The Importance of Spirituality in Healthcare

Technological advances of the past century have given us the ability to prolong our lives and have undoubtedly helped us have a more comfortable and efficient way of living. These innovations have not only greatly influenced our values and ethics but have also made us neglect the role of spirituality in healthcare.

Until modern times, spirituality was often linked with health care and was an essential component of health and wellbeing. The role of spirituality is to help us find hope, comfort, meaning, and inner peace in our lives. Many people find spirituality through practices like meditation, pastoral counseling, and prayers which they use during a healing process.

While there are difficulties in conducting quantifiable research on the impact of spiritual practices and the role of spirituality in health, recent studies have shown that there is a connection between a prayer and related practices and positive health outcomes.   

How Is Spirituality Related to Health?

No one seems to be able to find conclusive evidence of how spirituality is related to health. However, it appears that the body, mind, and spirit are connected, and impacting one of these elements seems to affect the others as well.

Some research investigating the link between spirituality and health benefits have shown that there is a connection between religious practices and health/mortality. In other words, meditation, positive beliefs, and prayers have shown to have a positive effect on immune function, cardiovascular function, and other physiological changes.

Even if your spiritual health doesn’t cure an illness, it will most certainly help you feel better. It can also be used to prevent certain health problems and help you cope better with stress, illness, or death.

The Path to Improved Health Treatment Outcomes

If you want to improve your health treatment outcome, you may want to try the following ideas. However, have in mind that everyone is unique and special in their own way. What’s proven to be a successful method for others may not work for you, so you should do what comforts you the most.

  • Determine what things in your life give you a sense of inner peace, strength, comfort, and love.
  • Set aside spare time every day to do the things that help you grow spiritually. These may include pastoral counseling, meditation, community service, reading inspirational books, having quiet time for thinking or playing a sport.

Things to Consider

If you have a long-term illness or chronic condition, you should consider sharing your spiritual beliefs with your doctor. Your spirituality might be affecting your feelings and thoughts about your medical situation. If you think that your spiritual decisions are affecting the way you make healthcare decisions, tell that to your doctor. You should always inform the doctor if your spirituality is preventing you from following their recommendations.