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4 Ways Spirituality Supports Health

September 25, 2012

We often speak of health as it relates to taking care of the physical body. But while wholesome food, water, and regular fitness play an important role in maintaining peak performance, many feel that spirituality offers equally vital nourishment.

Being “spiritual” can include things like visiting a place of worship, maintaining a meditation practice at home, or simply making time to contemplate the meaning of life. In addition to creating a greater awareness of the world around us, the effect of such activities can produce significant physiological benefits.

Here are 4 ways that spirituality contributes to health and well-being:

Increases your happiness.

The act of peaceful reflection has a soothing effect on both the nervous and endocrine systems. This creates a state of hormonal balance that is conducive to overall health and happiness. Deliberately focusing on something positive during spiritual practice will further invite uplifting emotions into your daily life.

Relieves stress.

Stress has been linked to inflammation, high blood pressure, and most chronic diseases. Since spiritual practice generally involves a peaceful environment and a quiet mind, it is a natural stress-reliever. It can also greatly reduce stress-related health conditions, such as elevated blood pressure, headaches, fatigue, and mood swings.

Helps you connect internally.

Unplugging from the stimulation of the external world and tuning in to the internal rhythms of your body cultivates an intuitive sense of well-being. This enhanced personal connection can help you detect when something might be out of balance, allowing you to take preventative action before it becomes a more serious ailment.

Cultivates healthy habits.

Spirituality assists in fostering a sense of purpose and appreciation of life. This sense of vibrant living is naturally conducive to engaging in health-promoting activities such as eating a healthy diet, surrounding yourself with love, and staying active. It also activates the will to share health and happiness with others.

If you don’t already have a preferred method for spiritual connection, here are some suggestions for getting started from one of our top nutrition experts.

What is your favorite spiritual activity?