Is there a connection between spirituality and health? Definitely! But first let’s take a look at what spirituality is. Defined in many different ways, spirituality is a belief in a power operating in the universe that is greater than oneself, a sense of being connected with living creatures, and an awareness of the purpose and meaning of life. It is also a way you find meaning or inner peace in your life and although it is often associated with being religious, many believe spirituality can be developed outside the realms of religion.
Studies show that spirituality/faith plays an important role in the healing process. In the early beginnings of Western medicine through generations of healers - as well as today - concerns of the body and spirit were interconnected. But science, among other things, removed such thoughts from the medical system. However, today, a growing number of studies and testimonials reveal that spirituality or faith may play a bigger role in health and the healing process than previously thought.
Taking part in spiritual practices tend to promote healthy behavior, by reducing feelings of depression and anxiety, improving coping skills and social support, fostering feelings of optimism and hope, and encouraging a sense of relaxation. When you alleviate stress and stressful feelings and promote healing ones, spirituality can positively influence immune, cardiovascular (heart and blood vessels), hormonal, and nervous systems.
Greater life satisfaction! Though medical studies have shown that people who describe themselves as spiritual exhibit fewer self-destructive behaviors (like suicide, smoking, and drug and alcohol abuse) and have a greater total life satisfaction, no one can be for certain how much spirituality affects health. But one thing is sure; we were all created with a spirit, soul and body and they work together in a marvelous way. And the health of any one of these elements seems to affect the health of the others. If spirituality makes ones health better, by all means, be the best spiritual being you can be.