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How Can Spirituality Affect your Family's Health?


Can spirituality promote a healthier physical life for your family? Recent medical studies indicate that spiritual people exhibit fewer self-destructive behaviors (suicide, smoking, and drug and alcohol abuse, for example), less stress, and a greater total life satisfaction.

Spirituality and Physical Health

Doctors and scientists once avoided the study of spirituality in connection to medicine, but findings within the past 10 years have made some take a second look. Studies show that religion and faith can help to promote good health and fight disease by:

Spirituality and Mental Health

Religious and spiritual beliefs are an important part of how many people deal with life's joys and hardships. Faith can provide people with a sense of purpose and guidelines for living. When families face tough situations, including health problems, their religious beliefs and practices can help them fight feelings of helplessness, restore meaning and order to life situations, and promote regaining a sense of control. For some families, spirituality can be a powerful and important source of strength.

How Can Your Spiritual Beliefs Enhance Your Parenting?

To foster spirituality within your own family, you may want to examine your own values. Ask yourself questions: What is important to me? How well do my daily activities mirror my values? Do I neglect issues that matter to me because I'm busy spending time on things that matter less?

Here are other suggestions to start your family's spiritual journey:

Updated and reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: May 2005
Originally reviewed by: Steve Dowshen, MD, and Sandra Hassink, MD
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