How much time do you spend on your inner wellbeing? If you are like most people, the answer is probably “Not a lot”.

Even if you do subscribe to a spiritual regime the chances are that you are following someone else’s ideas about how it should be done (if you are unclear about ‘spiritual’, see Spiritual? Moi? Of Course!).

We neglect our inner wellbeing at our peril. As we increasingly neglect religion, something that was once taken for granted is now at risk. We need to have time to reflect and make sense of our lives.

Some people go to the gym regularly, for maybe an hour or more at a time and several hours a week. Others pore over diet sheets, think about eating healthily, shop for food… this takes hours too.

Then there’s making ourselves look good (clothes, cosmetics), cleaning rituals involving bath or shower, the hairdresser… A lot of time devoted to external signs of health and physical wellbeing.

We constantly attend to outer appearances but we spend virtually no time attending to our inner wellbeing; understanding our needs and nurturing our emotional and psychological comfort and happiness.

The irony is that, while all the other stuff may be visible, and produce some instant ‘feel-good’, you’ll never know if it’s paying off in the long term. You just have to keep doing it, just in case. Besides, all the advice tells us it’s a good idea.

Remember though, that much of that advice is driven by marketing; we are consumers, so it’s never truly our interests that are the priority of the marketeers, whatever they claim.

Inner wellbeing is a conscious choice

I’m not knocking exercise, healthy eating and all the rest, nor am I denying the benefits. It’s just that the amount of time and attention lavished on the outside is disproportionate when contrasted with our emotional and psychological needs. What’s more, happiness and contentment bring instant and long lasting benefits, whereas trends and fashions always fade.

The biggest payoff though, in attending to our inner wellbeing is that it brings all-round benefits.

Understanding ourselves, attending to our inner needs and spiritual wellbeing takes much less effort and with a little practice we can do it wherever we are and whenever the opportunity arises. Think of it as regular, routine maintenance.