Spirituality and Stress

310156850_1371311395A spiritual approach to living does not make you immune to stress. However, choosing to practice spiritual awareness can shorten the time in which you experience seeming moments of pressure or tension. As author Thomas Moore powerfully reminds us, “It is by submerging yourself into the experiences of life, work, marriage and family that you truly engage in spiritual practice.”

The key word is practice. Spiritual practice is a repetitive, habitual expression you consciously engage in every day. Furthermore, there isn’t a right or wrong way of “practicing”; your soul will guide you into experiences that are in alignment with your need to grow and evolve.

The Book of Acts, chapter 17, verse 28 says that “in him we live move and have our being.” The verse suggests there is no spot where the Infinite is not present; therefore, God will meet you where you are. If you choose to see the Infinite as impulses firing at you, instead of shifting your perspective to see them as God expressing through you, you will experience suffering.

Life challenges you to evolve and transform into the luminous being that you are meant to be. Experiencing various degrees of stress is a necessary part of the human experience. Remember that you are a channel of luminosity seeking to know and express itself. The rate of expansion can be overwhelming at times. So when you feel the rush of emotions flood your body, take a deep breath and let them pass through you. Make a conscious choice to perceive reality as a set of experiences working together for your good. Go through it and grow through it; your light will shine a bit brighter because of it!

 

 

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How Can Spirituality Affect Your Family’s Health?

spirituality-78650799Can 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.

Much of the research linking spiritual and physical health has involved elderly patients; however, the data offer a glimpse into a possible tie between a spiritual life and good health for people of all ages.

Although spirituality has been shown to reduce depression, improve blood pressure, and boost the immune system, religious beliefs should not interfere with the medical care kids receive.

So what exactly is spirituality and how can it enhance your family’s health?

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:

  • offering additional social supports, such as religious outreach groups
  • improving coping skills through prayer and a philosophy that all things have a purpose

Although research on kids hasn’t been done, many studies focusing on adults point to the positive effects of spirituality on medical outcome:

  • In a 7-year study of senior citizens, religious involvement was associated with less physical disability and less depression. Death rates were lower than expected before an important religious holiday, which suggested to researchers that faith might have postponed death in these cases.
  • Elderly people who regularly attended religious services had healthier immune systems than those who didn’t. They were also more likely to have consistently lower blood pressure.
  • Patients undergoing open-heart surgery who received strength and comfort from their religion were three times more likely to survive than those who had no religious ties.

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.

Medical studies have confirmed that spirituality can have a profound effect on mental states. In a study of men who were hospitalized, nearly half rated religion as helpful in coping with their illness. A second study showed that the more religious patients were, the more quickly they recovered from some disorders. A third study revealed that high levels of hope and optimism, key factors in fighting depression, were found among those who strictly practiced their religion.

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Can Spiritual Beliefs Enhance Parenting?

Attending organized religious services may help some families connect with their spiritual values, but it’s not the only way. Less traditional paths also can help kids and parents find spiritual meaning.

To foster spirituality within your own family, you may want to examine your own values. Ask yourself: 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:

  • Explore your roots. In examining your shared past, you and your kids may connect with values of earlier times and places, and gain a sense of your extended family’s history and values.
  • Examine your involvement in the community. If you’re already involved in a group, maybe you will want to take on a larger role — first for you, then as a role model for your kids. If you haven’t joined a community group, consider investigating those in your area.
  • Recall the feelings you had at the birth or adoption of your child. Try to get back to that moment in your mind, remembering the hopes and dreams you had. It can be the start of a search for similar or related feelings in your everyday life.
  • Share some silence with your kids. Take a few minutes for silent meditation alone or together. Think about parenthood, your life as an individual, and your place in the larger scheme of things. Spend time discussing these thoughts with your kids and listen to their ideas on what spirituality means.
  • Take a nature walk. Nature has long been an inspiration and spiritual guide. A walk will relax you and allow you to contemplate the wonders of the world around you.
  • Read books that express spiritual ideas with your kids and share your thoughts about what you’re reading.

This search can be conducted on your own or as part of a larger group — a religious community, friends, or your own family. Making a spiritual journey might help you and your family live a healthier life, both emotionally and physically.

 

Share Your Faith

faith_2173042bYour faith embodies so much of who you are as a person. It brings joy and hope during both the celebratory and grievous moments throughout your life. Sharing Christianity should be humble and natural, not overwhelming or ostentatious. Finding small ways to share your faith is an affirmation of your spirituality and commitment to Christ’s love.

Paper Goods

Using stamps, letterheads or even checks with angles, scriptures or prayers in the background is a great way to delicately express your faith.

• A check with background symbols or images of Christian tranquility and God’s love can brighten the day of a sales clerk or bank teller.
• Having letterhead that incorporates a loving Bible verse reminds those who read it of God’s love for each of us.
• Posting a letter with a stamp of Jesus or a simple Cross communicates your faith to the letter recipient and each person who handles your letter in the postal system!

Charms

• Having a cross or tiny angel hanging from your rear-view mirror shows the protections of the faith you have with everyone around you on the road.
• Sharing Christianity can also mean wearing a delicate figure around your neck of Mary or Jesus. This keeps faith close to your heart and reminds everyone you see during your day of your commitment to virtues of Christianity.

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Biblical Verses

• Putting a framed Bible verse or passage on your wall can share your source of inspiration and faith with anyone who passes by and sees it.
• You can comfort friends with small sticky notes with scriptures on their desk or even on the dashboard of their card to provide encouragement in their time of need. Encourage them to seek solace while sharing your commitment to the power of Christian prayer.

Prayer Cards

• Prayer is a very personal experience, but that doesn’t mean you can’t encourage others to experience its power while you share your faith.
• Slide a prayer card into a friend’s book, who you think would benefit from the particular sentiment.
• Stick prayer cards around your house and put small versions on your business cards and other contact information.

Sometimes, the most meaningful lessons come not from our family or friends, but from the loving stranger we happen to encounter one day. Even if someone isn’t ready yet to accept Jesus in their life, receiving a small reminder of the love which Christianity inspires can help them tremendously on their spiritual journey. Incorporating several faith-sharing ideas throughout your day increases the chances of impacting another person and making a personal, long-lasting connection.

Build Your Faith

4121077_f520Don’t Be Afraid. Unlock Your Imagination and Find Your Faith.

Get rid of your inhibitions and allow your true feelings and emotions to take hold. You may be surprised to discover that you are in fact a person of Faith. You may be amazed to find out how much faith you really have.

You Are Entitled to Declare Yourself a Person of Faith.

When you unlock your imagination and get rid of your inhibitions you will soon discover that you are a good and worthwhile person who is entitled to declare yourself a person of faith. You are entitled to feel good about yourself. You are entitled to find your faith in God. The Almighty has genetically predisposed you to want to have faith. It is as natural an instinct as your will to survive. Learn to express yourself.

Express Your Faith to Validate and Acknowledge It.

Once you recognize that you are a person of faith, you can acknowledge your newfound faith, and validate it to others by making an Expression of Faith; an Expression that represents what you personally believe. You can memorialize your feelings of faith.

There Is More Than One Way For You To Find Your Faith.

It doesn’t matter what your particular religious beliefs are. You are entitled to believe in God any way you choose. That’s why God gave us the right to make choices. You have a right to believe in God and to declare yourself a person of Faith. You have the right to express yourself. You have a right to follow your own path to God.

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Taking Little Leaps Can Help You Build Your Faith.

You can take small steps or ‘little leaps’ of faith that can help you build your faith. You can start to discover that these ‘little leaps’ are the Magical Keys to finding your Faith. Couldn’t you use a little magic in your life right now? Don’t you want to know how to cope with the troubles of our time? Wouldn’t you like to be more successful?

Wouldn’t You Like to Feel Good About Yourself?

Learning how to express your newfound faith can help make you feel wonderful. It can help you feel like a worthwhile person. Wouldn’t you like to feel good about yourself? You can when you declare yourself a person of faith. Take positive action.

Learn How To Cope With The Troubled Times We Live In.

Once you learn to express your faith and declare yourself a person of faith, you will find peace of mind. You will be able to cope with the troubles of our times. You will begin to feel more secure. You will begin to feel better about your life.

You Can Find Your Faith and Feel More Secure.

When you find your faith you will start to have peace of mind. You will begin to realize that only God can control what happens in your life. You will begin to believe in what is beyond our power to understand.
Little Leaps of Faith You Can Take to Help You Find Peace of Mind.

You can start by being kind, caring and loving. You can take the ‘little leap’ of faith that confirms that sometimes it takes a little fantasy to unlock our imaginations so that we may learn to believe in what we cannot see or understand. Stop patching yourself together with temporary quick fixes and get a patch of faith – a Magic Pill for what ails you.