By Robert Everett
Life is often hard to understand, especially when you are facing challenges and just trying to make the best out of an impossible situation. Such times are frequent in the lives of students, toying with their mental health. When it comes to mental health, there’s one great thing that can influence it for the better – faith.
Out of all the tips and tricks for mental health, faith still remains one of the most effective ones. Faith and mental health are connected and, even though religion or spirituality can’t really fix mental illnesses, the system of belief is known to have a very positive impact on mental health.
Spirituality and religion make people more tolerant, promote peace and forgiveness, all of which can reduce the stress and everyday frustration. As a student, you need to understand the connection between belief, religion and mental health. If you’re a believer, you can truly benefit from this.
How Can Faith Help You?
Faith can help you a lot in times when you can’t deal with the academic stress. Of course, you should be realistic and find your ways out of impossible situations. When you can’t master a subject, you need to find a tutor. When you can’t meet a deadline, you can hire a service to write you an essay. But, when you feel like all this takes a toll on your mental health, you might want to turn to your religion or spirituality for guidance.
Spirituality and Mental Health
You don’t have to be religious to be spiritual, or vice versa. Spirituality is connection to something grand, something bigger than yourself. A spiritual person understands himself by looking within. It helps people find their life meaning and interpret it in a way that aids them to overcome the biggest challenges.
Spirituality comes with a myriad of healthy practices that students can use to relax and guide their body and mind. This on its own, boosts the mental health and reduces the stress.
Here are some ways that spirituality can help:
- It gives you a better sense of self and empowers you to do your daily tasks
- Focuses on you, your beliefs, and your personal growth
- Accepts you even if you aren’t a religious person
- Encourages self-reflection and meditation
- Promotes the use of art, myth, poetry, and religious practices as kinds of expression
- Makes you feel connected to people, art, and other meaningful philosophies in life
- Unites you with the surrounding
- Makes you feel like you belong in the world
Religion and Mental Health
Religion can go both ways in terms of mental health. If you find something and strongly believe in it, this can give you a sense of freedom and of structure. You can use religion to connect to others who also need such guidance, all of which can positively impact your mental health.
Religion is known to guide people to live a healthier and better life. In fact, research has shown that people who are religious have lower suicide rates and are less likely to use alcohol and drugs.
There’s also a correlation between faith and mental illness. Even though mental illness has to be diagnosed and treated properly, religion can boost the process and give the person the strength to finish the treatment well.
Here are some of the main benefits of religion in terms of mental health:
- Connects people of the same community
- Gives people a sense of belonging in a religious community
- Offers engagement between people, as well as support where needed
- Uses different ceremonies to help people cope with the most difficult situations in life
- Provides guidance, regularity, and structure
- Sets time aside to rest, such as religious holidays
- Teaches forgiveness, compassion, and gratitude
- Identifies good life lessons in the most challenging situations
How Faith Can Heal Your Mental Problems
Despite the benefits we discussed above, most health problems are often resolved with actual medical treatment or avoided altogether. Unfortunately, in the case of students, anxiety and depression are so frequent, they are accepted as normal.
This isn’t a good cognitive behavior or a perspective that leads to a healthy and long life. If, as a student, you are experiencing anxiety and stress often, you are highly likely to become depressed. In that case, you need the necessary treatment.
In many cases, treatment such as medication or CBT does not suffice, especially not when life remains complex and challenging for the student. To avoid relapse and promote the treatment, a student should also opt for spirituality and faith.
Look at this as your support system while you’re trying to get your mental health affairs straight. Here is what fait does to help students who feel stressed:
1. Makes you feel more hopeful
Beliefs and spiritual actions make people more hopeful in times when their tasks are too big and the road to success is too long. With faith, you can hold strong though your hard student years, face the big problems on personal and academic level, and believe in a positive change.
Shakespeare has said:
‘’The miserable have no other medicine, but only hope.’’
Today when medicine is highly advanced, you do have medicine. However, hope should not be out of the picture.
2. Gives you more tools to fight anxiety and depression
You need all the help you can get when times get tough for you. To make it fully effective, you should improve your treatment as best as you can. Thankfully, faith gives you the strength to keep going and do everything in your power to fight off anxiety and depression.
3. Makes you see things in a more positive light
When a person engages in spiritual actions and practices such as meditating, praying, visiting church services, spending some valuable time in nature, etc., they are bound to experience a positive change in lifestyle and attitude. If you truly believe, you’ll start seeing the positive in life. This is the strongest tool you have to fight off depression.
Faith is a strong tool for every individual, at every point of their life. If you engage in religious or spiritual practices, or perhaps even both, you can use this to chase anxiety and reduce the odds of becoming depressed. As a student, this is important since you’re facing numerous challenges every day. All of this makes students at high risk of depression and constantly anxious or stressed over deadlines and obligations.
You don’t have to be religious to be spiritual, or vice versa. Whatever you choose, it can help you fight depression and remain positive throughout the challenging times in your life.
Robert Everett is a versatile person in every sense of the world. He’s not as religious as he is spiritual. In addition to his writing, Robert dedicates a lot of his time to meditation and healthy living, also promoting a healthy lifestyle through his writing and wise words. If you want to follow Robert, do so on Twitter.