Benefits of Faith
Psychologists are studying people of faith and finding amazing benefits for our mental and physical health!
Research consistently shows that finding meaning to life greatly increases our health mentally and physically. There is more to life than surviving. Many of us at times in life will function on a base level with focus on meeting our needs and wants. Sometimes we confuse what we need verses what we can live without. Practical aspects of life are important, however research consistently finds that happiness does not come from material possessions. Robert Waldinger is a psychiatrist and is currently directing the Harvard Study of Adult Development. What his research shows is that we increase our well-being by finding meaning in our relationships. Those in the studies consistently report benefits emotionally and physically when they feel cared for by a loved one.
One relationship that we are disconnected from is God. Many of us benefit from the community we find in our churches, and we learn about God through the teachings. There is a relationship that is available to us with our Heavenly Father. As a Christian, I share the only pathway to God is through Jesus Christ. We can relate to Him through His Word, the Bible. Knowing we are cared for and loved by our Creator also brings us great benefits for our life satisfaction and health.
"Koenig in his research [CrossRef] states: "A large volume of research shows that people who are more R/S (Religious & Spiritual) have better mental health and adapt more quickly to health problems compared to those who are less R/S. These possible benefits to mental health and well-being have physiological consequences that impact physical health, affect the risk of disease, and influence response to treatment. In this paper I have reviewed and summarized hundreds of quantitative original data-based research reports examining relationships between R/S and health. These reports have been published in peer-reviewed journals in medicine, nursing, social work, rehabilitation, social sciences, counseling, psychology, psychiatry, public health, demography, economics, and religion. The majority of studies report significant relationships between R/S and better health. For details on these and many other studies in this area, and for suggestions on future research that is needed, I again refer the reader to the Handbook of Religion and Health .
When science validates my belief system as being beneficial, I become encouraged. For some reason, our culture has found cynicism with people of faith. Don't knock it until you experience it. We all have emptiness deep down on the inside without God. Today let's purpose to live close to what we believe. This will make a huge difference in our life satisfaction, well-being and happiness.