For the third installment of this series, let’s talk about the most concrete benefit that the Yahoo Health article on spirituality as a means to a healthier life covers. Research has actually shown that meditation, prayer, and other spiritual behavior can actually lead to a better functioning immune system.
So how could this be? Some people believe that it is the spiritual engagement itself that leads to healing. Perhaps humans have the ability to tap into a greater power through meditation or prayer which can help boost our body’s illness fighting capability.
The more palatable explanation for scientists and doctors is that the daily routine of calming activity that leads to greater healing capacity. Kelly Turner is an oncologist working out New York City who summarizes the idea well: “It’s not what people believe in but whether they had a daily practice that made the difference. When you are in deep prayer or meditation, your fight-or-flight response goes off and your rest-and-repair turns on.”
In other words, concentrating on your spiritual self can be such a calming and soothing experience that your body can stop spending its energy on processing stress or protecting itself and start utilizing those resources to repair your body or fight off an illness.
For more information on how spirituality can actually increase immunity, delve deeper in this study published in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity in 2012. The gist is that subjects who engaged in 2 month-long meditation regimens saw an increase in their immune systems ability to ward off potentially harmful illnesses.
If you’re still not convinced that spirituality can boost your overall mental and physical health, read the entire Yahoo Health article for even more benefits of leading a spiritual life.