Spirituality can relieve stress

Picture courtesy of flickr user Samael Kreutz

A 2010 Mayo Clinic article says that spirituality can help relieve stress.

And some ways it does this is by helping us feel a sense of purpose, connect to the world, release control and burden, expand our support network and lead a healthier life.

Spirituality means different things to different people. This article states, “spirituality takes the form of religious observance, prayer, meditation or a belief in a higher power. For others, it can be found in nature, music, art or a secular community. ”

Stress is mental and emotional strain resulting from excessive demands on our strength, abilities and resources. Doesn’t it follow then that what would help is a mental and emotional change for the better?

I find that feeling a connection to the Divine is a good place to start to make this change of thought. In prayer I acknowledge and accept that this Higher Power is my ultimate source of what I need. I then find myself supplied with sufficient abilities, resources and strength. I am supplied with gratitude that enables me to appreciate what I have and to realize that I have what I need. I am supplied with humility that releases burden. I am supplied with patience, wisdom, and flexibility with which to adapt. I am supplied with strength and endurance to do what I need to do.

I like to think of all of these things as “grace”. I am supplied with grace – “grace for today”.

And I see this grace all around me. For example, I look out the window out back and see a bush with branches full of little red berries, waiting there for the birds.

And I find that music lightens a heavy heart. There is such freedom and harmony and joy in music. Music helps me feel grace. It helps me feel grateful. It helps me feel joyful.

Picture courtesy of flickr user derpunk

And religious observances help too. These are opportunities to pray, feel a connection to the Divine, be grateful, look beyond self and consider others throughout the world, find fellowship and support, and sing and rejoice.

When I change my thought through spirituality like this I usually find that changes occur in my daily experience that help lighten the load. Just today I had an appointment scheduled for later this week rescheduled for after the holidays. That helps a little.

Yes, spirituality helps relieve stress. It can change thought from feeling pushed to near or beyond our abilities to a recognition that through a connection to the Divine we all have sufficient abilities and resources, and all the strength needed. It lifts burdens. It lightens the load. It brightens our day.

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