{flickr photo by Lel4nd}

With Easter fast approaching, you may have chocolate bunnies religion on your mind. And if so, that might be a good thing especially for your health.


In, “Lifestyle and Mental Health” an article published in the American Psychologist , Roger Walsh, M.D., PhD. says nearly 90% of the world participate in some form of religious or spiritual practice. “Considerable research suggests a complex but usually beneficial relationship between religious involvement and mental health.” This is particularly true when love and forgiveness rather than punishment and guilt are emphasized.

Some of the mental health benefits include reduction of the incidence of depression, anxiety, substance abuse and suicide. And also an improvement in relationships and better psychological well-being.

And yet it’s not just good for your emotional health, but it’s great for your health general. Research has shown that people who attend religious services at least once a week live a whopping seven years longer than those who don’t. Spiritual practices including meditation has also been found to offer both physical and psychological benefits.

Of course, individuals who commit to a life of religious and spiritual devotion aren’t doing so solely for their benefit. But it looks like it’s an unintentional and significant consequence.

Anyone can attest to the positive impact religion and spirituality has had on their life. Personally, it has opened me up to possibilities when I thought there were none and taught me the power of love and gratitude over fear and anxiety.

Have you noticed a shift in your own health as you have become more involved in spiritual and religious practices? What was the unexpected gift it brought to you?

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