Although little is known about the way faith positively affects us, there is a clear connection between body, mind, and spirit. A holistic model of healthcare encompasses the bio-psycho-socio-spiritual aspect of humanity, acknowledging the interrelated complexity of body and spirit.
The practice of one’s faith brings benefit through religious sacraments, meditation, study, and prayer. Spirituality is associated with an increased sense of well-being, decreased anxiety, and healing for the body and mind.
Healthy practices based on values tied to religion improve energy, focus, productivity, and outlook. A recent study revealed an inverse relationship between spirituality and symptoms of depression and suicidal ideation. Additional benefits include decreased illness and improved health outcomes during the healing process when people do become sick or injured.
As Christians, we believe God created us in His image. We are marvelously designed to seek Him and live according to His protective guidance. Striving to deepen our relationship with Christ aligns our soul with His perfect plan. Consequently, the health of our spirit enhances the health of our body.
As college students test the limits of independence, they often experience a decline in behavioral involvement in spiritual activities. In the process of establishing individual identities, students may find it difficult to adhere to traditional values. As a result, young adults may engage in risky behaviors leading to shame, regret, anxiety, and even illness.
Researchers have identified five health-enhancing behaviors tied to spiritual values:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Getting adequate sleep
- Engaging in regular exercise
- Practicing good hygiene
- Avoiding injury
Furthermore, these same behaviors are associated with improved academic performance. Do spiritual people have higher GPAs than those who are not? That is a question worthy of more study! In the meantime, embrace faith as a foundation for building a healthier body, mind, and spirit.Are you looking for a college where you can grow spiritually? The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor seeks to develop graduates who integrate Christian perspectives and attitudes into every dimension of life. For more information, we invite you to visit our website.