Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Inspiring Religious or Spiritual Practice for Health

Inspiring religious or spiritual practice has deep effects on people.  Steger (1998) wrote "meaning by its very nature, appears to be an integrating factor in people's lives, drawing together the threads of their efforts to achieve happiness, withstand distress, and attain transcendence beyond their solitary selves" (p. 1).  Traditional wisdom tells us that religious, spiritual, or other meaningful practice instills a sense of meaning and purpose in people's lives.  It has been suggested that meaning and purpose promote health and psychological well-being (Ryff & Singer, 1998).  If psychological health and well-being affect physical health, then to preserve the multiple aspects of health, it would be prudent to inspire religious or spiritual practice.  


Ryff, C. D., & Singer, B. (1998). The contours of positive human health. Psychological Inquiry, 9, 1-28.   

Steger, M. F. (1998). Experiencing meaning in life: Optimal functioning at the nexus of well-being, psychopathology, and spirituality. In The human quest for meaning: A handbook of psychological research and clinical applications (2nd ed., pp. 1-19). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

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