Spiritual health is the third of the four components of health. True health requires health in all four components. Over the last two weeks we covered physical and mental health. Next week we will cover the fourth component.
This blog is being released on the most important holiday of the Christian religion. It seems timely to talk about spirituality and why and how it is linked with your health.
Researchers have studied what are the differences between the most healthy and the least health people in our world. Certainly some of the factors are:
- our genes
- our environment
- our accessibility to healthcare
- our social system
These are more tangible, or objective, types of factors. We can define and measure them. But, these measures alone can’t explain all of the differences in our health.
A component that many researches have included is the concept of religion. Most studies I have found don’t differentiate which religion. They just look at whether the person identifies with a religion. Studies have found that identifying with religion is associated with better health.
Why would spiritual health and religion be associated with better health?
One potential reason religion could enhance your health could be belief in a higher power. There is assurance and hope in having someone/something overseeing your life. In some religions there is a direct relationship with the higher power. In others, a common belief system provides a group to whom you can belong and share those beliefs.
Religion has also been credited with providing a way of coping with life events. In some religions, God can be asked for help. Some studies have demonstrated a positive benefit of prayer on health. In others, the care of one another by people within a religious group benefits health outcomes.
The sense of belonging, the social opportunities, and the structure of religion appear to add to enhanced health. In addition, religion provides additional opportunities for volunteering. Those who volunteer have been found to be healthier. Of course, there are non-religious ways to volunteer. But, some of the studies found those with a religious affiliation to be more likely to volunteer.
Altruism is one of the attributes associated with improved health. Altruism is defined as, “feelings and behaviors that show a desire to help other people and a lack of selfishness” (Merriam-Webster definition). Some of the major religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – encourage helping others. Then, God will reward such actions. Either way, people who think about and do positive things for other people are healthier.
There is growing interest in studying this. There is now evidence to support the crucial role of spirituality in overall health. Stay tuned to see how this information will be incorporated in to our healthcare system.
There are no medications for spirituality. So, you might wonder why Meds MASH would be posting about this topic. But, it is a core part of overall health. So in the interest of completeness, spirituality is an important topic.
For a list of references used in the writing of this blog, please contact us at www.medsmash.com.
Happy holiest of days! Our Savior lives!
The sun has been shining, the days are warming, my favorite color of spring green is starting to turn up everywhere, flowers are blooming! This season makes me so happy!
Have you noticed how circumstances can really improve your mood and make you happy?
I’ve injured my leg (again) and will likely need surgery. Insurance has made the treatment process incredibly long. How frustrating. Have you noticed how circumstances can dampen your mood?
How much is your life tossed up and down by circumstances? The roller coaster ride of the ups and down can be exhausting!
You can’t keep life circumstances from happening. Good things and bad things happen to everyone. There is no avoiding it. But, you have the ultimate hedge of protection around you like a solid house that protects you in a hurricane. No matter what happens in your life, because of what happened Holy Week, you have a source of hope and peace.
Jesus was betrayed by one of his closest friends. Many people worked together behind his back to find a way to destroy him. He was slandered. He experienced the ultimate defamation of his character. He was accused of crimes he never committed. He was humiliated. He was physically abused beyond recognition. He was tortured. Many who had supported him either abandoned him or turned against him. The official who could have protected him did not. He was murdered in public with additional humiliations in the worst, most painful way known to people at that time.
He was completely without sin. He did nothing wrong. He is the only person to ever walk the earth who could claim that.
So, why did he willingly go to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday knowing full well this was what would happen by the end of the week?
Romans 14:9 ESV
For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
Isaiah 53:5 ESV
But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.
John 3:16 ESV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
YOU are the reason Jesus endured all of this. His love for YOU. Your sins. All that separated you from God due your weaknesses is now gone. Because Jesus died for YOU, you have the promise of eternal life! There is no better gift anyone could ever give you.
Jesus did not remain in the grave. After three days He came back to life! Again, all for YOU!
John 11:25 ESV
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,
John 6:40 ESV
For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.
May you be richly blessed as you ponder this love that can protect you from any storm.
Image source: colinsclipart.com