New insights reveal that there is a staggering importance of spirituality in our lives.
There are incredible benefits of spirituality for those who maintain a spiritual practice and a spiritual mindset [read: how to be a spiritual person]
As spiritual people we are happier. We are healthier. We have better perspectives. We are more enlightened. And we are likely to live longer.
But it goes further than that. It’s been shown that there are even benefits of spirituality for serious issues like fighting diseases and overcoming depression. From neuroscience to positive psychology, scientists have proven time and again that there are massive benefits of spirituality.
This is partly because spiritual practices have their own individual benefits.
- There are more than 100 benefits of meditation
- There are massive benefits of yoga practice
- And most other spiritual practices have their own benefits too.
But it goes even further than this.
One reason for the importance of spirituality is this: There are massive health benefits of being spiritual
Science has proven that there are many reasons why spirituality is important in life. The majority of the benefits of spirituality are to do with health and happiness.
And some of them are truly mind-blowing.
1. Spirituality is so important because it stops stress and depression
Spiritual people know how to stay positive in negative times.
And that’s huge because negative life experiences can have a massive impact on our health.
One huge benefit of spirituality is that it helps us maintain mental strength when facing hard times, like doing exams, facing grief from the death of a loved one, or handling setbacks in a career.
When we go through rough patches in our lives, spirituality can help us to see the bigger picture. Because of this, spiritual people are less likely to dwell on the bad, because they are able to see the bad as part of the bigger picture of life.
Scientific studies back this up:
- The National Institute of Health conducted a study that revealed the importance of spirituality in schools. They showed that Canadian college students who were connected to their campus ministries suffered less stress during hard times.
- In 2002 researchers studied 147 independent investigations covering 98,000 people. They found that, on average, the more religious a person is the less depression and stress they suffer.
- In 2008 researchers studied 115 articles and found that 92% of the articles linked religiousness to improved mental health.
- In 2012, the American Journal of Psychiatry showed that religiousness reduces the chance of depression. Catholics and Protestants had a 76% lower chance of suffering major depression.
2. There are massive health benefits of spirituality
Research by Harold G Koenig  shows that spirituality has revealed massive health benefits of spirituality.
This is largely due to the fact that spiritual people are more likely to pursue positive, healthy lifestyles.
Many religions and spiritualities include advanced health systems. For instance, there are meditations in buddhism, and exercises in Taoism that are designed to cultivate chi. These philosophies and exercises help spiritual people to achieve and to maintain health, and because these health practices are integral to the lifestyle, people are more likely to stick to them.
Many spiritualities are also vocally opposed to narcotics and to meat consumption.
These changes in lifestyle, over many years, lead to longer, healthier lives.
3. Another great benefits of spirituality is that it reduces fear of death:
One of the most common fears is the fear of dying.
It’s easy to see how non-spiritualists view death so bleakly, seeing it as the absolute end.
Spiritualists, however, tend to believe that death is not the end, but a new beginning. This greatly eases the psychological burden of the idea of dying.
A more positive outlook on death helps us face illness and health complications more rationally. Bereavement is also more tolerable as spiritualists tend to believe the one they have lost has ascended to a better place.
Plus, scientific research has shown that religious funeral rituals help people to handle grief and to stay strong after the death of a loved one.
4. One of the key mental health benefits of spirituality is that it give us meaning and purpose:
Spirituality gives you meaning and purpose, which in turn leads to more complete, fuller lives.
When we see that our life is intrinsically connected to a higher power we value our lives more and are more likely to act in positive ways, contributing to society and in particular to the spiritual or religious communities or which we are part.
Waking up everyday with a sense of purpose immediately promotes positive living. We wake up early, eager to work towards our goals. We look after ourselves because we value our lives more highly. We are more active, working towards our purpose.
5. Spirituality helps us see the beauty in life:
Appreciation of beauty is one of the twenty four character strengths of positive psychology (and so is spirituality) .
Scientific research has proven that people who appreciate beauty are more likely to be happy and healthy. This includes physical beauty but also the beauty of the world, of nature, of the elements… the more we appreciate beauty, the happier and healthier we are likely to be.
Therefore, another benefit of spirituality is that it makes us happier because it makes us more appreciate.
Spirituality helps us to see beauty in life. A spiritualist is able to see the divine in everyday occurrences. Where something as simple sunlight may be nothing more than light to a non-believer, to a spiritual or religious person that same sunlight is a connection to the divine, it means more to the spiritualist than to the non-spiritualist.
6. Spirituality is important because it helps us to forgive:
One of the most important traits a person can possess is forgiveness.
- Increases lifespan
- Reduces anger
- Helps health across the board
- Improves immune system functioning
- reduces stress
- Strengthens relationships
- Promotes happiness
Most spiritualities include lessons designed to help us forgive.
In Buddhism there are specific meditations for forgiveness, as there are in other spiritualities such as Hawiian Huna. The bible too teaches us to forgive. In fact, forgiveness is one of the most common traits among world religions. And this is another core benefits of spirituality, because it helps us to forgive others, which massively improves our relationships.
For instance, from the bible:
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you–Colossians 3:13”
Because of spiritual teachings, the spiritualist understands the importance of forgiveness. They are able to acknowledge and accept the shortcomings of other people. This leads to less anger and less stress.
7. One of the most amazing benefits of spirituality is that it is anti-aging:
Spiritual people age slower.
This is largely because of the lack of stress in their lives.
Stress accelerates the aging process. Spiritual techniques like meditation, prayer, yoga, tai chi, and more, limit the affects of stress and thereby slow the aging process.
This is definitely one of the most amazing ways in which spirituality is important. You might not think about the importance of spirituality to your age, but it is a factor, and an amazing one at that.
8. Spirituality helps you make sense of it all.
Perhaps the most universal benefit of spirituality is this: It helps us understand life.
The wisdom found in different spiritualities can help you to understand life in a healthier way.
How To Become Spiritual
It is not always easy to be spiritual. There are times when you will question your spirituality. My own spirituality is love and compassion. And there are times when my loving, non-judgmental attitude is tested.
But by doing the following things you can continually increase your spiritualism.
- Read about different religions and beliefs and how they have helped other people. By reading about spirituality you’ll start your mind down the road of questions and answers that spirituality bathes in. Why not start with my pick of the best spiritual books for 2018.
- For millenia art has been intrinsically linked to spirituality. Visit art museums and meditate on the way different artists depict their religious beliefs.
- Practice contemplative meditation. Twenty minutes contemplation per day will silence your thoughts and stresses about work, personal life and other day-to-day subjects. This will give you the mental space needed to consider thoughts of spirituality. Who knows, you might have deeply layered spiritual beliefs that have been defining you but which you’ve never found the time or open-mindedness to realise.
- Follow some spiritual blogs for inspiration
- Imagine you’re dead. . . no really! This sounds morbid but by imagining that this is the last day of your life, or even that you are already dead you’ll look at the present moment in a whole new context, one that could give you an entirely new and more spiritual way of looking at the world.
- Take a look at THE DAILY MEDITATION’s list of the best Spiritual Gurus. Do any of them inspire you? Read about them. For me, I love the Dalai Lama and I try to follow the Dalai Lama’s life lessons. But that’s just me. You are free to follow whomever you choose. Or perhaps you prefer these 10 Inspirational Spiritual Movie Characters. See who resonates with you and learn about them.
These are just some of potentially thousands of ways how to become spiritual.
The best thing to do is to just look for spirituality in life in general.
- Look for some meaning to it all.
- Look for areas and times of your life where you’ve felt like some external force was helping you out and guiding you.
- Look to nature
- look to love
- look to art
- look to beauty
- look to everything in the world that is so miraculous that there simply must be some explanation for it.
[bctt tweet=”It’s amazing what open eyes can see. ” username=”t_d_meditation”]
Scientific research, personal experience, and ancient wisdom all reveal how important spirituality is in life. That’s why we should take the ever to continually go deeper in spiritual practice.
Spiritual individuals are happier and healthier and they live longer lives (on average).
We spiritual people are fortunate. Our spirituality gives us the keys to a better way of life.
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