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Articles about Spirituality

How Spirituality Affects Our Health
By:Kat Smith-Starlove

Recent studies have shown that spirituality could be as important as fitness or nutrition for your health. Stretching this point even further some scientists believe that not having any spiritual beliefs could be a potential risk factor for a person.

Researchers have found that in general, people who are spiritual have a more positive outlook on life and look at disease or illness in a different way than a non spiritual person.

But, what do we mean by the term spirituality? We understand that spirituality is not religion and that it is different for each person. Possibly some of the points listed below could define spirituality:

1. A metaphysical reality greater than oneself.
2. A higher power, whether it is religion, nature, a higher consciousness, or the essence of something else.
3. A connection to yourself and others as well as the world and environment.
4. A sense of meaning and purpose in your life.
5. An awareness of ourselves and who we are.

We know for a fact that spirituality gives us a more positive outlook and a belief in a brighter feature. When people suffer ill health spiritualism helps patients because their beliefs comfort them, help them to be more optimistic and they are more likely to achieve health goals, as well as believe that they will get better.

Because of this it has been shown that patients recover from surgeries faster, their sense of hope and optimism is better, they have less depression, and they experience less anxiety and fear and overall have a general sense of well-being.

Another point about spirituality is that we now know that prayer, meditation, imagery and visualization all help us to heal. When other people pray for us the positive energy can manifest positive results for us. Listed below are some ways that spirituality can be of benefit to us:

1. When we pray, meditate or have positive thoughts there is a change that happens in our bodies.
2. Our brains release chemicals that are natural painkillers and mood enhancers.
3. Our blood pressure decreases.
4. Stress and anxiety levels are decreased.
5. We sleep better.

When I was an operating room nurse I worked with an anesthesiologist who would say a prayer for the patient before the surgery. At first it seemed unusual as we had not seen any doctor do this before. But after a while the OR team realized that the prayer said for the patient couldn't hurt, and that it made us stop for a moment and think about the patient and what they were undergoing, humanizing it for us. We also had more of a bonded feeling working towards the good and end result for the patient.

To conclude, I have seen first hand what positive thinking can do for your health and for curing medical illnesses. Whether it is called spirituality or not, the point is that a belief in something greater than us and a trusting outlook does help in the healing process.

Kat is a health coach, life design advisor, author, speaker and RN. With over 20 years in her field she is an expert in teaching wellness and fitness incorporating non-traditional health theories with traditional or Western medicine. She is an advocate for patients and offers wellness programs which can be modified for each person and their specific needs. She believes in incorporating the mind, body and spirit in her teaching. She also has a passion for helping women find their true essence of who they are and guiding their personal development.