By Guest Blogger Eleanor Wyatt
As a person of faith, you probably already know that spiritual practices can have a profound impact on our mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Prayer in particular offers a wealth of benefits for your health. In fact, studies show that prayer offers many of the same benefits as meditation. When the world around us feels rocky and uncertain, prayer can even serve as a valuable practice in staying grounded and focused on the things we can control.
Today, Hadassah’s Crown Publishing shares some of the many ways prayer can benefit your health and well-being.
1. Prayer Encourages Healthy Habits
In many ways, prayer can help you develop and maintain healthy lifestyle changes that you want to incorporate into your daily wellness routine. Praying for something you want, like good health, is a form of manifestation. Psychology Today explains that believing in your ability to achieve your goals can bring about behaviors that align with the health outcomes you desire.
Prayer also helps us manage difficult emotions, resist temptation, and develop a stronger mindset. As a result, prayer can make it easier to incorporate healthier lifestyle habits into your routine. Look for healthy actions you can take every day. For example, find opportunities to exercise that work around your existing schedule, like going for a walk during your lunch break (which is especially helpful if you work in an area with a walk score over 70) or taking the stairs instead of the elevator to get to your apartment.
You may also find that prayer helps you to complete daily activities and chores with less stress. For instance, cleaning your home and doing laundry can feel overwhelming. However, your stronger willpower combined with helpful online resources like CleanerDigs.com can help you accomplish your cleaning goals with less stress.
2. Prayer Helps Us Develop Appreciation for Our Health
Many of us take our health for granted. Often, we only realize this when we’re confronted with a health issue or someone close to us falls ill. Prayer can help us develop an appreciation for our health every day. Giving thanks for your health through prayer is a wonderful practice in gratitude. Healthline explains that expressing gratitude, whether to a higher power or the universe in general, can evoke a sense of appreciation for what you have.
3. Prayer Relieves Stress
Studies show that prayer and spirituality have positive effects on our emotional health. Among these effects, stress reduction is one of the most significant. Prayer, like meditation, elicits a relaxation response in the body, relieving stress and many of the accompanying physiological effects. This relaxation response results in a slowed heart rate, lowered blood pressure, and calmer breathing. People who pray daily are 40% less likely to have high blood pressure than those who do not pray regularly.
4. Prayer Elicits Positive Emotions
While praying has been shown to reduce negative feelings like stress and anxiety, it can also heighten our positive emotions. Prayer can boost your overall happiness by increasing levels of brain chemicals like dopamine and serotonin which have a direct impact on mood, attention, and motivation. And because prayer can give your life greater meaning and purpose, it can contribute to overall feelings of contentment.
5. Prayer Gives Us Hope
Whether you’re struggling with a personal problem or feeling discouraged by all the negativity in the world, prayer can give you a sense of hope. This is important because hope and optimism have beneficial effects on our mental health. Unsurprisingly, hope is linked to reduced levels of anxiety and depression. At the same time, hope is associated with an improved ability to cope with negative situations and emotions.
Enjoy the Benefits of Regular Prayer
Whether or not you consider yourself religious, prayer has a lot to offer in terms of mental and physical health benefits. The best part? Anyone can experience these benefits! Both spiritual and secular prayer can benefit your mental and physical well-being.
Are you looking for uplifting and healing reading material? Then check out books from Hadassah’s Crown Publishing, especially our two newest releases below. Run Will, Run is a children's book about the power of prayer and faith. My Hope Is Built shares the faith walk of a veteran educator. Congratulations to these authors. Click the cover images to read the books' descriptions and to purchase from Amazon.com.
Coming soon -- our new website will be launching. We will also release our elementary/middle school children's book catalog (public and Christian school versions). Thank you for your continued support!!