Wednesday, April 23, 2008

You've Gotta Have Faith

A link between spirituality and health has been long suspected and is receiving more attention and study these days. Some results*:

  • A Duke University study found that heart disease and stroke patients with higher "religiosity" scores tended to recover faster than those who had little or no religious beliefs
  • A six-year study of 4,000 healthy Christian Americans over the age of 65 found a positive correlation between spiritual activity such as prayer or Bible study and a lowered (50%!) risk of death
  • The National Health Interview Survey found that people who attend worship at least once a week live an average of eight years longer than those who do not.
Many studies have proven that those who actively practice their faith have a much lower risk of depression as well. I can personally attest to the benefits of an active faith in my own experience. At times of death, illness or trouble I have had my spirit calmed and strengthened through prayer and have received many, many acts of mercy and support from my faith community. Caregiving is difficult enough without trying to do it alone. If you don't have a faith community it may take several attempts to find the one that fits but don't give up. It can save your health or perhaps even your life.

* Reported in BeWell Magazine, Spring 2008

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