One study showed that spiritual or religious practice like prayer can help fight off depression – especially if depression runs in your family.
The brain-mapping research at Teacher’s College at Columbia University found that found that people who valued their religion more and prayed regularly had thicker cortices when compared to those who did not. It seems that a thinning cortex is associated with depression. Regular church attendance was not a factor; the focus was more on how much people valued spirituality in their lives.
Another study, by researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, shows that meditation may improve symptoms of anxiety and depression. So much so that meditation appeared to provide the same kind of relief as that from antidepressants, the study’s leader said.
Other research points to countless benefits from spiritual practices, from relaxation and stress reduction to faster healing of surgical scars to increased immunity to just being happier.
The outtake: Spirituality and spiritual practices like prayer and meditation are not just good for your soul; they can actually boost your mental and physical well-being.
Docs may never write ’scripts for “take two prayers and call me in the morning,” but as we seek ways to recover and heal from whatever ails us, it’s good to remember the benefits of sweet and soulful surrender.