Our spiritual health is very much like our physical health, it needs proper nurturing. Being deprived of the spiritual nourishment that we need can lead to spiritual impairment that is far more harmful than we think. We need to strengthen ourselves spiritually to be able to overcome the storms we face in this life.

Here are 3 ways that we can improve our spiritual health.

Know who you are. The most fundamental truth that we all must know is that we are God’s children. We are His literal spirit sons and daughters, and within us are godly attributes and divine potential. He has sent us here to be tried and tested so that one day we can become like Him. He knows each of us by name. He knows our struggles, insecurities, fears, trials, joys, efforts, and achievements. He loves us so much that He gave His Only Begotten Son to redeem us all. As His children, we can be assured that He is always there to comfort, understand, listen, lead, and correct.

Knowing that we have a divine birthright gives us an eternal perspective beyond the bounds of mortality—that our divine destiny is to become perfected in Christ and that our life here on earth is a time of preparation for us to become like God if we choose the path that will lead to it.

Knowing who we are gives us an indescribable spiritual strength because we know what we are capable of. It also makes us more confident and determined to choose the right because it is part of our divine nature. We become more conscious of our actions as we reflect on whether we are living true to who we really are.

Speak kindly. President Hinckley counseled us to “speak of one another’s virtues more than we speak of one another’s faults” and to “still our voices of insult and sarcasm, [and] more generously compliment virtue and effort.” This counsel is important now more than ever given the realities and circumstances that surround us these days. We see a lot of hate, disagreements, and fault-finding that divide so many, even to the point of ending friendships that took years to build.

Let’s not jump on the bandwagon and add to the rage. If we disagree and want to voice our opinion, let’s do it respectfully and kindly. Accept that others have different views and that this fact alone doesn’t make them bad people. Let’s build each other up and show compassion through the words that we speak and post on social media. Let’s seek common ground more than our differences with others.

When we choose to speak kindly and not yield to contentious conversation, we can feel peace and harmony within ourselves. We are also more in tune with the Holy Spirit as we seek promptings on how we can improve our spiritual health. Harsh words can do more harm to our spirits than to the person who is the target of our anger. So let’s speak kindly, not only to each other, but also to ourselves.

Read the scriptures purposefully and apply the principles you learn. Spiritual hunger and thirst results from depriving ourselves of the spiritual nourishment that comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the Book of Matthew, we read that “[man] shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” The scriptures contain truths and enlightenment that our spirits need to live. As we purposefully take time to read the scriptures, we learn about the Savior—His life, teachings, mysteries, and more importantly, His love for us. We also learn about the people who have lived before us—the trials they faced, their humility when they made mistakes, their resolute faith in the midst of difficulties, their absolute obedience— even to commandments that seemed impossible to accomplish, and the rewards of their faith and obedience.

But our learning doesn’t end with reading. We must see to it that we apply the principles we learn in our lives because only then can we truly learn the mercies and mysteries of God. When we do this, our spirit will thrive and become more receptive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit who can reveal and teach us the “truth of all things.”

The challenges that we face these days are mounting, so we can’t stay complacent. Much like our physical health, our spiritual health needs continuous and consistent nourishment. The good news is we’re not doing this alone. Our Father in Heaven is always ready to help us in our sincere efforts to improve our spiritual health. He is mindful of us and rejoices when we make progress. Even if we sometimes feel spiritually frail, His love for us is constant and will never fail.