Role of spirituality in stress coping


I want to know how God created this world ... I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details.

—Albert Einstein

 

Many people experience anxiety and fear as they observe natural disasters, street violence, crime, war, family disintegration, and social upheaval, all of which test people's sense of meaning and coherence in the world today. Many people have lost faith in the ability of science to provide solutions to all of humanity's problems. Spirituality takes us beyond our current way of thinking, feeling, or acting. Spiritual intelligence helps to grow our level of self to integrate conflicts and become more than we are. Spirituality and psychology share a concern with the quality of human life. They hope to offer guidance to people seeking to find meaningful, fulfilled, and even happy lives.

What spirituality / religion offer?

Levin (1995), a social scientist suggested that

1. Religious belief and affiliation provide a person with a secure sense of identity, which lowers one's average anxiety level and facilitates resiliency under stress.

2. Religious conviction may provide a sense of purpose and meaning that enables rational interpretations of life's problems, including death.

3. Positive emotions of hope, faith, optimism, and catharsis emerge from beliefs and rituals, including the process of forgiveness and the hope of healing and redemption.

4. Religious affiliation links one with a network or community of believers that provides a feeling of belonging, family, and social support in times of need, as well as a steady flow of opportunities to serve other people.

5. Religion through prayer, ritual, worship, and so forth provides inner experiences of communion between the individual and the "Higher Power" that may yield insight or peace even if there is not a Higher Power.

6. Many beliefs lead to a lifestyle that includes healthy habits and a healthy inner sense of responsibility and self-control.

Social scientist have found that the Western and Eastern spiritual worldviews have some similarities, including the general notions that,

(a) Some sort of harmony with an eternal principle or essence (with God or an impersonal One) is possible;

(b) Human beings have free will;

(c) There are moral or ethical principles or laws with which human beings should seek to live in harmony; and

(d) There are paths or ways that lead to personal and social harmony, enlightenment, growth, peace, and happiness.

Current trend in spiritual strategies

1. Many studies have provided evidence that religion and spirituality are positively associated with many indicators of mental health.

2. The positive psychology movement supports and stimulates by the current professional interest in spirituality.

3. Mental health practitioners who wished to include religion and spirituality as part of treatment.

Some of the common spiritual strategies people use

1. Prayer

2. Going to temple/ church / Mosque regularly etc.

3. Reading sacred books such as bible /bhagavad gita/ Qur'an etc.

4. Yoga, meditation, worships etc.

5. Service, charity, sacrifice

6. Attending seminar, speeches, visiting sacred places

7. Living with particular life style or values

8. Seeking meaning or truth

Some common problems with spiritual strategies

1. People worships idols not the ideals behind it

2. Dysfunctional religious and spiritual beliefs and practices

3. Cultural influence over the concept of religion / spirituality

4. Many people have doubt about the religious / spiritual concepts

5. Exploitation in the name of spirituality by the authorities

6. Commercialization 

7.  People using when needed not practice in their daily lives 

I would suggest that learn more about spiritual concept without any bias. Explore and work through religious and spiritual doubts and concerns. Grow in faith and commitment to your religious and spiritual beliefs and values.

Recommended resource

Ocean is a free collection of the World's Religious literature managed by a unique book-centered research engine. It contains over 1000 books of 10 world religions in English as well as collections in six other languages.

Download the file below and run it to start the installation process. It contains the Ocean program and the English library containing roughly 1000 books.

Ocean installation with English Library:

 Ocean_English.exe 

Link to visit

http://bahai-education.org/ocean/