A BORN-AGAIN CHRISTIAN SPIRITUAL LIFE PROMOTES OPTIMISM AND MAKES HIM OR HER STAY POSITIVE FOR BETTER HEALTH.
SPIRITUAL LIFE PROMOTES OPTIMISM
Research has linked attendance at a house of worship to a longer life expectancy. For a study published in the journal Demography, volunteers who attended church once a week had an average life expectancy that was seven years longer than those who did not attend church. Involvement with a church, synagogue, or other house of worship can improve mood, health and life expectancy through the social support they receive from the congregation. But merely having faith in higher power may also have a positive impact on health.
Investigations at Bowling Green State University in Ohio conducted a study of nearly 600 medical patients and found that those who believed in God had a thirty percent lower mortality rate than atheists. Science has not documented that faith can heal such things as serious injuries, acute diseases, or cancer. But when faced with major illness, some people find that prayer helps them remain healthy. Dr Harold Koenig and his colleagues at Duke University found that religious or spiritually inclined patients had better social support, less depression, and higher cognitive functions than those who were less religious or spiritual.
STAY POSITIVE FOR BETTER HEALTH
TRY THE FOLLOWING STRATEGIES TO HELP YOU MAINTAIN A POSITIVE OUTLOOK FOR BETTER HEALTH AND RELATIONSHIPS, AS WELL AS A LONGER LIFE.
LEARN TO FORGIVE. It’s often difficult to let go of resentments. But scientific evidence indicates that letting go of grudges can lower stress levels and strengthen mental health. Making an effort to get over feelings of anger and resentment can have a positive impact on mood and overall well-being.
BREAK NEGATIVE THINKING HABITS. Martin Seligman recommends that instead of allowing themselves to become mired in negative thoughts, people should try to accentuate the positive view whenever possible. For instance: ☺️ If you lost your job, instead of giving up on looking for a new one, think about career opportunities now open for you to explore.
☺️ If your last relationship did not work out, rather than assuming that all relationships are difficult, remember that sometimes timing and chemistry just aren’t right. You may also have learned lessons from the last relationship that can help you navigate the next one.
MAKE GOOD CHOICES: When we help others and support causes we believe in, we generally feel good about ourselves and others. But many people feel remorse if they do something that goes against their moral code. Cutting corners, lashing out at someone in anger, or even breaking a traffic law can make people feel bad about themselves. Anticipating the potential consequences of decisions helps build self-esteem and optimism.
BE MORE OUTGOING: Pessimists tend to focus inward and often feel that they have no impact on others. Making a conscious effort to be more extroverted and energetic will create a sense of empowerment and connection with others. Spending time with positive people helps you feel more positive, and reaching out to others will bolster your mood.
Don’t hesitate to ask others for support and so get professional help if you need it. Research at Wake Forest University found that study volunteers who acted more extroverted by singing aloud, being assertive, or walking over and talking to someone actually felt happier. Experiencing good feeling can be contagious. You may even lift the spirits of friends and family around you. In turn, their positive feelings will further improve your own mood.
Text culled from Dr Garry Small’s MIND HEALTH REPORT Dec. 2014.