Do you believe? Good for you!

Do you believe? Good for you!

Does spirituality have a positive effect on your health? This question arose in the field of positive psychology, an exiting new field of science. It is the research of the effect of things like positive self-esteem, joy and happiness or hope. People who are positive in life enjoy a multitude of beneficial effects. They are more creative when they are happy, have a higher chance to achieve their life goals if they are optimistic and even protect themselves from cardiovascular problems when being joyful.

Todd B. Kashdan and John B. Nezlek measured daily spirituality and well being of more than 80 people over a timespan of about 4 years via online questionnaires. During the first session, they also measured the spirituality trait, to account for a more stable baseline spirituality.
As expected, Kashdan and Nezlek found that daily spirituality increases positive affect and self-esteem. Data suggests that this hopeful outcome is mediated by a third factor, meaning in life, which can be directly predicted from daily spirituality and in turn seems to be responsible for the increase in positive feelings and enhanced self esteem.

Interestingly, the positive effects are greater the higher the spiritual pre-disposition is. People with a high spiritualism trait tend to trust in their believes in times of psychological distress and are able to draw strength from their believes, which in turn increases their well-being.
Being spiritual therefore seems to be a healthy, life prolonging behaviour.



References

Kashdan, T. B., & Nezlek, J. B. (2012). Whether, When, and How Is Spirituality Related to Well-Being? Moving Beyond Single Occasion Questionnaires to Understanding Daily Process. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38(11), 1523–1535. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167212454549

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