There are several ways to manage stress through spirituality: praying, meditating, art.
Last update: Augusts 28, 2020
In the last few years, several researches have shown that spirituality helps manage stress. Although many people associate the concept of spirituality with religion, in reality it can be lived independently of religious beliefs without this involving any kind of contradiction.
In this sense, religion is understood as a codified set of beliefs and practices shared by a group of individuals in relation to a higher power. Spirituality, on the other hand, refers to an individual's relationship with the spirit, which can be superior (like divinity) or simply a representation of the human being's connection with a greater metaphysical reality. That's why it can help manage stress.
This is why people can be religious without being spiritual and vice versa. There are also people who live their spirituality outside the religion they profess.
According to some studies, spirituality helps protect against depression as it thickens the cerebral cortex. In particular, a study carried out in 2014 by researchers from Columbia University showed an enlargement of the cerebral cortex associated with meditation or other spiritual or religious practices. This could be the reason why activities of this type protect the body from depression, especially in people predisposed to this disease.
Spirituality helps manage stress
Spirituality can be expressed in different ways, such as pray, participate in religious celebrations, interact with those who share the same beliefs, meditate, create / contemplate art, listen to music, observe nature, etc.
For example, religious people usually find in prayer a way to connect with their god. It helps them feel calmer, more confident, which can greatly reduce stress. Meditation appears to have similar benefits to prayer, it helps to lower blood pressure and to increase the immune system, among the many benefits to combat stress.
Prayer and meditation bring inner peace and a feeling of calm.
Being grateful and expressing your gratitude are other ways of experiencing spirituality that help us manage stress. Gratitude reduces stress levels. The contemplation of art or nature and the artistic expression itself can be useful in this sense if put into practice with the perspective of spirituality, of gratitude.
Spirituality and inner peace
Spirituality helps manage stress in various ways. It generates a feeling of tranquility and inner peace that it favors the recovery of communication with ourselves and with our mental and physical state.
We spend many hours at work, we move from one activity to another or even do many things at the same time. We devote our time to others in an attempt to distract ourselves as a great deal of thoughts invade our mind out of control.
Practicing spirituality helps you find a breather in everyday life. The time we devote to meditation, prayer or appreciating what is happening inside and outside us makes us assume an intelligent attitude in the face of reality. It's like hiring a personal assistant who has the advantage of having very important information about us.
Spirituality also intervenes in the management of uncertainty and insecurity, which often proves to be a source of frustration because controlling everything is an impossible goal. If we get rid of this as a need, our anxiety levels will decrease.
On the other hand, spirituality invites us to live everything, positive or negative, in a meaningful way, that is, learning the lesson instead of playing victims or facing situations in a superficial way.
Spirituality also improves the feeling of connection with the world. Feeling part of something bigger makes us feel less isolated and less alone. Therefore, most stressors are more insignificant and easier to manage if we know we belong to something bigger..
The sense of belonging and meaning that comes from spiritual practices allows us to look beyond, to have a purpose, which increases our sense of responsibility towards the community and towards the universe in general.
Ultimately, spirituality helps manage stress thanks to the different perspective on which it is based. Spiritual practice can prompt us to turn seemingly insurmountable obstacles into acceptable challenges. It also clarifies what our values and principles are, inviting us to focus on the things that really matter.