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Spirituality and Stress Relief

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“The spiritual quest is not some added benefit to our life, something you embark on if you have the time and inclination. We are spiritual beings on an earthly journey. Our spirituality makes up our beingness.”
John Bradshaw

In an article by the Mayo Clinic staff in “Healthy Lifestyle Stress Management,” the discussion relates the concept of spirituality and the management of stress in our lives.

Many have heard of the idea of stress relief through: exercising more, eating healthy foods and talking with friends.

A less tangible but no less useful way to find stress relief is through spirituality. The article emphasizes taking the path less traveled by exploring your spirituality can lead to a clearer life purpose, better personal relationships and enhanced stress management skills.

What is Spirituality?

Spirituality has many definitions, but at its core, spirituality helps to give our lives context. It’s not necessarily connected to a specific belief system or even religious worship. Instead, it arises from your connection with yourself and with others, the development of your personal value system and your search for meaning in life.

For many, spirituality takes the form of religious observance, prayer, meditation or a belief in a higher power. For others, it can be found in nature, music, art or a secular community. Spirituality is different for everyone.

Many people find that having a spiritual or religious practice helps with stress management. Having a spiritual side can give a person a boost by allowing reliance on God or a higher power and surrendering worries and troubles, rather than holding on so tightly to stress. With a spiritual practice you’ll find that no matter how tough it gets, you’re not alone.

How Can Spirituality Help With Stress Relief?

Spirituality has many benefits for stress relief and overall mental health. It can help you:

  • Feel a sense of purpose. Cultivating your spirituality may help uncover what’s most meaningful in your life. By clarifying what’s most important, you can focus less on the unimportant things and eliminate stress.
  • Connect to the world. The more you feel you have a purpose in the world, the less solitary you feel — even when you’re alone. This can lead to a valuable inner peace during difficult times.
  • Release control. When you feel part of a greater whole, you realize that you aren’t responsible for everything that happens in life. You can share the burden of tough times as well as the joys of life’s blessings with those around you.
  • Expand your support network. Whether you find spirituality in a church, mosque or synagogue, in your family or in nature walks with a friend, this sharing of spiritual expression can help build relationships.
  • Lead a healthier life. People who consider themselves spiritual appear to be better able to cope with stress and heal from illness or addiction faster.
Spirituality and Stress Relief

Steve Greenman, MA, LPC, NCC

Steve Greenman, MA, LPC, NCC is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) in northern Michigan who has a passion for reading, writing, music and helping others. He specializes in counseling complex family situations, substance abuse, and parenting. Steve’s counseling philosophy is holistic, approaching each issue on its own merit and evaluating influences to help overcome life’s dilemmas.

 

APA Reference
Greenman, S. (2015). Spirituality and Stress Relief. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 11, 2018, from https://pro.psychcentral.com/spirituality-and-stress-relief/

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Dec 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 8 Dec 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.