Healthy Habits Series: Finding Your Own Spiritual Practice
Did you know that having a spiritual life coach can support your overall health? A recent study in the journal "Family Medicine" discovered a significant link between a patient's spirituality and their overall health. Those who had a some sort of spiritual practice were discovered to have not only better overall health but also a higher recovery rate for debilitating diseases. It is important to note that the study measured a patients "intrinsic" spirituality and not whether or not he was part of an orthodox, organized religion. Intrinsic means that the patient felt he or she had some kind of personal connection to a higher power and was supported by a spiritual life of their own definition.
This study combined with those that have proven the beneficial effects of prayer go a long ways toward showing that our spiritual lives play a significant part in our overall health. Those without are more likely to succumb to fatal illnesses and they are more likely to suffer ill health in general. By identifying a mentor or a source that provides spiritual coaching compatible with you beliefs can create a support system that can help in stressful times, as well as encourage positive life direction.
While we can debate the actual reasons for this statistical anomaly we cannot deny it's meaning - which is that having a spiritual facet to your life enhances your overall health. Therefore, for those interested in better health the message is clear - work on your spiritual life and connection to a higher power. It is interesting that simply being part of an orthodox religion does not seem to contribute to overall health, yet those who simply define themselves as "spiritual" enjoy the same benefits as those spiritually inclined of orthodox faiths. Thus, it is easy to see that it isn't the name that is important where spirituality is concerned. Instead it is the practice and the personal connection one experiences.
More than anything else though, one of the primary benefits of a spiritual life is meaning. Lack of meaning is one of the primary problems in our modern world. It leads to suicides and depression and overall higher stress. Spirituality gives this meaning that we do desperately need in our modern lives. If there is nothing else you get out of a spiritually guided life, at a minimum it should be meaning. And meaning can give a reason to live, which has a significant effect on many aspects of our life. One need only look at how often somebody retires from the work world only to succumb to a heart attack soon thereafter. Or on the converse the rate at which one spouse dies soon after the death of the other. Both of these cases are examples of situations in which someone succumbs to a lack of meaning and as a result loses their will to live. When this happens it has been shown time and time again that death is soon to follow. The will to live is our greatest foundation for a healthy life and it is this that a life guided by a spiritually directed connection with love, God, the universe, light, all that is--whichever is in alignment with your beliefs entails.
Take the time to explore your relationship with a higher power in a form that you are most comfortable with. The dividends will show in all areas of your life including your health. Find a support group of like minded individuals, or a spiritual life coach that you can confide in. Take time to communicate with thisl aspect of your existence for man is a triune creature of body, mind and soul.