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October 10, 2022 • Healthy Living

Spirituality & Better Health

Cultivating a spiritual practice can be a great tool for promoting better health.

woman on dock practicing spirituality and better health
woman meditating and yoga practicing at sunset

Spirituality has broad benefits for mental and physical health and plays a vital role in those facing serious illness. 

That was the conclusion of the most comprehensive and rigorous review of evidence to date by a 27-member panel of multidisciplinary experts in the field – published in the prestigious medical journal, JAMA

The Report

For this meticulous and thoughtful report, over 500 published studies, deemed to provide the highest quality evidence, were reviewed. 

Spirituality in this context was defined as “the way individuals seek meaning, purpose, connection, value, or transcendence” and includes organized religion, as well as connection to community, family, and nature. 

Key observations and recommendations noted included the following:

  • For healthy people, participation in a spiritual community, most commonly religious service attendance, was significantly linked to better health, including less mental illness, less suicide, less substance abuse, and greater longevity.
  • For those who are ill, spirituality impacts key outcomes, including decision making and quality of life.
  • For those involved in medical care, “Integrating spirituality into care can help patients have a better chance of reaching complete well-being and their highest attainable standard of health.” Thus, should be a standard part of quality healthcare.

For me, spirituality is what “nourishes my life,” and I work daily to cultivate and enrich its presence. 



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Source: (JAMA, 2022; 328 (2): 184 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2022.11086)