you are a spiritual person and pray every day,
there is now proof that you might be doing your brain and body a
huge favour. According to a new study spiritual
practice may fight off depression – particularly in people who
are predisposed to the disease – by thickening the brain
study conducted by Lisa Miller, professor and director of
Clinical Psychology and director of the Spirituality Mind Body
Institute at Teachers College, Columbia University, included 103
people who were at a high risk of depression. Their level of
risk was based on their family history.
mapping their brain activity and structure using an MRI, Lisa
found that people who valued their religion more and regularly
prayed had thicker cortices when compared to those who did not.
The thinning of the cortice, especially in certain areas of the
brain is an indicator of impending ill health, particularly due
cortices indicated a lesser chance of suffering from depression,
suggesting that prayer and spirituality really does yield some
stunning benefits to the human brain.
study is just one in a slew of studies that have proved the
exact same thing. When we compared the findings of all the
studies, we zeroed in on all the benefits praying has on your
Makes you stress free: Praying influences your
state of mind, helping you relax and thereby reducing the
effects stress has on various body organs. It is known to
not only help reduce mental stress; it also helps beat
physical stress and evens out your emotional reaction to it.
Reduces your chances
of suffering from depression and anxiety: According to a
UK based study, published in British Journal of Health
Psychology, praying can reduce your risk of developing
depression and anxiety. It also found that you have a higher
probability of being positive and less depressed if you
prayed at a place of worship.
Helps you deal with
emotional onslaught: Praying is extremely useful in
giving you the strength to deal with day-to-day stress. It
offers you some quiet time alone, where you can think and
gives you the opportunity to focus on yourself and reduce
Keeps away common
stress related disorders: Chronic diseases like heart
diseases, diabetes, hypertension, ulcers and migraines
are all considered to be a result of too much stress.
According to alternative therapies like Ayurveda, stress is
the number one reason for the buildup of toxins in the body,
which not only leads to chronic conditions like diabetes but
also certain cancers.
Makes you happier:
A study conducted by Dr. Andrew Newberg, Department of
Psychiatry at University of Pennsylvania, found that praying
can actually boost the level of dopamine or the ‘happy
hormone’ in your brain. Making you happier and more
Makes you a better
person: The same study also found that the practice
helps reduce the level of one’s ego by affecting the area
of the brain associated with that emotion. It therefore
makes you more humble, less greedy for material things and a
post-surgical recovery: Other studies have found that
praying helps in the quicker healing of surgical scars. This
is because when your body is out of sync and stressed, it
focuses all its efforts in equalizing itself; thereby
offering less resources to the healing of wounds.
Keeps diseases at
bay: Praying has been known to improve one’s immunity.
One particular study also found that praying also reduces
the symptoms of asthma.
Is good for your
heart: The practice of praying has shown a lot of
benefits on the functioning of your heart. It is known to
speed up the recovery of the heart after a heart attack and
surgery. Apart from that it also helps regulate your heart
beat, makes it stronger and less stressed.
Helps you live
longer: Apart from all the other benefits of
praying, one of the most striking perks is that it helps you
live longer. By minimizing all the ill effects of stress and
environmental factors it helps your body heal better and age
more efficiently. All this put together helps the body heal
faster and beat the common ailments that affect you when you