A Parade Magazine article this past Sunday(12.21.2008) dealt with Spirituality and Health. There were interesting observations made in the article. Here they are:
1. People who attend religious services tend to be healthier than those who do not.
2. Weekly churchgoers have a lower risk of death than those who never set foot inside a place of worship.
3. Research has found that prayer and meditation seem to be associated with improved immune systems and fewer episodes of chronic inflammation.
4. People who identify themselves as more religious reveal lower rates of depression.
5. There are generally lower suicide rates among people who regularly attend religious services.
6. Religious people often take better care of themselves.
7. People who make church a habit—and the same goes for people who worship at mosques and synagogues—are more socially integrated, which means they have more friends and acquaintances and a better support system to help them cope with stressful life events.
8. Regular churchgoers are also people who don’t smoke, drink rarely, and see their doctors regularly.
Researchers conclusion: Praying, meditating, or attending religious services may not cure a disease, but those activities may make you feel better and contribute to a more positive outlook on life.