Can spirituality extend life expectancy?
A 2022 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), highlights the importance of incorporating spirituality into care for both serious illnesses and overall health.
The study was conducted by researchers from Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham Women’s Hospital and represents the most rigorous and comprehensive systematic analysis of the modern-day literature regarding health and spirituality to date.
Spirituality is not a single path or belief system.
There are many ways to experience spirituality and the benefits of a spiritual experience.
This blog article explores the topic of defining spiritualty and some ways it can directly impact health.
Spirituality is defined as “the way individuals seek ultimate meaning, purpose, connection, value, or transcendence,” according to the International Consensus Conference on Spiritual Care in Health Care.
This might involve organized religion, but it also includes means of discovering ultimate meaning through connections with family, community, or nature.
No one really knows for sure how spirituality is related to health. However, since the body, mind, and spirit are connected, the health of any one of these elements affects the others.
1. Reduces Stress
2. Can restore hope and optimism
3. Source of community and connection
4. Helps cope with feelings of stress, depression, and anxiety
To read more, I have included spirituality in my ebook “Mental Wellbeing and Resilience – A Self Care Guide”
CLICK HERE to download that FREE ebook.
Blue Zones Study
According to the original BLue Zones Study, all but five of the 263 centenarians [someone who is 100 years or older] interviewed belonged to a faith-based community.
Research shows that attending faith-based services just four times per month will add 4 to 14 years of life expectancy—and the denomination doesn’t seem to matter.”
CLICK HERE for that study.
Signs of Spirituality
How you define spirituality will vary. For some people, it’s the belief in a higher power or a specific religious practice.
For others, it may involve experiencing a sense of connection to a higher state or a sense of inter-connectedness with the rest of humanity and nature. Some signs of spirituality can include:
- Asking deep questions about topics such as suffering or what happens after death
- Deepening connections with other people
- Experiencing compassion and empathy for others
- Experiencing feelings of interconnectedness
- Feelings of awe and wonder
- Seeking happiness beyond material possessions or other external rewards
- Seeking meaning and purpose
- Wanting to make the world a better place