Spirituality and Stress Reduction

Higher levels of psychological resilience, positive emotions, and improved immune response have all been linked with spirituality. Spiritual people engage in practices known to reduce levels of stress. For example, spiritual people are more likely to, volunteer or donate to the poor: Regular community service can serve as a buffer against the effects of stress, thus leading to longer lives. Meditate to cope with stress: Meditate when stressed rather than overeat or indulge in unhealthy coping behaviours. Meditation has all kinds of benefits, from improved health, happiness, and focus to decreased pain and depression. Live within a positive community: After food and shelter, social connection is the top predictor of health, authentic happiness, and longevity. Spiritual people are more likely to spend time with family and feel a strong sense of belonging to a community of like-minded people. Turn to prayer: Research suggests prayer helps people find comfort by assisting them to deal with difficult emotions, encourages forgiveness, and leads to healthier relationships. The above points could also indicate a placebo effect. We tend to feel better when we believe something will make us feel better. Even if they are placebo effects, can it hurt to go to a yoga class, volunteer at a homeless shelter, or attend a silent retreat? The benefits are definitely worthwhile.

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