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Spirituality and Stress

Spirituality and Stress

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Spirituality and Stress

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  1. Spirituality and Stress Chapter 8

  2. Chapter Overview • Defining spiritual health, religion, and spirituality • Understanding how spirituality and religion affect health • Other spiritual concepts that affect health • Spirituality and stress management

  3. Definitions of Spiritual Health • Adherence to a religious doctrine • Ability to discover and express one’s purpose in life • Ability to experience love, joy, peace, and fulfillment • Ability to help yourself and others achieve full potential

  4. Benefits of Spiritual Health • According to Dean Ornish (1992), the basic cause of heart disease is a lack of emotional and spiritual health • Kabat-Zinn (1992) recognized the importance of spiritual health in reducing stress and improving general health • Spiritual health may include answers to “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” • Focusing on spiritual health can reduce stress and increase satisfaction with your life

  5. Benefits of Spiritual Health (cont.) • Some researchers have shown evidence that prayer can improve health • Living a spiritual life correlates with healthy behaviors in general • Prayer is the most common form of complementary and alternative medicine • Businesses have begun to recognize the role of spirituality in the health of employees

  6. Did You Know? • In the Mall of Americas in Minneapolis, there is a 400 square-foot basement room that employees can use for a break from work • The room contains foot-washing stalls, shelves for shoes, prayer rugs, a compass to locate the direction east, and a poster displaying 13 religions’ interpretations of the Golden Rule

  7. How Spirituality and Religion Affect Health • Control theory: when someone feels a degree of control over a stressor, the person’s health is less affected by the stressor • Two different approaches • Primary control: attempts to change the situation (problem focused) • Secondary control: attempts to control oneself (emotion focused) • Religion or spirituality can function as either primary or secondary control

  8. How Spirituality and Religion Affect Health (cont.) • Pargament (1990) categorized religious approaches to control into the following types: • Self-directing • Collaborative • Deferring • Pleading

  9. How Spirituality andReligion Affect Health (cont.) • Social support theory: a sense of affiliation with others who can assist with maintaining health and well-being • Those affected by terrorism can benefit from spiritual support in various forms: • Emotional support • Financial support • Informational support • Advice support

  10. How Spirituality and Religion Affect Health (cont.) • Placebo theory: people who believe that something will help them often report that it does • Researchers use double-blind technique to keep subjects from learning whether they are receiving the treatment • Some say the placebo effect is a valid reason for following a course of action

  11. Other Spiritual Concepts that Affect Health • Being unforgiving means harboring unhealthy anger • Forgiving others is associated with better health

  12. Other Spiritual Concepts that Affect Health (cont.) • Volunteering is a spiritual activity with many benefits • Service-learning projects give students a chance to volunteer by using their skills

  13. Spirituality and Stress Management • Resolving a crisis satisfactorily gives one a feeling of connection to the past and future, the chain of life • This helps one develop the feeling that life has a purpose • This feeling is invaluable during times of stress

  14. Spirituality and Stress Management (cont.) • Gafni (2000) described the concept of “soul prints,” people’s unique stories • Soul prints are their unique views of holy and holistic living • Failure to live one’s story results in “spiritual disease”