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Take Heart! Your Faith Can Improve Your Health
Faith is the world’s biggest health secret, but it doesn’t need to be. About 80% of the research on faith and health is in the area of mental health. And, since much of a faith practice is internal, in mind and Spirit, it makes sense that a faith practice would impact mental health the most. It does.
It’s impossible to quantify the benefits of faith in God.
Critics often state any benefits are fictional, or for the weak.
But, the opposite is true.
Those with faith in God have proven to be bold throughout history.
What’s more, there are actual science-backed health benefits of faith.
It’s been said that if this research supported another healthy practice, it would be proclaimed by governments and health officials everywhere. But, since we live in a world where it’s no longer acceptable to promote the benefits of faith, especially in Jesus Christ, it’s the world’s biggest health secret.
It doesn’t need to be.
Here are 5 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Faith in God.
5 SCIENCE-BACKED HEALTH BENEFITS OF FAITH IN GOD
- HEART HEALTH
One key researcher in the area of faith and health is Dr. Harold Koenig.
According to Koenig, research has shown that when you engage in a faith-practice with God including regular prayer, you are 40% less likely to have blood pressure issues (1).
In addition, a 2015 study found that a greater baseline religious involvement resulted in lower saliva cortisol levels in young men, indicated lower chronic stress levels (2).
Lower cortisol levels mean better heart health.
- LESS DEPRESSION AND SUICIDE
Although depression and suicide occur within all people groups, those who regularly practice a religious faith experience it less and/or deal with it in a healthier manner.
Dating back to the 1960s, 400+ studies have specifically studied depression and religious faith. Of these, 61% show a significant inverse relationship between spirituality and depression, and only 6% showed increased depression.
What’s more, according to a review of 49 studies, 80% reported less suicide, fewer suicide attempts, and increased negative attitudes towards suicide among those with higher religious and spirituality (3).
- MENTAL HEALTH AND HOPE
About 80% of the research on faith and health is in the area of mental health. And, since much of a faith practice is internal, in mind and Spirit, it makes sense that a faith practice would impact mental health the most.
More involvement in religious activities, faith and spirituality is correlated with better health (4). Specifically, studies show greater:
- Coping with Adversity
- Positive Emotions
- Well-Being and Happiness
- Hope and Optimism
- Meaning and Purpose
- Sense of Control
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