Depression is a serious mental issue that is said to affect an approximate 6.7% of all American adults each year. While sadness is a normal emotion, experienced by all – depression is characterized by a constant state of depressed mood, losing interest in beloved hobbies or activities and significant impairment to everyday life. While many people turn towards medication and herbal supplements, discussed on various review sites like Analyze That (Read more about Analyze That ) – an increasing amount of evidence is surfacing supporting the correlation between a strong faith and good mental health. With findings in this field pointing towards the benefits that religion has on the state of the mind.
But what are the reasons behind faith’s ability to positively impact those suffering from mental problems such as depression?
Belief Actually Changes Your Brain’s Chemistry
Astonishingly, research has shown that it was noticeable that people who incorporate some form of religious practice into their daily lives, their brains were actually altered to some degree. Spiritual and religious acts have been linked to the thickening of the brain’s cortex. This thickening that occurs when a person is involved in meditation or acts of devotion – affects the brain’s ability to cope with emotional stress and aids with feelings of anxiety and depression.
Faith Gives You Hope
Our faith gives us the ability to believe in a greater power that allows us to maintain hope even in the direst circumstances. This belief enables individuals to stay in a positive frame of mind and give them the strength to deal with hardships. Hope provides people with the will to live, which diminishes the suicidal thoughts often associated with depression and mental anxiety.
It Gives People A Way Of Coping
While there are many forms of counseling in the world, very few have proven as effective as the community and belief in a higher power. Religion teaches you acceptance and trust, thus reassuring those suffering from depression. While the support of a congregation aids this substantially, many find solace in prayer. Most people have the need to be heard and need a way to express themselves in a safe space. Prayer creates a sanctuary and an environment in which individuals can better deal with their thoughts, pause and reflect on their situations.
Provides A Supportive Community
Speaking of community, research shows that people who feel supported and like they belong to a group, tend to be happier. Additional findings have revealed that individuals who regularly attend worship services, lived longer than those who do not. This is believed to be a result of the support that is gained by forming part of a body of a church. Building up this support structure, individuals feel secure in the knowledge that there is always a helping hand or someone willing to listen.
Faith Promotes A Positive Attitude
Knowing that there is a higher power watching over you and keeping you safe, makes you calmer and more relaxed. When we give all our problems up to God, we feel like the weight of the world has been lifted from our shoulders. This takes a lot of pressure and stress, caused by daily life, off of our minds – resulting in more positive thoughts. Not only does religion improve moods but it also helps individuals come to terms with death – allowing them to find peace in the knowledge that their life has a purpose beyond this world.
In conclusion, the world is filled with obstacles and hardships. And while it can be easy to slip into a depressive state due to all the pressures and struggles of daily life, it is important to remember that there are ways to get help and deal with the emotions you are feeling. While many people opt for antidepressants or other types of medications, religion and a strong sense of faith can significantly help you to improve your mental health and well-being. By increasing positivity, providing hope and support – your spirituality can be the coping mechanism that assists you in trying times.