Did you know that spirituality can affect our overall health and wellness? According to The Medical Journal of Australia, “there is mounting scientific evidence of a positive association between religious involvement and multiple indicators of health.” The Medical Journal of Australia also states that “79% of U.S. adults believe that spiritual faith can help people recover from illness, injury, or disease.”
At Oaks Senior Living, with family-operated, faith-based communities located throughout Georgia, we have a firm grasp of the impact spirituality can have on individuals’ overall health and wellness. Drawing from our many years of senior living and faith-based caregiving experience, we want to share how spirituality and health and wellness are connected.
What is Spirituality?
American Family Physician defines spirituality as “the way you find meaning, hope, comfort, and inner peace in your life.” The term “spirituality” is often used interchangeably with “religion;” however, these terms do differ slightly. “Religion tends to refer to aspects of belief and behaviour, including spirituality, that are related to sacred or supernatural and are grounded in a religious community or tradition (The Medical Journal of Australia).”
“Spiritual health is about finding purpose and meaning in your life and how this purpose affects you and others around you. It is about self-discovery and finding out who you truly are and understanding how you have become the person you are or what you can do to become the person you want to be (retirehappy.ca).” It is more personal and means something different to each person. Where religion upholds traditions in an organized, standardized setting, spirituality can be determined and practiced by each individual.
The Connection Between Spirituality and Health
The mind, body, and spirit are connected. As a result, the health of one of these aspects affects the others. Being mindful of, and caring for, your spiritual health promotes the health and wellness of your mind and body. FamilyDoctor.org states, “improving your spiritual health may not cure an illness, but it may help you feel better. It also may prevent some health problems and help you cope better with illness, stress, or death.”
Stress and anxiety take a toll on mental well-being and can cause physical consequences to health. If your spirituality and beliefs help to eliminate stress and reduce your anxiety, it is beneficial to the health and wellness of both your mind and body.
Ways Spirituality Can Improve Health and Wellness
The journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine states, “the impact of a person’s…spirituality on health is multifaceted…[and]…has to deal with cognitive approaches (specific to attitudes and beliefs), emotions, practices, specific behaviors, reactive strategies to deal with illness (coping), and spirituality-based interventions (i.e., meditation, mindfulness, and prayer).”
Various studies have found that through personal spirituality and spiritual health, individuals:
- Are more able to cope with illness and uncertainty
- Experience decreased feelings of anxiety, depression, and isolation
- Improve sleep habits
Spirituality can help individuals find meaning, connectedness, and purpose in life. “It can include the practice of a philosophy, religion, or way of living. During difficult times, people often look for meaning and connectedness in the greater scheme of things to help them understand and cope with their experience (sharecare.com).”
Moreover, through spiritual activities, such as meditation, yoga, mindfulness, and prayer, individuals can lower stress levels, which affect physical health and wellness.
Spiritual, Faith-Based Caregiving at Oaks Senior Living
Oaks Senior Living is comprised of faith-based communities that provide person-centered care focused on an individual’s physical, emotional, and spiritual health and wellness. The locations of our communities were mindfully chosen with the spiritual needs of residents in mind, providing the opportunity for spiritual growth and residing in close proximity to a variety of churches.
Throughout all of our communities, our team members provide compassionate care that aligns with each resident’s spiritual beliefs, creating empathy and a deeper understanding, and forming personal relationships. At Oak Senior Living, our mission is to honor personal choice, provide a sense of purpose, celebrate uniqueness and strengths, and enable meaningful relationships.
We invite you to contact us to learn more about the care we provide or find the right Oaks Senior Living community for you and your family.