11. MAKE IT HABIT
(1) SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT
Research is showing that the cornerstone of successful stress management is purpose in life and personal spirituality.
It appears that people who report that their life has purpose also tend to have less anxiety, less depression, and longer lives. This is also true of people who report having a personal faith. It appears that people who attend religious services both live longer and have a better quality of life. However, it does not appear to be just a simple matter of regularly attending a place of worship.
Consistent involvement in religious activities can provide the stress management benefits of a reliable social community. However, the research suggests that it is a personal spiritual life that has a unique and positive impact on physical and mental health.
These benefits are most closely associated with what is called an “intrinsic” personal spirituality as opposed to just exhibiting external objective religious behaviors. Potentially, the greatest benefits may come from combining the resources of a reliable social community with a life of consistent spiritual development.