People generally don’t join a church or adopt faith as a means to improve their health. However, there are several ways faith promotes a healthier lifestyle. One benefit associated with consistently practicing faith is a reduced stress level. Take a look at how faith can directly impact the stress in your life.
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1. Allows You To Talk About Your Issues
Most people pray to communicate with God and advance their spiritual condition. Although not the primary purpose of prayer, voicing your fears, sorrows, and joys has a therapeutic effect that can alleviate your stress. Prayer can be an effective way to talk about concerns in your life and prevent the stress that comes from keeping all your thoughts to yourself.
2. Initiates a Relaxation Response in Your Body
When you engage in spiritual activities such as worship and prayer, the stress that encourages your body to tense up is decreased. By focusing on singing a favorite praise song or quoting a familiar Bible verse, you can stimulate a relaxation response. This response can calm down your mind and body when you are anxious about situations in your life and provide an outlet for your stress. Faith-based activities cannot only alleviate stress but also help other conditions such as insomnia. It can be helpful to find an organization like The Way International with resources available to help you engage in spiritual activities.
3. Provides a Sense of Purpose
Those who believe their lives have meaning and have found a greater purpose for living are generally not as stressed about the inconveniences they face. When you have found something worth living for, you tend to focus less on yourself and your daily stress and more on fulfilling your calling or mission. Having faith helps you realize you’re living for the glory of God and have the task of representing Him to those around you.
4. Counteracts the Causes of Anxiety
Genuine, faithful Christian still suffer from the mental disorder of depression. However, faith can greatly help reduce anxiety and even prevent it from occurring in some cases. Studies done on brain activity when someone makes a mistake have shown those who believe in God respond to errors less intensely than those who don’t. The part of the brain usually triggered when you’re anxious was much less active in believers when compared to non-believers. Because anxiety can lead to stress and a variety of other health issues, faith can not only keep you from being anxious but also promote general physical and mental health.
5. Gives You a More Accurate Perspective
Christians believe they will ultimately go to heaven and that earth is just a temporary dwelling place. Because faith causes a more eternal focus, it allows believers to view earthly difficulties, disappointments, and even heartbreaks less severely than those with no hope of an eternity or life after death. Incidents that would cause stress for a non-believer are much less likely to cause stress for someone whose faith gives them a heavenly perspective. There’s not as much of a need to stress over problems of this life when it is so brief compared to spending an eternity with God.
6. Realigns Your Priorities
For believers, God is the top priority, followed by family and then friends. They don’t put as much importance on things like having a successful career, driving a nice car, living in a big house, and others that are highly coveted by most people. Monetary status and possessions take a back seat for believers since no earthly thing has any eternal value. Because stress is commonly caused by worrying about a job or the things that money can buy, those whose faith is solid are less likely to be stressed about their careers, possessions, or lack thereof.
Even the most faithful believers can still experience stress. It is never a bad idea to take time each day to focus on your faith. Remind yourself of the reasons why you hold firmly to your beliefs and allow faith to take the stress out of whatever situation you might be facing.