Theologians, thought leaders and scientists have tried to intersect faith and medicine for centuries. It’s clear that religious involvement is a benefit to one’s spiritual health, but did you ever wonder if religion is good for mental and physical well being?
According to Mayo Clinic, “Most studies have shown that religious involvement and spirituality are associated with better health outcomes, including greater longevity, coping skills, and health-related quality of life (even during terminal illness) and less anxiety, depression, and suicide. Several studies have shown that addressing the spiritual needs of the patient may enhance recovery from illness.” This non-profit organization has listed several explanations of how religious involvement is associated with less cardiovascular disease, hypertension, depression, and anxiety. Churchgoers are mostly associated with health-promoting behaviors such as avoiding smoke and alcohol, exercise, and proper nutrition. As such, they are more likely to prevent illness.
Furthermore, researchers at the American Psychological Associations have observed a correlation between religion and positive religious coping. Believers often trust in God, thus they become less worried and stressed. With the teachings from the Bible, many assert that it teaches patience and trains to focus less upon concerns of the world. As a result, believers often feel more equipped to deal with life’s issue’s more effectively.
Lastly, the social support through fellowship or gathering is a great way to alleviate emotional distress and promote healthy lifestyle behaviors. The feeling of belongingness has positive results to both mental and physical health as it is a basic human need.
Whether you are religious or not, it couldn’t hurt for anyone to put more focus on their physical well being. This in itself is a practice that causes spiritual people to have a cheerful heart and meaningful life, looking onward to a greater hope.