No matter the method of practice, ritual or place of worship, religion and spirituality can play a significant role in a person’s life. Although spirituality means different things to different people, it often takes into account a belief in a higher power or something bigger than ourselves along with a search for greater meaning. Some people may regularly attend a church, synagogue or a mosque. Others may meet to walk outdoors or take part in social action projects, seeking inspiration from nature or humanity. Whether you consider yourself religious or spiritual, there are health benefits associated with both.
According to a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic, people who are spiritual or religious often live longer than others. It is hypothesized that many of the positive side effects of spirituality, which are outlined below, may also translate to healthier lifestyle choices.
Improved Emotional State
Spirituality can promote close family and friendship bonds and help people cope with physical or emotional pain and other life stressors. It can also offer people a strong sense of community, particularly for those who are part of a spiritual group or community. Regularly gathering with like-minded people can help prevent feelings of isolation, something that many older adults struggle with. Studies show that people who are spiritual generally have a more positive outlook and live happier, more productive lives.
Stronger Immune System
The immune system helps fight off viral and bacterial bugs, as well as chronic infections which can sometimes be life-threatening for older adults. Since stress can wreak havoc on the immune system, finding ways to lower stress levels is important. Spirituality can deliver a sense of well-being, flooding the brain with immunity-boosting hormones.
Reduced Risk Of Disease
In addition to impairing immunity, stress is often be associated with elevated blood pressure. Left unchecked, hypertension can lead to a host of life-altering or life-threatening events such as heart disease, kidney disease or stroke. The positive feelings associated with spirituality can lower stress levels and blood pressure and can have a significant impact on lifestyle choices.
Improved Self Confidence And Fitness
Being part of a spiritual community or having close community ties can help boost self-confidence and mental outlook, which in turn can lead to taking better care of yourself. Some people find physical activities, such as taking a walk in a beautiful park or participating in a yoga or meditation class, to be a spiritual experience. Exercise pumps oxygen into the body, increasing blood flow, while simultaneously elevating mood and reducing blood pressure.
Strong Support System
From providing emotional help and friendship to ensuring that your changing needs are met, finding the right spiritual community can help you lead a healthier and more comfortable life. At a supportive community like Daylesford Crossing, residents enjoy ready access to spiritual activities and a rich variety of social programming. Contact us to learn more or to schedule a tour.