In today’s rat race world, your life seems to move at an ever-more-frenetic pace. Between your family responsibilities, your job responsibilities, and all the never-ending chores you must perform, you barely have time to see your friends once in a while, let alone have any “me” time to yourself. But if all this activity leaves you feeling that something’s missing from your life, you’re not alone. And what you may be missing is faith and spirituality.
Even if you’re a staunch atheist, you’d be hard-pressed to likewise proclaim that your life has no meaning. By feeling that you’re part of something supernatural, even though you don’t know what that is, is having faith. And the way you go about finding that supernatural thing is called spirituality.
Benefits of Faith
Naturally, faith isn't a switch you can turn on and off, but psychologists have touted the benefits of faith over the years, having conducted studies that support the hypothesis. Some of these benefits that people of faith reap include the following:
- They tend to live longer.
- They are less likely to have heart attacks.
- They have less stress and anxiety.
- They have less depression.
- They suffer less physical pain.
- They are less likely to panic in pressure situations.
- They experience more contentment.
Benefits of Spirituality
Psychologists likewise have found the benefits of spirituality to include the following:
- Spiritual people tend to be more compassionate toward others.
- They tend to be more gracious.
- They tend to better self-actualize.
- They take the time to savor their life experiences.
- They tend to flourish.
- They have a sense of purpose.
- They boost their immune systems.
- They tend to have an enhanced ability to think.
Faith and Spirituality Together
Even for those who consider faith and spirituality a roadblock to education, this may not come as a surprise. If you believe you’re part of something bigger than yourself and engage in a knowing, active pursuit to find that something, you are more likely to enjoy the company of others and express gratitude to and for them. Feeling gratitude in and of itself makes you a more positive and optimistic person. It also feels so good that you tend to surround yourself with people who likewise know what gratitude is and are not hesitant to express it. All this positive thinking feeds on itself, and your attitudes toward life in general become more positive.
Times of Trouble
No one has ever tried to say that people of faith and spirituality never face adversity. Unfortunately, trouble, whether in the form of physical illness or psychological suffering, is part of human existence. But thinking positively and having faith that things will get better change the way you handle your troubles when they come. In addition, your “faith community” of family, friends, and associates helps you form a barrier against despair.
Maintaining a “this too shall pass” attitude allows you to better cope with whatever troubling things you’re facing while you’re going through them, but it's helpful to realize that seeing the glass as half full isn't due entirely to having faith or being spiritual. After all, millions of atheists and agnostics express positivity without the aid of spirituality, but the research cant be ignored.
While one can't simply "choose" to be spiritual any more than a spiritual person can choose to stop, opening yourself up to the possibilities of faith and spirituality can possibly influence change, improve, or uplift your life. Clearly more research needs to be done on the relationship between faith, spirituality, and one's physical and emotional health, but what do you think; does having faith in the supernatural cause a person to live a healthier life, or, as the saying goes, is ignorance bliss?