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  • Dr. Devyani Pattebahadur

How Spirituality Can Benefit Your Health and Well-Being?

"Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life." -Buddha

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity". In reality, the focus is predominantly on the physical component of this definition, and very few people work towards developing socially and mentally healthy habits. The role of spirituality and its ability to guide individuals on a path of self-discovery becomes significant in this arena.

When we speak of spirituality, most people tend to think of religion. However, religion is just one of many ways to engage with spirituality. Spirituality is an experience of feeling connected to something bigger than the self. It is how we feel connected to other people, nature, and a higher order of being. Religious practices can offer spiritual guidance to some, while others might seek solace in nature, meditation, or prayer.

In today's fast-paced world, notifications and deadlines bombard man every day. This affects our ability to relax and often leads to burnout. Connecting with our spiritual self is vital to coping with life's challenges. Some of the possible benefits of spirituality are as follows:

1. Reduces stress and anxiety

2. Improves time management

3. Foster's interdependence between individuals

4. Encourages social harmony

5. Boosts mood and confidence levels

6. Improves parameters of physical health

Spirituality can help us to cope with stress and anxiety using better strategies. Practicing mindfulness allows us to focus on one thing at a time and respond calmly to challenges. A spiritual lifestyle reduces the incidence of chronic stress and could even help prevent burnout. Spirituality also helps individuals to manage their time more efficiently, prevent procrastination, and achieve a work-life balance.

Spirituality improves our understanding of the world and fosters social relationships. Feeling connected with our peers strengthens community bonding and allows us to practice community care. This can improve the care received by people with chronic health conditions, as spirituality can encourage society to be more inclusive and supportive of others' needs.

Feeling connected to other human beings is vital to human nature. Spirituality fosters social harmony and encourages a happy, healthy environment. An interconnected society can help individuals navigate issues of social isolation, which can reduce the incidence of loneliness, depression, and other mental health conditions.

Moreover, being connected to our spiritual self helps us to appreciate life, feel connected to nature, and feel happier. A positive mood can improve our outlook on life and boost our confidence. The effects of spirituality on mental and emotional well-being also improve our physical health. Good mental health can lower blood pressure, strengthen immunity and increase longevity and quality of life.

However, spirituality cannot cure diseases, but it could help you feel better while you recover. There is no single or right way to practice spirituality. Each person, religious or not, can and should experiment with it to experience the myriad of health benefits and tranquillity that come from a spiritual lifestyle.

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