Man, first stepping into this world is a soul wandering in search of meaning. Mankind’s quest begins at an early age as he starts grappling with one’s sensory perception. As one grows older, one tries to find answers for his existence. The whole social fabric with its rituals and customs is what he inherits by default or one may say as part of a congenital condition. In other words, people don’t choose the religion or culture that they are born into. As such, being religious may not necessarily imply that one is spiritual. The journey into spirituality begins much deeper when the questions outweigh the answers. One must have noticed that even a hardcore atheist may start looking for some help from a supernatural source when he/ she falls ill and when medicines don’t suffice. So, what is the relationship between health and spirituality? And how does spirituality provide solace in a health crisis?
Spirituality and health are two concepts that are closely interconnected. Spirituality is the experience of connection to something greater than oneself, while health refers to the state of being free from illness or injury. Many studies have shown that spirituality can have a positive impact on one’s physical and mental health. In this blog, we will explore the relationship between spirituality and health and the ways in which they are interconnected.
But before we start this journey of navigating this intricate relationship between health and spirituality, let’s explore man’s psyche in this temporal and ephemeral world. As we know, man is a puppet, being pulled by strings of attachment and detachment. The human race, as a species, is almost always overwhelmed by our past experiences. We hold on to our past in such a way that we often forget to live in the present moment or are too obsessed about a future that’s not in our control. Before we delve into the exact relationship between health and spirituality, let’s elaborate a bit about man being lost in the thread of time, with the help of an analogy derived from ancient Hindu mythology.
If one understands the figure of Shiva, he is either in a state of stillness/ meditation or in a state of ‘tandav’ or dance where he is in constant motion. He symbolically represents a state where all ties of past and future are obliterated. Shiva is also known as ‘The Destroyer’ but it implies not just a mere ruthless action, but something necessary for a new beginning.
The reason for using this metaphor is not to stick to any particular religious connotation, but to use it as a frame of reference. For example, if a person was ever diagnosed with cancer, it may so happen that even after recovery, he/ she might go through bouts of depression and be worried about their past. As long as this burden of the past is on his/ her shoulders, he/she cannot really progress.
Let’s now see how spirituality and health are intertwined:
The Power of Belief
Spirituality is often associated with a belief in a higher power or force that guides and influences our lives. This belief can provide a sense of purpose and meaning, which can help individuals cope with stress and difficult situations. It can also provide a sense of comfort and security, which can be beneficial for mental health. Studies have shown that individuals who have a strong sense of spirituality are better able to cope with stress, anxiety, and depression.
Reduced Risk of Disease
Spirituality has also been linked to a reduced risk of certain diseases. Studies have shown that individuals who engage in spiritual practices such as meditation or prayer have a lower risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. This may be due to the fact that spiritual practices can reduce stress and promote relaxation, which can have a positive impact on physical health.
Improved Mental Health
Spirituality can also have a positive impact on mental health. Studies have shown that individuals who engage in spiritual practices are less likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety. This may be due to the fact that spirituality can provide a sense of purpose and meaning, which can help individuals feel more positive and optimistic about their lives. As individuals striving and struggling on a daily basis, we develop attachment patterns from a very early age. Our attachment patterns shape our psyche, our behavioural response as well as the choices we make in terms of the partners we choose. Hence, it’s important to have a sense of self reflection that is often a long process of spiritual retreat. Additionally, spiritual practices such as meditation and mindfulness can help individuals manage their emotions and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
Better Quality of Life
Spirituality can also improve overall quality of life. Studies have shown that individuals who have a strong sense of spirituality are more likely to report feeling satisfied with their lives. They are also more likely to engage in healthy behaviours such as exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet. This may be due to the fact that spirituality can provide individuals with a sense of purpose and meaning, which can motivate them to take care of their physical and mental health.
Spirituality can have a positive impact on physical and mental health, reducing the risk of disease, improving mental health, and enhancing overall quality of life. Whether through prayer, meditation, or other spiritual practices, individuals can find a sense of purpose and meaning that can help them navigate life’s challenges and achieve optimal health and well-being. At VCCC, what we emphasise is not just medicinal care but a methodology of treatment that is catered around holistic care. In fact, our certified health coach, Vibha Agarwal is also a naturopath who has also specialised in Yoga, Meditation and Nutrition. Besides, we have the provision of counselling services that help patients recuperate from not just a pathological disease but also catering to psychological well-being. If you are worried that it might not be possible for you to physically visit our centre for consultation, you can most easily book an online appointment or avail teleconsultation. So, what are you waiting for? Book your session of well-being today!