Can Spirituality Improve Your Mental Health?

Can Spirituality Improve Your Mental Health? October 2, 2023

Mental Health & Faith
Well Being & Faith photo courtesy of Microsoft Stock Images

What is Mental Health?

Most would say that mental health is a sense of overall well-being that is free from chronic debilitating symptoms like depression, anxiety and insomnia. It is a knowledge of self and the possession of skills to cope with life and manage distressing circumstances and feelings. It is also the ability to be aware of when one needs to seek assistance to gain tools to better ground one in reality and towards ones goals.

Mental health like physical health is a lifelong journey that requires regular upkeep.  Habits and thoughts can impact our overall mental health.  The practice of spirituality has been found to improve mental health.

Does the Bible Address Mental Health?

Jesus explained that man has a spiritual need. He specifically said that those who are aware of this spiritual need and seek to fill it can find relief.  Think of it this way. If we go through life and never address the deeper spiritual questions, we are neglecting the whole self. As one who suffered from deep depression and social anxiety, prior to finding out the bible truths, I can attest to the fact that finding out the bible’s answer for the purpose of my existence, the source of frustration and suffering, and how I could improve my outlook on life greatly improved my mental well being.

Today’s younger generations are described as being less religious than older generations. There are new findings, however, which indicate they express the desire for a sense of spiritual wholeness from a non denominational approach. Although Christ is the foundation of Christianity, among its many sects, he was non denominational.  He admonished that those who preach in his name, although belonging to a different sect, should not be seen as opposers.

Jesus pointed the way to God, His father. For many it is not a straight line to Christianity or denominational faith. In my own search, I studied eastern religions, prior to finding that the time tested truths of the bible and the sure promise of an eternal future satisfied my needs.

The willingness to explore spirituality indicates a heart that may be ready and open to hearing such universal truths: (1) Man was created in the image of God and therefore has a need for spirituality. (2) Suffering is universal and can be caused by forces that are external or internal – our own habits of thought and action. (3) Life can be enjoyed when we learn how to manage our thoughts and actions.

Findings of a Spiritual App

The Skylight app is looking at the role and capturing the link between spirituality and improved mental health outcomes. Traditional research has found a link between decreased levels of depression and the practice of spirituality. Users who took place in a study on the Skylight app were found to have decreased levels of anxiety, more so than having an impact on depression.  Participants in the study and the app are able to manage a spiritual self care practice aimed at improving issues with sleep and providing a place where life’s deeper questions can be explored. The app takes a non denominational approach and offers the benefits of a yoga practice, prayer, positive thought and meditation.

The younger generation is more inclined to use the internet as the preferred source of information.  It is important, therefore, to have a place where one can go to consider universal truths outside of the banter of popular culture that is found on other social media sites.  It may also fill the regular need to consider that we are more than just material beings.

Time Tested Results

Depression and anxiety are two of the most frequent complaints concerning mental health. The advantage that the bible has is that it aims to make our minds over. One reason this works is because the mind can be healed. God’s word promises that those who commit to change and prioritize spirituality can have their minds renewed. It takes effort, however, to ensure that one’s priorities are aligned with one’s goals, including the goal to investigate whether or not God exists and what He has to say about our future.

Those who practice spirituality may not identify as Christian, but they have come to a place in life where they are able to consider that there is a greater influence outside of ourselves that can impact our circumstances.

Key Scriptures to Meditate On as Christians

Within ones spiritual practice, one should have an arsenal of scriptures to reframe thoughts that are repetitive and disturbing. Such key scriptures are found in the bible. When we focus on these universal truths, we can begin to see changes in how we process the environment around us. This affects our choice of action and how we view our circumstances. It is the difference between frustration or confusion and peace with a sense of overall mental well being. Here are a few scriptures that can help build a good foundation for reframing our perspective.

Regarding Anxiety – Phillipians 4:6-7

Regarding Thoughts to Meditate on – Phillipians 4:8

Promise Regarding Suffering – Psalms 34:18

Affirming qualities We Possess as Servants of God – 2 Timothy 1:7

Promise Regarding Direction – Deuteronomy 31:8

The Possession of Peace Promised to God’s Servants – John 14:27

Does it matter if I am not attached to a religion?

Organized religion can offer us community and support.  Many today, however, are moving away from organized religion. This does not change our basic makeup.  We still have deeper spiritual questions. We also all want to have a sense of fulfillment and direction.

It is worthwhile to align one’s self with the creator by discovering the beauty of the bible, in addition to one’s quest for self discovery and meaning. It is the one book where the author who inspired the works also says He is our creator.  He even asks us to try him and see if He is good. Why not start a lifelong journey with the God who created you for life eternal and sent his son to give you freedom from every oppressive work and damaging habit?

Start with prayer, meditating on the promises in His word, and focus on modest spiritual goals. Apps that assist with positive thoughts throughout the day may be good to keep on hand as a resource, rather than sites that are filled with arguments and controversy. After all, it is as the bible says. Whatsoever a man thinks, so is he.



About Margaret Y. Buapim
Margaret Y. Buapim is a freelance writer and a novelist. Her novel Ring Envy, a Christian Romance Adult Fiction book, is available wherever books are sold. You can read more about the author here.

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