Are you religious? Are you spiritual? Are you aware of your mental health? Heavy questions, aren’t they?
Let’s bust some myths here. According to mentalhealth.gov, “mental health includes our psychological, emotional, and social well-being.” In the Indian society, spirituality and religious practices are believed to be interrelated with one’s well being.
What is Spirituality & Religion?
Spirituality cannot be defined by a few words. It is an experience that helps us find hope, meaning, and purpose in life. To be spiritual, an individual doesn’t need to be a part of any religious group or follow a particular faith. Religions have the element of individual spirituality along with several religious practices.
Spirituality & Mental Health
It is a common belief that spirituality brings peace and calm to an individual. In difficult times, when an individual is facing challenging situations in life, it is observed that spiritual practices can help build resilience and grit in an individual.
Coping with Stress
Psychiatrists have observed through several research studies that spiritual practices help individuals cope with stress better. It also helps them deal with their mental illnesses better if they have any. Individuals with a strong spiritual inclination show a higher recovery rates for mental illnesses than others.
Several quantitative studies have proven that the more religious and spiritual a person is, the more they are shielded from depression. People with stronger religious beliefs tend to be
immune to depression or have fewer depressive symptoms. These studies imply that being spiritual has a great impact on our mental well being.
Anxiety is another prevalent issue faced by youngsters these days. Anxiety is nothing but severe worry or fear about the future. Religion and spirituality talk extensively about the future and the uncertainty of the same. It is observed that several individuals who practice their spiritual beliefs experience lesser anxiety because of their faith and beliefs.
In India, substance abuse is a serious issue across age groups. Since spirituality is closely related to religious practices, it is natural to see that more religious and spiritual people are less likely to fall into the trap of substance abuse because most religions discourage the use of substances. This also has a positive impact on the overall lifestyle of an individual because none or less use of substance often results in better physical, economic, psychological, and spiritual being of an individual.
These were some of the various aspects of mental health which are affected by an individual’s spirituality. Hence, it can be rightly said that more spiritual people are not only calmer and more focussed but are also immune to the several mental health problems or illnesses which might harm an individual’s life.
We can safely conclude that mental health and spirituality are closely and positively related. The more spiritual a person is the better their mental health well being.
About the author
Simran Sharma is a postgraduate psychology student, a researcher, and a writer. She is highly passionate about mental health and aims to make mental health services more accessible and affordable!