Spiritually Empowered


Wellness Factsheet


Being spiritually empowered is the cherry on the cake for living your best and abundantly full life. Your connection to something bigger than yourself will give your life purpose, meaning and hope.

Did you know?

Religiosity/spirituality and trust in Divine power are linked to physical and mental health, and longevity (Seeman et al. 2003, Koenig 2012, Zimmer et al. 2016, Mishra et al. 2017).

The Facts

Spirituality encompasses the way one views their purpose and meaning in life, as well as their deepest beliefs and morals, life decisions, character, perspective on spiritual beliefs and a higher being.2

Beliefs about where we came from, why we are here, where we are going, give meaning to life and remove anxiety about the future. They can provide meaning and hope during disappointment and difficult times.

Religious involvement is also connected with better mental health and with lower levels of depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, suicidal behaviours, stress-related disorders and dementia.3,4 Trust in a Divine power boosts positivity and helps better manage negative emotions, resulting in a fulfilled life and an increase in coping skills through negative life events.5

Religious attendance reduced the risk of long-term depression among men, while, among women it reduced the risk of becoming depressed.6

Religiosity may reduce the effect of stressful life events on mood because these events are re-framed as happening for a reason and/or leading to spiritual growth, as well as the unique support that a regular faith-based community can offer.7

  • However, note that intrinsic religiousness (valuing religiousness as a means of getting close to God) reduces depressive symptoms while extrinsic (for status it confers) tends to increase them.

What can we do about it

Take time to define your values and beliefs – they will guide your decisions and actions.


Take time for personal reflection and time to pray.


Practice gratitude every day.


Practice being in the moment, rather than being stuck in the past or worrying about the future.


Take time to engage with and care for others.


If you are religious, find a faith community or activity you are comfortable with and participate on a regular basis. 


Experience the benefits of spirituality by being connected to the Divine power.

References


1 Seeman TE, Dubin LF, Seeman M. Religiosity/Spirituality and Health.  A Critical Review of the Evidence for Biological Pathways. American Psychologist. January 2003; pp53-63. 


2 Mishra SK, Togneri E, Tripathi B, Bihavesh T.  Spirituality and Religiosity and Its Role in Health and Diseases. Journal of Religion and Health. 2017; 56(4): 1282-1301.

3 Bonnell RM. Religiosity and Mental Health. Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift. 2016; 141(25): 1863-1867.


4 Van der Weele TJ, Jackson JW, Li S. Causal inference and longitudinal data: A case study of religion and mental health. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. 2016; 51: 1457–1466.


5 Koenig H. Religion, Spirituality and Health: The Research and Clinical Implications. ISRN Psychiatry. 2012;33 doi.org/10.5402/2012/278730


6 Rasic D, Asbridge M, Kisely S, Langille D. Longitudinal associations of importance of religion and frequency of service attendance with depression risk among adolescents in Nova Scotia. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. 2013; 58: 291–299.


7 Lorenz L, Doherty A, Casey P. The Role of Religion in Buffering the Impact of Stressful Life Events on Depressive Symptoms in Patients with Depressive Episodes or Adjustment Disorder. International Journal of environmental research and Public Health. 2019; 16(7): 1238. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16071238


UM. 2016. What Is Spirituality? University of Minnesota. Accessed 1/04/2019. https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/what-spirituality 


Paggi M, E, Jopp D, Hertzog C: The Importance of Leisure Activities in the Relationship between Physical Health and Well-Being in a Life Span Sample. Gerontology 2016;62:450-458. doi: 10.1159/000444415