Do you feel at peace when you pray? Do you feel a connection with the supreme power – God? Or do you just pray for the sake of praying? The good news is that if you pray with your heart and devotion, it will have a positive effect on your mental health. According to recent research, your conviction about the ‘Personality’ of God determines the effects of prayer on your mental health. Do you talk to God? Do you feel He is loving, protective, and accessible? Or, for you, He is distant and unreachable?
Prayer reduces anxiety
Prayer provides emotional comfort, resulting in fewer cases of anxiety disorder. Research carried out by Baylor University also says that people who pray and seek comfort and love from the loving and protective God are less likely to experience worry, fear, social anxiety, self-consciousness, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder compared to those who pray but don’t expect comfort and protection from God.
Many people think Prayer is a source of comfort and strength. They feel an intimate relationship with God and secure attachment. There is a belief that God is there for them.
While other people think vice-versa. For them, ‘rejection’ or ‘unanswered’ prayers are the signals that there exists no God. Everything is about faith and belief. If your belief says that God exists, it exists and the other way round.
Relation between Prayer and Health benefits
Regular Prayer can have many health benefits. Prayer may be silent, spoken, formulaic, repetitive, etc. Some pray in public places some in private. Prayer is one such thing that takes place both in public and private. When you pray you are participating in a dialogue with the Divine. Prayer has a personal meaning for different people. For some, it will mean sacred words, while for others, it may be informal talking or listening to God. According to Dr. Wayne Jonas’s survey, “Nearly 90% of patients with serious illness will engage in prayer for the mitigation of their suffering or disease.” It is the second most effective method of pain management after oral pain medication and most widely used as a non-drug method to relieve pain. Of course, if you are suffering from serious mental illness, it is important to take medication and go for treatment. Prayer in that case will be a hope to survive in tough times.
Prayer is like handing down your mind’s burden for a while and rest. Imagine carrying your loaded backpack hour after hour, it will feel impossibly heavy. But, if somebody helps you out with carrying your backpack for a while or you seek help from somebody to hold it for some time, it doesn’t feel heavy when you pick it up again. Prayer is also helpful in fighting negative emotions. It can keep you calm and less reactive to fear, frustration, anger, etc.
How Prayer gives you peace
Prayer is a spiritual practice. People pray to get through hard times. It is building a connection with someone higher in authority than you. There is hope in pleading for help from the Supreme power and it strengthens the emotional health too. Prayer can give you a sense of peace amidst the chaos.
Some people suffer from addiction but they cannot deal with their cravings. Their willpower is said to be at its lowest point. Research says that alcoholics experience fewer cravings for alcohol after praying. Prayer is a habit of daily conversing with God. By praying daily, you will not only build a personal relationship with God but also invite Him in the joys and struggles you face every day. Gradually, as the relationship will be deep, you will find Him walking with you in your struggles and rejoicing with you in your joys.
Stress is bound to be present in your life. You can’t avoid it. But, prayer can have a positive impact on your mind. It will help you to be calm and handle stress positively. It will help you to stay hopeful and do not surrender to difficult situations. You will find God with you every time you walk on the difficult path. By inviting God into your daily routine and seeking help from Him you will have a spiritually fulfilled life.