Last week on Feeling Good Friday, following the shootings in Dallas, Baton Rouge, and Minnesota, I asked that everyone be in prayer for our country, because, just like us, our country needs healing. I’m not going to comment on the shootings or any of the politics surrounding that, however I do want to tell you about the personal benefits of doing what I asked you to do in response to those events. I’m speaking of prayer and meditation.
If you’ve been following my Feeling Good Podcast then you’ll know that this week I released the seventh and final episode in the Good NEWSSSS Series. The topic was spirit and the health of your spirit man! Now I would venture to say that the majority of people probably give very little thought to the health of their spirit man in regards to their overall health. As you’ve probably heard me say before, I believe we are three part beings, body, soul, and spirit. So if the spirit is part of our being it is essential that we maintain proper health of our spirit man just as we do the body and the soul. Remember that overall health is all about balance! So today I’m going to share with you several reasons that you should place more emphasis on the health of your spirit, if you desire to live a more balanced, healthy, and vibrant life. But first I want to share with you one my favorite passages from my favorite book of the Bible.
But I say live by the spirt and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. For the flesh has desires that are opposed to the spirit and the spirit has desires that are opposed to the flesh. For these are in opposition to one another so that you cannot do what you want, but if you are led by the spirit you are not under the law.
It is by the spirit that, I believe, we have the power to overcome the very weaknesses that can destroy our body and soul.
Meditation, mentioned in Bible 20 times, is a key component of keeping our spirit man healthy and according to research it can do wonders for your body as well. It can also enhance your immune system and energy levels and reduce feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress!
This is taken from a great article that lays out lots of research (see whole article here)
It has been confirmed through research that what we think and feel impacts our immune system via chemical messages from the brain. Therefore, stress, negative thinking styles, and certain emotional states can have a negative impact upon our immune system, creating an environment increasingly susceptible to disease. Mindfulness’s mechanisms toward greater well-being are complex and multifold, but practice is implicated in decreased stress, decreased rumination, and increased ability to deal with difficult emotions. In this way, practicing mindfulness might stave off impaired immunity.
Fact or Myth: Prayer can heal you?
There are tons of studies that have tried to answer the question of whether or not prayer can heal. Some find it can help and some find that it has no effect, regardless of what clinical studies find there are some scientifically proven benefits of prayer that increase your overall health.
Here is the most important one that Psychology Today outlines (Check out all five here)
Researchers found that people who prayed for others were less vulnerable to the negative physical health effects associated with financial stress. Also, it was the focus on others that seemed to be contributing to the stress-buffering effects of prayer. Praying for material gain did not counter the effects of stress. So thinking about the welfare of others may be a crucial component of receiving personal benefits from prayer.
Scientists and public intellectuals who are critical of religion, focus on what they believe to be the irrationality of religious belief. Why waste time believing in things that have no supporting scientific evidence? These critics typically fail to consider the fact that scientific studies are finding measureable benefits of religious faith. As I have discussed here and here, religion is complicated. It can be both good and bad for your health depending on a number of variables. However, there is a growing body of evidence indicating that prayer, a behavior often associated with religion, can be beneficial for individuals and society.
If you are trying to get your health back or just maintaining the health that you have, I would encourage you to not neglect your spirit man. To here me talk more on this subject check out the latest episode of the Feeling Good Podcast right here!