Prayer is a powerful practice. Perhaps you’ve always felt a little better after praying, but you couldn’t quite figure out what made it so soothing. As it turns out, you’re not imagining things – prayer really does have significant physical and psychological effects.
Here’s why prayer can benefit your overall well-being, as well as tips on how to pray more often, presented below by Our Lady and St John the Baptist.
The idea that prayer benefits your physical health might seem surprising - but it’s true! Research indicates that praying regularly does support your physical health. Everyday Health states that people with serious conditions such as congestive heart failure who prayed frequently often lived longer than those with the same condition, and people who pray are also less likely to relapse if they are recovering from substance abuse.
Improved Mental Health
Prayer can also have a positive impact on your mental health. Southern Living states that when you pray, you may notice your stress levels dropping. Prayer can also help people struggling with their mental health, as well. Those who are suffering from depression or anxiety can often find some relief through prayer. Overall, prayer can help you tackle difficult life events and challenges.
As you pray regularly, the improvements you notice in regard to your physical health might motivate you to make some lifestyle changes. For instance, you may want to start going to bed earlier, take daily walks, or incorporate more exercise into your usual schedule. But what if you’re pressed for time because you’ve been extra busy at work lately? Try to stay active throughout the day - you can take the stairs rather than the elevator, walk during your lunch breaks, or do gentle yoga before bed.
What if you only pray sporadically? Or what if you haven’t prayed in months or years because you were struggling with your faith – but now, you want to deepen your faith through prayer? Part of you might feel like you no longer know “how” to pray, or like you won’t know what to say when you do put your hands together in prayer. Having a prayer routine can help you simply make prayer a part of your daily life, and it will start to feel natural again.
How can you go about creating a prayer routine? Prayer Coach recommends creating a cue, like your morning alarm, establishing a specific habit, like writing in a prayer journal, and then focusing on the emotional reward. If you’re busy, it might seem challenging – but remember, you can pray at any time! You don’t have to engage in formal prayers. You can share anything on your mind when you pray.
If you’ve continued to develop your prayer life, you might find yourself craving the company of a faith community. Sometimes, prayer can bring you closer to other people who share your faith and shows you that you’re part of a bigger purpose. Maybe you want to pray for others you know, or maybe you want to pray alongside other people. Either way, getting involved with a church or a spiritual group could be a great way to grow in your faith. You may want to go to services at different churches in your area to find a congregation that suits you.
Prayer can be transformative. Even if you’re not praying for anything in particular, it can still be very comforting in the midst of a dark time. When you see how prayer benefits both your mental and physical health, you’ll feel even more motivated to keep up with your prayer life.
By our guest speaker Camille Johnson at www.bereaver.com