Cancer Care

Exploring the Link Between Spirituality and Your Health

Published: June 17, 2019

In a world where the tangible matters, it’s easy to see why some people remain skeptical in seeking the divine and places of worship. Today’s fast-paced society, which strives for independence and self-sufficiency, doesn’t always honor the value of being still.

Many people who constantly feel sick, tired and run-down will agree that good health is important, but slowing down isn’t an option. Fostering their spirituality requires time they simply don’t have.

Even for those who do consider themselves spiritual, it’s not uncommon for a serious illness or disease like cancer to shake their beliefs and challenge their faith.

But is it possible to restore overall wellness by leaning in to the divine? Can religious and spiritual support actually affect a person’s health? My short answer is yes.

Explaining the spiritual effect

Research suggests that spirituality can improve the outcomes of those facing chronic conditions and diseases, and countless patient testimonies have backed that up. Many people report that fostering their spirituality or belief in a higher power does indeed influence and improve their mental and physical well-being.

Religious and spiritual support can come from congregations, religious counseling, forgiveness practices, and assistance from pastors and hospital chaplains. In fact, hospital settings often best help illustrate the positive effect that spiritual support has on a person’s health.

At Methodist, those who seek visits, prayer or encouragement from the spiritual care services staff may experience:

  • Shorter and more pleasant hospital stays
  • A greater sense of connectedness to others
  • A stronger sense of well-being
  • A greater sense of peace despite diagnosis
  • A lessening of emotional stress
  • Better pain management

Whether those results come from the increased socialization our staff provides, the comfort of religious involvement, the optimism that transpires from a stronger sense of life’s meaning and purpose or the actual will of a higher power, they’re certainly worth noting when considering the need for such support.

Opening up to healing

Spiritual distress in the midst of a life-changing diagnosis can be debilitating. By fostering a connection with the divine while battling disease, you open yourself up to a better understanding and deeper meaning of your situation. You make room for peace and positivity. And most importantly, you make space for healing.

For tips to foster and explore your own spirituality, contact Methodist spiritual care services.

More resources

About the Author

For Chaplain Crystall Williams, the best part about working at Methodist Hospital is being who God called her to be.

“I am blessed to sit at the bedside of the sick to ease their ‘dis-ease’ – in whatever way it manifests. God called me to take care of His people. For me, this is joy.”

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