Living well, eating well, moving well, THINKING WELL
Every major religion makes mention of the spiritual benefits of spending time communicating with a Higher Power or a Higher Being. It really doesn’t matter what you call this Higher Power, the benefits of spending frequent time in communication, meditation, prayer and silent contemplation has benefits beyond the spiritual and emotional. There are physical benefits as well.
We live in stressful times. With two parent income earners, a challenged economy, ever-changing technology, children’s activities and commitments to community, schools and houses of worship, stress is abundant in people’s lives. Stress can result in short tempers, disease and even death.
One way to diffuse the negative effects of stress is to find some quiet time each day. It doesn’t need to be a lot of time – even 5–10 minutes at the beginning or the end of the day is a good start. Any start is a good start! Clear your mind, find somewhere quiet and read your spiritual and inspirational literature, pray and/or meditate.
In terms of brain health, The Alzheimer Society of British Columbia, Canada states that, “Brain imaging shows that people who meditate achieve higher levels of restful and restorative brain waves.” Their website (www.alzheimerbc.org) points out the health benefits of taking some quiet time for you each day. You need time each day to “shut it down,” to renew and recharge your brain through rest and reflection.
Dale Matthews, MD, a practicing doctor, professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine and author of The Faith Factor: Proof of the Healing Power of Prayer, has spent a lot of time observing and documenting the effects of one’s faith on physical healing. His conclusions about prayer? Prayer helps you live longer. It helps you heal from illness and surgery faster. It helps you face life-threatening illness with more peace and less pain. People who practice their faith have happier marriages and fewer problems with addiction. They stay healthier and tend to avoid serious illnesses, such as heart disease and cancer.
Those who spend quiet time in prayer and meditation each day are more optimistic. They’re generally more accepting of their circumstances and they have fewer bouts of depression.
Does this sound like the type of life you might enjoy? Then resolve to set aside some quiet time each day for prayer and meditation. Make a start and see how you feel after a week, a month, or even a year. You’re bound to feel healthier – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.