The evidence linking spiritual pursuits to better health and happiness is mounting. Reasons for this include the health benefits of mindfulness practise. Meditation, prayer, contemplation, and other activities that help you concentrate on one thing at a time are collectively known as contemplative practises. The practise of contemplation has a long and rich history in many different faiths. Meditation, yoga, and other similar practises are meant to relax the mind while simultaneously fostering empathy, compassion, and focus.
Besides creating feelings of peace and clarity of thinking, meditating has been demonstrated to increase focus and attention span. Grey matter in the brain grows with meditation practise; this has been linked to a reduction in pain sensitivity, an increase in immunity, improved control over negative emotions, and a more relaxed state of mind. A neuroscientist, performed this study. Mindfulness meditation has been shown to help people with a wide range of health issues, including mental health issues like depression and anxiety, physical health issues like cancer and chronic pain, neurological disorders like fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis, metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular conditions like atherosclerosis.
Prayer has the potential to induce the relaxation response as well as the positive affective states of optimism, gratitude, and compassion. To enter a “flow” state of mind, prayer can be an effective tool. Although there are numerous prayer practises, most are grounded in the belief that a higher power has some degree of influence over one’s life. Feeling supported and comforted by this notion can be a great help in trying times. Recent research has shown that persons with clinical depression who have faith that their prayers are heard by a caring presence respond better to treatment than those who do not.
Long considered a spiritual discipline, yoga employs a variety of asanas (postures) and a focus on ethics and breathwork in an effort to foster a sense of inner connection in the practitioner. Consistent yoga practise has been linked to lowered blood pressure, lower levels of stress hormones, fewer negative emotions like sadness and anxiety, and an improved sense of well-being.
One often-overlooked kind of contemplative practise is keeping a journal, which can help you become more in tune with your inner life and more attuned to the world around you. According to research, maintaining a journal might help you become more resilient and find purpose in the midst of adversity.
If you want to better your life, join a religious or spiritual group
Many spiritual and religious practises emphasise the importance of being part of a group. Going to church or joining a meditation group are two examples of spiritually-oriented activities that can be sources of social support and may contribute to emotions of belonging, safety, and community. One study found that going to church on a regular basis is associated with better physical and mental health and a greater sense of fulfilment in life. Previous studies have demonstrated the benefits effects of strong interpersonal relationships on both health and longevity.
Non-material efficacy, which is not restricted to the material world, and (ii) unfalsifiable efficacy were both thought to be important features of nu-botanics spiritual products for spiritual consumers (i.e. efficacy that is immune to contrary evidence). There is evidence to be found in a wide variety of spiritual and religious contexts.