Spirituality is Good

More and more professionals (from many fields) are incorporating spirituality in their practice. It has been found that spirituality is good. Studies continue to show the importance if addressing this as part of the treatment of physical and mental health.

If you do an online search of spirituality and mental health you will drown with blogs, research, personal points of interest and documents discussing these two topics together. And again, most of it is positive.

Steven Dowshen, MD reviewed an online article on how spirituality can really promote a healthier physical life for your family. He stated how the research shows spirituality linked to less  self-destructive behaviors (suicide, smoking, and drug and alcohol abuse, for example), less stress, and a greater total life satisfaction. Additionally, he mentioned how research also points to a reduction in depression, improve blood pressure, and a boost in the immune system.

So this meant positive results on incorporating spirituality in your life but also for professionals to help guide and support it. Not only has it proven to better physical health but mental health as well. To our interest, mental health was looked in conjunction with physical health. The article shared some important research results:  “Religious and spiritual beliefs are an important part of how many people deal with life’s joys and hardships. Faith can provide people with a sense of purpose and guidelines for living. When families face tough situations, including health problems, their religious beliefs and practices can help them fight feelings of helplessness, restore meaning and order to life situations, and promote regaining a sense of control. For some families, spirituality can be a powerful and important source of strength. Medical studies have confirmed that spirituality can have a profound effect on mental states. In a study of men who were hospitalized, nearly half rated religion as helpful in coping with their illness. A second study showed that the more religious patients were, the more quickly they recovered from some disorders. A third study revealed that high levels of hope and optimism, key factors in fighting depression, were found among those who strictly practiced their religion.”

Finally, also important for all families, the article noted some suggestions to incorporate a more spiritually filled life:

  • Explore your roots. In examining your shared past, you and your kids may connect with values of earlier times and places, and gain a sense of your extended family’s history and values.
  • Examine your involvement in the community. If you’re already involved in a group, maybe you will want to take on a larger role — first for you, then as a role model for your kids. If you haven’t joined a community group, consider investigating those in your area.
  • Recall the feelings you had at the birth or adoption of your child. Try to get back to that moment in your mind, remembering the hopes and dreams you had. It can be the start of a search for similar or related feelings in your everyday life.
  • Share some silence with your kids. Take a few minutes for silent meditation alone or together. Think about parenthood, your life as an individual, and your place in the larger scheme of things. Spend time discussing these thoughts with your kids and listen to their ideas on what spirituality means.
  • Take a nature walk. Nature has long been an inspiration and spiritual guide. A walk will relax you and allow you to contemplate the wonders of the world around you.
  • Read books that express spiritual ideas with your kids and share your thoughts about what you’re reading.

Read more or the whole article on: http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/feelings/spirituality.html

professional counseling and care for the mind, body and spirit

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