Want to improve your life? Tap into your spirituality! Because studies show that people who regularly spend time in church Ė or who worship on their own Ė are happier and healthier than those who donít. Here are four practical ways spirituality can improve your life:
- Youíll have a longer attention span. University of Pennsylvania neuroscientist Dr. Andrew Newberg says that regular prayer or meditation makes the part of the brain thatís responsible for focus and concentration more efficient. The mental advantage of prayer is so strong that, in one study, kids who started attending services in the middle of a school year raised their grade point averages by more than 25%.
- It can lead to better mental health. According to the American Psychiatric Association, churchgoers are less likely to be depressed or suffer from panic attacks than people who donít attend church. Experts believe itís because the social support from other church members helps us cope when times are tough.
- Spirituality also improves physical health. Studies show that regular church attendance lowers blood pressure, boosts the immune system, and even helps the body recover from cancer. Thatís because being around friends, and knowing thereís a supportive community that has your back, reduces stress.
- It improves self-esteem. A study in the Journal of Psychology found that religion gives us a boost in confidence. The increase in self-mage is particularly strong in teenagers. Psychologists say itís one reason why kids who attend church are better able to resist peer pressure, than those who donít.
What benefits have you seen from tapping into your spirituality? How has religion impacted your life?