Spirituality and Health: How It Can Change Your Life
You have heard a lot of spirituality and the impact it has on your overall health. Still, you probably have your set of questions on what spirituality is and how it can alter your life. In this case, you have come to the right place.
First things first: what is spirituality? It is a broad and complex concept. So, you could easily misunderstand the notion of spirituality. It features a sense of connection to an outer force, something bigger than ourselves. Also, spirituality involves the pursuit of finding the real meaning of life.
Some think that spirituality is linked to religion. Others may perceive it in a more personal manner. The latter concentrate on having a personal relationship with God or any other higher force in the universe. Others want to connect with nature and art.
So, your perception of spirituality evolves based on your experiences and relationships.
As you can see, spirituality is a multidimensional and crucial element of the human existence. It is difficult to grasp because each of us perceives it subjectively.
Despite all these, there is medical evidence that highlights its beneficial role for your mental and overall health.
How Does Spirituality Affect Overall Health and Mental Health?
There are various studies that outline the benefits of spirituality on the health.
For starters, spirituality plays a fundamental role in preventing depression. This is a condition that affects more and more people worldwide. Official statistics show that approximately 6.7 percent of the US population suffers from a depressive disorder. At the same time, studies point out that people who are more spiritual are less likely to go through depression.
Having healthy social connections is a major dictator of happiness, health, and longevity. In fact, strong social connections are thought to increase longevity by as much as 50 percent. Spiritual individuals are usually part of a built-in community. This gives them the sense of belonging and security.
Spiritual practices prevent depression. They can also offer a sense of hope when you feel that all is lost.
There is a common human tendency to remain stuck in a moment in the past. This makes you think about a time in your life when everything was better and easier. Spirituality could help you to stay in the present. This way, you can focus on the things you can do to change your life. This is fundamental for your mental and overall health.
Spirituality could restore a sense of meaning and purpose in your life. Many times, the fact that you lack a direction in your life could make you feel discouraged and insecure. Spiritual practices could save you in times of stress. Those times when you think that nothing makes sense anymore.
Stress is an enemy for each and one of us. It can steal our joy, our motivation, and our strength to keep going forward. Also, according to studies, stress is a leading cause for a plethora of health conditions. It can lead to heart disease, obesity, depression, asthma, gastrointestinal problems, and many others. So, stress has many negative effects on both your mental and physical health.
How could spirituality help in this respect? Spirituality teaches you that you have your own limitations. There are things in life that you cannot control, and that is perfectly ok. This way, you can let go and learn to accept things as they come and go.
You must acknowledge that you are a part of something bigger and more meaningful. This way, you’ll understand that you aren’t liable for everything that happens in your life. Also, if you share your joys and burdens with the people in your community, you will have a sense of belonging.
How Important Is Spirituality for Your Health?
Did you know that you can boost your immunity by praying, meditating or taking a meditative walk in a beautiful, natural environment? Such a daily practice could make the world of a difference, according to experts.
When you are in profound meditation or prayer, you disconnect from this world. Your fighting response is turned off, and you are flooded with a sense of peacefulness. This gives you both physical and spiritual relief. In this way, your immunity is supercharged. According to this study, people who meditate for about eight weeks will experience a boost of immunity.
When you think of a higher power, and you connect with it, you gain a sense of control that you didn’t have until that moment. That enables you to relax your senses and detach yourself from your problems and outer world. This prevents you from letting negative thoughts distract you.
This also makes the blood pressure levels diminish and makes the blood flow to the brain to increase. That could have a beneficial impact on your memory and cognitive abilities.
As you can see, spirituality is essential for your health. It enables you to cope with stress more effectively. It helps you detach yourself from your daily problems. You’ll connect with your inner self and a higher divinity. Still, we don’t know yet how spiritual practices, such as prayer or meditation, can improve health.
Some specialists state that having a connection with the divinity promotes a higher self-esteem. Others say that spiritual involvement is related to embracing healthy daily habits. Plus, spirituality brings you closer to people who think like you. This gives you a sense of belonging to a community.
Practicing forgiveness is also a value linked to spirituality. The power to forgive the ones who have wronged you is often associated with better physical and mental health. It also brings greater satisfaction of life, less anxiety, depression and anger, and higher self-esteem.
As you can see, spirituality can change your life for the better. It is not something you can gain overnight. Still, the benefits related to it are quite numerous. It enhances your physical and mental health and helps you remain focused on your priorities and what matters most in life.