If your days are spent feeling like an unhappy potato, it may be time to commit to a healthier lifestyle. The first tasks on your wellness to-do list are signing up for a gym membership and radically changing your diet, right? Think again…
Studies have shown that strong spiritual beliefs are just as beneficial for your wellbeing as working out and eating healthy. That brings us to our burning question of the day: Can spirituality make you healthier?
Spirituality for stress relief
Whether you read the bible or practice Buddhism, spiritual beliefs give you a sense of purpose and hope. This results in a more optimistic point of view, which can relieve physical and mental stress. Stress, as you may already know, can wreak havoc on your body from the inside out. In addition to depression and anxiety, this built up tension may also lead to a weakened immune system and severe health issues. If you continue to ignore the underlying problem, you can expect your stress to eventually manifest in the form of obesity, a heart attack, or high blood pressure.
To lower your stress levels, try implementing prayer, yoga, or meditation into your daily routine. These spiritual practicescan help you relax, clear your mind, and boost your immune function.
Spirituality as natural medicine
It’s not exactly a curefor disease, but spirituality can help you cope with illnessand may even speed up the healing process. Victor Frankl(a Holocaust survivor) put it best when he said, “Man is not destroyed by suffering; he is destroyed by suffering without meaning.” Whether you believe in supernatural miracles or that Heaven’s gates are waiting for you on the other side, it’s much easier to find peace after a life-threatening diagnosis when spirituality is on your side.
Furthermore, peace of mind allows your body to focus on healing instead of battling constant stress. When a higher power is involved, patients are more content with the outcome and believe in the notion “everything happens for a reason.” Therefore, research has determined a positive correlation between recovery and spiritualityin patients who suffer from cancer, stroke, or some other serious health problem.
Encourages healthy habits
Some spiritual beliefs even encourage– or require– you to participate in healthy habits. Christians practice their faith by reading and contemplating bible scriptures frequently. Not only does reading upgrade your vocabularyand conversational skills, it also gives your brain a workout and enhances your problem-solving abilities. On the other hand, yoga is a common spiritual practice that’s both relaxing and physically challenging. This combination of core strengthening poses and meditative techniques has been so effective at improving memory skillsthat doctors are now recommending yoga to Alzheimer’s patients.
Additionally, many religions influence followers to eat a healthier diet. Vegetarianismis popular among Muslims, Hindus, and countless other spiritual communities. Instead of fasting all foods, Christians have taken a healthier approach to this religious practice by following the “Daniel Diet,” which consists of primarily vegetables and water. Even though the purpose of these diets aren’t related to health, you can’t help but notice how much of an impact spirituality has on your overall wellbeing.
We’ve laid out the facts, now it’s YOUR turn to decide: Can spirituality make you healthier? If so, tell us how your spiritual beliefs have improved your health. Leave a comment below!