Five surprising ways spirituality and prayer can benefit your everyday life
When life hands you lemons, it can sometimes be hard to cope. Whether it’s a bad day at work, a difficult situation at home or unexpected health or financial challenges, we’re all faced with trying times at some point in our lives – and it’s only natural to experience anger, frustration or anxiety.
Having a spiritual connection can help get you through hard situations, but did you know it can help strengthen your long-term emotional and physical health too?
Here are five noteworthy benefits of using spirituality and prayer to cope with life’s daily turns.
- Prayer can relieve stress. In a world filled with constant demands and strains, the act of prayer can help relieve pressure by addressing and releasing it to a power greater than your own. The realization that some things truly are out of your control can be incredibly relieving. Feeling spiritually connected can help you recognize that you are not responsible for every life occurrence. If your burdens don’t feel lighter yet, consider this: prayer usually involves individual quiet time, another valuable contributor to de-stressing.
- Prayer can keep you healthy. These stats are pretty incredible: According to an associate professor at Duke University, admitted hospital patients who didn’t attend church stayed an average three times longer than those who did attend regular services. And, senior citizens who were not active churchgoers suffered a stroke rate that was double that of those who did go to church routinely.
- Prayer can offer social support. Strong religious or spiritual lifestyles can help foster deeper social interactions with others. That’s because daily prayer can often land you in organized communities, like church services or related activities, with others who are on a similar path.
- It keeps you centered. A tragic situation, like an extended illness or a death in the family, can leave you emotionally and physically distressed. Prayer can help keep you centered and focused on faith, giving your mind and body the opportunity for more complete recovery.
- It brings a sense of optimism. Prayer can be extremely powerful when you focus on what you “have” instead of what you “want.” It can offer a new perspective and foster a more positive outlook on life. In a world full of constant uphill battles, it’s emotionally and physically beneficial to lean on an optimistic practice. Studies have even shown that praying can elevate dopamine in your brain, resulting in more happy feelings.
Do you already practice daily prayer, or are you looking to become more spiritual? No matter your life circumstances, put a plan in place to help effectively cope with life’s everyday challenges. The practice of prayer could be your key to living a happier and more fulfilled life.