Commentary

October 18, 2013

Chaplain thoughts

“What we are finding is that religious involvement seems to be an unintended consequence, not the goal of people who become religious.”

— Dr. Harold Koenig

You’ve heard the saying, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away,” but can prayer keep the doctor away? Dr. Harold Koenig, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical Center has done research which supports the idea that religious involvement can buffer stress, reduce depression and enhance quality of life. He states that “Religious involvement and spiritual activities are associated with lower rates of a host of stress-related medical conditions, including less cardiovascular disease, improved outcomes following cardiac surgery, lower rates of stroke, lower cardiovascular reactivity, lower blood pressure and fewer metabolic problems.” What is interesting is that these results are not from people who became religious with the hope that it would improve their health. In fact, the opposite is true, according to Koenig. What we are finding is that religious involvement seems to be an unintended consequence, not the goal of people who become religious, he said. Your spirituality truly impacts all aspects of life: emotional, physical and relational. We live in a world that wants to separate religion from the rest of life, but they are intimately connected. Prayer (more specifically – religious involvement) will make you healthier in mind, body and spirit.

Blessings from above …




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