We are often told that exercising, eating healthy and talking to a loved one can reduce your stress levels. But did you know that there could be a connection between spirituality and stress relief? For many years scientists and theologists have tried to figure out the effects that religion can have on human health both physically and mentally. Since time immemorial it has been accepted that spirituality and foundation are the basis for cultural factors that define experiences, behaviors, and value systems. Going by this I believe faith can have a positive impact on health as well as reduce stress levels. According to research done by the Mayo Clinic, spirituality and religion can lead to improved health outcomes, including greater coping skills, improved longevity, less suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and depression.

What is spirituality and faith?

Spirituality can be defined in different ways and it is important to note that it is not tied down to one specific religious worship or belief system. This term is used when you have a connection with others, development in life and want to find the true purpose in your life. Faith, on the other hand, is defined as trust or belief in God. No matter which term you prefer, both can be used to improve the quality of life and reduce stress. Spirituality and faith allows people to connect to something bigger than themselves and to release control.

Spirituality and stress relief

Spirituality usually comes in different forms such as meditation, belief in a higher power, or prayers. Studies have shown that spirituality has many health benefits for overall mental health as well as stress relief. The following are ways that spirituality can help relieve your stress.

  • Release control

Spirituality through prayers helps you feel like you belong to a greater whole but you may feel like you do not have control of all the things that are happening in your life. This allows you to share the joys of your life and the burdens you are going through.

  • Connect to people

Reports show that people who live a solitary life are more stressed-out than those who hang out with family and friends. Spirituality helps you to have a purpose in the world which makes you feel less lonely even when you are alone. The benefit of this is that you can be at peace with yourself, which is important in reducing your stress levels.

  • Lead a happier and healthier life

People that practice spirituality either through meditation or prayers are better off coping with stress and as a result may experience great health benefits.

  • Grow your support system

It doesn’t matter whether you go to a synagogue, mosque or church. Doing so with your family can help relieve stress as you create relationships with other people.

Faith and mental health

Numerous attempts have been conducted to try and find out if faith can improve mental health and reduce stress levels. According to a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, people that belonged to Catholic or Protestant religion had 76 percent less chance of having depression. Therefore, it is safe to say that there is a connection between faith and mental health.

Author's Bio: 

Holly Clark is a freelance writer and works as a content manager for various international brands. When Holly is not researching and writing she loves nothing more than heading out in to the country for some downtime.