The Importance Of Spirituality In Mental Health

1321 Words 5 Pages
As spirituality becomes an increasingly popular tool in the service of mental health, the efficacy of spirituality on positive mental health must be examined. The question arises, not just whether or not spirituality is effective, but also “why or why not?” As a skeptic of spiritual practice, I have been curious about the effectiveness as well as the perceived effectiveness, and how those compare. Understanding this issue will be important in discovering which aspects of spirituality can be beneficial in the realm of mental health, and which aspects are not useful, and/or possibly harmful. Before I continue, it is important that I define “spirituality” for my purposes as the definition can vary drastically depending on the person using the …show more content…
This explanation does not hurt the validity of the great effect of the experience, nevertheless. So the first question was answered: yes, this spiritual event does have an actual effect, but the answer to why it works is nuanced as is subject to some interpretation. The answer to me is quite obvious that speaking in tongues is flow-like state related to singing, but I will leave the arguing of that to further …show more content…
The 103 adult participants of this study are in the process of a 3-generation study which has been taken place 30 years thus far. They hoped to find “whether high-risk adults who reported high importance of religion or spirituality had thicker cortexes than those who reported moderate or low importance of religion or spirituality and whether this effect varied by family risk status” (Miller et al., 2014). They quite literally answered how religiosity can decrease risk of major depression in finding that there is a correlation between religiosity and thicker brain cortexes, as well as more activity in the prefrontal cortex. Thicker brain cortexes mean more resilience to depressive disorders, more empathy, and even less tendency to sociopathic behavior. Of course, the religiosity does not stand alone in these effects; those with higher importance of religiosity participated in meditate practices far more, and with the findings of Andrew Newberg in mind, we know that this is a result of different brain stimulations. While the quick interpretation by a person of Protestant or Catholic religious beliefs might find Miller et al’s research to be an affirmation of their religious beliefs, an integrative understanding of this topic shows that it is the physical act of the spiritual practice rather than the belief or any single god and/or religion that is

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