help you gain perspective on your own life and challenges.

From a spiritual perspective, connecting with nature is often seen as a way to connect with the divine or higher power. By immersing yourself in the beauty and wonder of the natural world, you can cultivate a deeper sense of awe and reverence for the universe and its mysteries.

How to connect with nature in a city environment:

Take a walk

Even a short walk around your neighborhood or local park can help you feel more connected to nature. Take a break from your busy day to appreciate the beauty of the trees, flowers, and other natural elements around you.

Visit a botanical garden or arboretum

Botanical gardens or arboretums are often located in bigger cities, and offer a peaceful oasis of greenery and natural beauty. Take some time to explore the gardens and appreciate the diversity of plant life.

Find a local park

Many cities and suburbs have parks with walking trails, playgrounds, and other amenities that allow you to enjoy the outdoors. Make a point to visit your local park and spend some time in nature.

Bring nature indoors

Even if you can’t spend time outside, you can still bring nature into your home or workspace. You can add plants, flowers, or other natural elements to your home decor to create a more calming and nurturing atmosphere.

Practice mindfulness

Whether you’re walking through a park or sitting at your desk, you can use mindfulness techniques to connect with nature. Take a few deep breaths and focus on the natural elements around you, such as the sound of birds or the movement of leaves in the wind.

How to incorporate nature time into a busy schedule:

Make it a priority

If you want to connect with nature regularly, you need to make it a priority. Set aside specific times each week to spend time in nature, and treat these times as non-negotiable.

Be flexible

Sometimes our schedules can be unpredictable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to connect with nature. If you have a busy day ahead, try waking up early and taking a walk before your day gets started.

Use your lunch break

If you work in a busy city or suburban area, use your lunch break to get outside and connect with nature. Find a local park or green space and take a short walk or just sit and enjoy the natural surroundings.

If all else fails, have a plant friend at your desk.

via GIPHY

Combine nature with exercise

If you’re short on time, you can combine your exercise routine with your desire to connect with nature. Take a jog or go for a bike ride on a nearby trail, or bring your yoga mat to the park and do your practice there.

Get creative

There are countless ways to connect with nature, so get creative and find what works for you. Maybe you enjoy birdwatching, or taking photographs of flowers. Whatever your interests, find a way to incorporate nature into your daily routine.

When I have a busy day, I’ll step outside into my backyard and feel the grass beneath my feet while my coffee brews in the morning.  Or in winter I’ll poke my head out and breathe in the crisp morning air for a few minutes.

It doesn’t always have to take a lot of time!

4. Journaling

Journaling is a powerful spiritual growth exercise tool for self-reflection. When we take the time to write down our thoughts, feelings, and experiences, we gain clarity and insight into our lives. This can be especially important for spiritual growth, as it allows us to explore our beliefs, values, and experiences more deeply.

By journaling regularly, we can:

💫Process our emotions: Writing down our feelings can be a cathartic experience, allowing us to process and healthily release emotions.

💫Identify patterns and themes: Over time, we may begin to notice patterns and themes in our journal entries, helping us to identify areas of our lives that may require attention or growth.

💫Reflect on our spiritual journey: By writing about our spiritual beliefs and experiences, we can gain a deeper understanding of our own spirituality and how it fits into our lives.

💫Set intentions and goals: Journaling can also help us to set intentions and goals for our spiritual growth, providing a roadmap for our journey.

journaling is a great spiritual growth exercise

Ideas for what to write about in a spiritual journal:

Gratitude

Write about things you’re grateful for, big and small. This can help shift your perspective to a more positive one and cultivate a sense of appreciation for what you have.

Reflections on spiritual experiences

Write about experiences you’ve had that have felt spiritually significant. This can help you to process and integrate those experiences into your life.

Self-reflection

Take time to reflect on your beliefs, values, and behaviors. Think about areas where you feel you could grow or change, and reflect on ways you might work on those areas.

Mindfulness

Write about your experiences with mindfulness, whether through meditation, yoga, or other practices. Reflect on the benefits you’ve experienced and the challenges you’ve faced.

Intentions and goals

Set intentions and goals for your spiritual growth, and write about your progress toward them. This can help keep you accountable and motivated.

Challenges and obstacles

Write about any challenges or obstacles you’ve encountered on your spiritual journey. Reflect on what you’ve learned from these experiences and how you’ve grown as a result.

Inspirational quotes

Write down quotes or passages that inspire you or resonate with you spiritually. Reflect on why they are meaningful to you and how they relate to your own beliefs and experiences.

Acts of kindness

Write about acts of kindness you’ve witnessed or participated in. This can help you to cultivate a sense of compassion and empathy and to see the good in the world around you.

How to incorporate journaling into a busy schedule:

Make it a priority

Set aside a specific time each day, even if it’s just a few minutes, to write in your journal. Treat it like an appointment with yourself that you can’t miss.

Keep your journal handy

Keep your journal and a pen with you wherever you go, so you can jot down thoughts or ideas as they come to you throughout the day. This can be especially helpful if you don’t have a lot of time to sit down and write.

Or, keep it on your bedside table as a reminder to take a few minutes before you go to sleep to journal.

Use prompts

If you’re not sure what to write about, use prompts to get started.  You can find tons of prompts on Pinterest or through a Google search.  I’ve got a list of 100 spiritual growth prompts here to get you started!  ****link to my prompt for spiritual growth bp here!***

Start small

If the idea of writing in a journal every day feels overwhelming, start small. Commit to writing for just a few minutes a day, and gradually increase the amount of time you spend as you become more comfortable with the practice.

Be consistent

Consistency is key when it comes to developing a new habit. Even if you don’t have a lot of time to write, try to do it every day or as often as possible.

There are no rules when it comes to journaling. You can write about whatever feels meaningful and relevant to you in the moment. The key is to make it a regular practice, even if it’s just a few minutes a day. Over time, you may find that your journal becomes a powerful tool for self-discovery, growth, and spiritual connection.

5. Random Acts of Kindness

Practicing random acts of kindness is a simple but powerful way to cultivate compassion and empathy, and to connect with others on a deeper level. When we extend kindness to others, we not only make their day a little brighter, but we also experience a sense of joy and fulfillment that comes from helping others. 

In a spiritual context, kindness can be seen as a form of service or devotion to a higher power or universal consciousness.

Some of the benefits of practicing random acts of kindness for spiritual growth include:

  • Fostering a sense of connection with others and with the world around us.
  • Cultivating a sense of gratitude for the abundance in our lives.
  • Deepening our understanding of the interconnectedness of all beings.
  • Opening our hearts to love and compassion.

Random acts of kindness can take many forms, from paying for someone’s coffee to offering a listening ear to a friend in need. The key is to approach these acts with a genuine spirit of generosity and kindness, without expecting anything in return.

Simple acts of kindness that can be done on a busy day:

  • Smile and say hello to someone you pass on the street.
  • Compliment a stranger on something they are wearing or doing.
  • Hold the door open for someone.
  • Let someone go ahead of you in line.
  • Write a note of encouragement or gratitude to a friend or family member.
  • Send a text message or email to someone you haven’t talked to in a while, just to say hello and ask how they are doing.
  • Donate clothes, books, or other items to a local charity.
  • Leave a kind note or small gift for a co-worker or neighbor.
  • Offer to help someone with a task or errand.
  • Give a genuine compliment to someone in your life.

Sharing kindness doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. By incorporating small acts of kindness into your daily routine, you can make a big difference in your own life and the lives of those around you.

6. Mindful Eating

In our fast-paced lives, it’s easy to fall into the habit of mindlessly scarfing down our meals without giving much thought to what we’re eating or how it affects our bodies. However, practicing mindful eating can be a powerful way to connect with our bodies, increase our sense of gratitude, and promote spiritual growth.

When we practice mindful eating, we take the time to savor our food, notice its flavors and textures, and pay attention to our body’s signals of hunger and fullness. This can help us develop a greater sense of appreciation for the food we eat and the nourishment it provides, as well as deepen our connection to our bodies and our physical selves.

In addition to its spiritual benefits, mindful eating has been linked to a variety of physical health benefits, such as improved digestion, better blood sugar control, and weight management.

How to practice mindful eating:

🌿Slow down: Take the time to really savor each bite of food, chewing slowly and allowing yourself to fully experience the flavors and textures.

🌿Take a break from work: If you’re eating at work or on the go, take a few minutes to step away from your desk or activity and focus on your meal. This can help you feel more relaxed and centered.

🌿Eliminate distractions: Turn off the TV, put away your phone, and focus on your food and your body.

🌿Plan ahead: Prepare healthy meals and snacks ahead of time so that you don’t have to rely on fast food or vending machines when you’re short on time.

🌿Practice gratitude: Take a moment before you begin eating to express gratitude for the food on your plate and the nourishment it provides.

7. Mindful Walking

Walking is an excellent way to connect with the present moment. Mindful walking involves paying attention to your surroundings, your body, and your breath as you walk. This can help you reduce stress, improve your focus, and increase your sense of inner peace.

Mindful walking can also be a form of meditation, helping you cultivate a deeper awareness of your thoughts and emotions.

spiritual growth exercises: mindful walking

Some benefits of mindful walking include:

  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Improved mood and well-being
  • Increased creativity and productivity
  • Improved physical health
  • Greater connection with nature and the environment

How to practice mindful walking:

💖Find a quiet and peaceful location where you can walk without distractions.

💖Stand still for a moment and take a few deep breaths, focusing on your breath and letting go of any thoughts or distractions.

💖Start walking at a slow and relaxed pace, paying attention to the sensation of your feet touching the ground with each step.

💖Focus on your breath and try to synchronize your steps with your breath, taking deep and slow breaths as you walk.

💖Observe your surroundings with a curious and non-judgmental attitude, noticing the colors, sounds, and smells around you.

💖If your mind wanders, gently bring your attention back to your breath and the sensations of walking.

💖Continue walking mindfully for 10-15 minutes, or longer if you have the time.

💖When you are ready to finish, stop and stand still again, taking a few deep breaths and thanking yourself for taking the time to practice mindful walking.

Remember, the goal of mindful walking is not to reach a particular destination or achieve a particular outcome. It is simply to be present in the moment and connect with your body, breath, and surroundings.

How to add mindful walking into a busy day:

Make it a part of your daily routine

Try to carve out some time every day for mindful walking, even if it’s just a few minutes. You could do it first thing in the morning, during your lunch break, or after work as a way to unwind and de-stress.

Combine it with other activities

If you’re short on time, try to combine mindful walking with other activities that you need to do anyway. For example, you could walk mindfully while you’re taking your dog for a walk, or while you’re walking to the grocery store.

Practice while you commute

If you have a long commute, you could get off the bus or train a few stops early and walk mindfully the rest of the way, or park your car a little further away and walk mindfully to your destination.

Use technology to help you

Many mindfulness apps offer guided meditations and walking exercises that you can use to help you practice mindful walking. 

I use the free Insight Timer app, and you can do a search on there for walking meditations.  There are lots on there ranging from 2 minutes to 30+ minutes and everywhere in between!

You could also set reminders on your phone or calendar to help you remember to practice.

You don’t need tons of time or a special location to practice mindful walking. All you need is a willingness to be present in the moment and to connect with your body, breath, and surroundings.

8. Affirmations

Affirmations are a powerful tool for spiritual growth. They are positive statements that can help you shift your thoughts and beliefs from negative to positive. By repeating affirmations, you can reprogram your subconscious mind to focus on what you want and to attract positive experiences into your life.

Affirmations can help you to build self-confidence, overcome negative self-talk, and create a more positive outlook on life. They can also help you to stay motivated and focused on your goals.

Examples of positive affirmations for spiritual growth:

  • I am worthy of love and respect.
  • I trust that the universe has my best interests at heart.
  • I am capable of achieving my goals.
  • I release all negative thoughts and emotions from my mind.
  • I am grateful for all the blessings in my life.
  • I choose to see the good in every situation.
  • I am open to receiving abundance in all areas of my life.
  • I am at peace with myself and the world around me.
  • I am strong, confident, and capable.
  • I trust in my intuition and inner wisdom.

These affirmations can be customized to fit your personal beliefs and values. They should be positive, uplifting, in present tense, and focused on what you want to achieve. 

I’ve got a list of 100 affirmations for spiritual growth here to get you started.

How to incorporate affirmations into a daily routine:

Write your affirmations down

Writing your affirmations down on a piece of paper or in a journal can help you stay focused on your goals and make them feel more real.

Repeat them throughout the day

Set reminders on your phone or computer to repeat your affirmations throughout the day. This can be a quick and easy way to stay motivated and focused.

Use affirmations during your daily routine

Incorporate your affirmations into your daily routine, like saying them to yourself while you brush your teeth or take a shower.

Make them personal

Make your affirmations personal and meaningful to you. This will help you stay motivated and focused on your goals.

If you want to write your affirmation daily, check out my Self-Care Manifestation Journal which follows the 3-6-9 manifestation method for writing affirmations in the morning, afternoon, and evening.

the daily self-care manifestation journal

9. Self-Care

Self-care is an important aspect of spiritual growth, as it involves taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. When we prioritize self-care, we create a space to recharge and connect with our inner selves. This leads to greater self-awareness, self-love, and a deeper sense of connection with others and the world around us.

Self-care can take many forms, such as taking a relaxing bath, reading a book, practicing yoga, or simply taking a few minutes to sit in silence.

By making self-care a priority, we not only benefit ourselves but also those around us. We become better equipped to handle the challenges of daily life and can approach each day with a renewed sense of energy and purpose.

When I’m topped up on my self-care, I’m a more patient mother, a more productive business owner, and just a generally more fun person to be around.

Ideas for self-care practices that you can do in a busy day:

  • Take a few minutes to stretch your body and breathe deeply.
  • Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and savor the taste and smell.
  • Take a quick walk outside and soak up some sunshine.
  • Listen to your favorite music or podcast during a break.
  • Take a relaxing bath or shower before bed.
  • Write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal.
  • Read a few pages of a good book while curled up in bed before you sleep.
  • Do a hobby that brings you joy and relaxation, like drawing or coloring.
  • Practice saying “no” to commitments or tasks that drain your energy.
  • Prioritize getting enough sleep and establish a consistent sleep routine.
  • Take a moment to appreciate and celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small.

Remember, self-care is not selfish, it’s essential for overall well-being and spiritual growth. By taking care of yourself, you’ll have more energy and positivity to share with others.

How to make self-care a habit in a busy life:

Prioritize self-care

Make self-care a non-negotiable part of your daily routine. Treat it as important as any other task on your to-do list.  I know this is easier said than done, but even if you commit to it and do it 3-4 days a week, that’s a solid start!

Start small

If you’re new to self-care, start with small, manageable actions. It can be as simple as taking a few deep breaths or drinking a glass of water.

Find self-care activities that you enjoy

Experiment with different self-care activities and find the ones that make you feel good.

reading is a great self-care practice

Don’t force yourself to read self-help books if you find them boring.  Dive into a spicy fantasy romance if you enjoy that more! (I personally enjoy both, so I rotate between productivity/spiritual books and spicy romantasy).

Schedule self-care time

Block out time in your schedule for self-care activities. It could be 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or an hour. Whatever works for you.

Get support

Surround yourself with people who encourage and support your self-care efforts. Having a friend or accountability partner can help keep you motivated.  Communicate with your partner if you need them to watch the kids for an hour while you practice your self-care.

10. Silence and Solitude

Silence and solitude are effective spiritual growth excercises. In a noisy world, it can be challenging to find moments of stillness. However, taking time to be alone with yourself can be incredibly transformative.

Silence and solitude help us to reflect, gain clarity, and connect with our inner selves. It allows us to listen to our intuition and inner wisdom, and it helps us to tune out external distractions.

Through the practice of silence and solitude, we can become more aware of our thoughts and emotions. We can observe our inner dialogue and recognize negative patterns of thinking. By acknowledging and releasing these patterns, we can begin to shift towards more positive and constructive thinking.

Moreover, silence and solitude provide an opportunity to connect with something greater than ourselves. Whether it be nature, a higher power, or simply the universe, this connection can provide a sense of peace, comfort, and guidance.

It is in these moments of stillness that we can truly connect with ourselves and the world around us.

How to find moments of silence and solitude in a busy day:

🌱Wake up a little earlier: Try waking up 10-15 minutes earlier than usual to spend some quiet time before your day begins.

🌱Take a break during the day: Even if it’s just for a few minutes, step away from your work or responsibilities to take a walk or sit quietly in a peaceful spot.

🌱Unplug: Turn off your phone and computer for a set amount of time each day to disconnect from the constant noise and stimulation of technology.

🌱Create a sacred space: Set aside a special spot in your home or office where you can go to be alone and quiet. This could be a cozy reading nook, a meditation corner, or simply a comfortable chair with a view.

🌱Practice meditation: Meditation is a powerful tool for cultivating inner peace and stillness. Try starting with just a few minutes a day and gradually increasing the amount of time you spend in meditation.

Remember, even just a few moments of silence and solitude each day can have a profound impact on your spiritual growth and overall well-being.

How to make silence and solitude a regular part of a busy life:

Schedule it

Just like you schedule other important tasks and appointments, schedule time for silence and solitude. It can be a few minutes in the morning or evening, or even during your lunch break.

Find a quiet space

If possible, find a quiet space where you can be alone and undisturbed. This could be a quiet corner in your home, a park bench, or a quiet room in your workplace.

Disconnect

Turn off your phone, computer, and other electronic devices that may distract you from being present in the moment.

Meditate

Use this time to practice meditation or other relaxation techniques. You can find guided meditations or simply sit quietly and focus on your breath.

Reflect

Use this time to reflect on your thoughts and feelings, your goals, and your values. You can write down your thoughts in a journal or simply think quietly.


Hey, you made it to the end of this post! I hope you found these 10 spiritual growth exercises helpful.  Thanks for reading!

Remember, you don’t have to do them all at once, or even every day. Just pick a few that resonate with you and incorporate them into your routine.

Spiritual growth doesn’t happen overnight, but with a little bit of effort and consistency, you can make progress towards a more fulfilling and meaningful life. And don’t forget to have fun along the way!

If you’re looking for a tool to help you incorporate these practices and make self-care a regular part of your busy life, you can check out my Daily Self-Care Manifestation Journal.

It’s designed to help you cultivate a deeper connection with yourself and the Universe using the Law of Attraction.

So go ahead, treat yourself to some self-care and spiritual growth.

You deserve it!

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