How Spirituality Can Improve Aging & Longevity
4 January 2021
As people age and get closer to the end of their lives, it is natural to embrace spirituality and religion more. But did you know that living a spiritual life can actually increase both the quantity and quality of life for human beings?
In fact, studies have shown that people with spiritual lives show lower rates of stress, depression, suicide, and cardiovascular disease. In general, their immune systems also seem to work better than those without spirituality in their lives.
This may be attributed to the way spirituality allows people to relinquish life’s stressors to forces larger than themselves. Spiritual people simply don’t have to carry the burdens of fear, uncertainty, and anxiety all by themselves.
Benefits of Spirituality for Seniors
A recent study examined the science relating to religion and health and found some interesting results. They sampled 5,449 middle-aged Americans (40-65 years old) and examined their interaction between stress, longevity, and church attendance.
Overall, churchgoers in the study were healthier, better educated, and economically better off than the average American. They were more likely to have higher levels of educational attainment, lower levels of poverty, increased physical activity, reduced rates of smoking and drinking, and a healthier eating index. They were also 46% less likely to die in follow-up periods than non-churchgoers.
As we can see from this study, connecting to something bigger than ourselves can bring positive benefits to our lives as we age. Research consistently shows that seniors improve their well-being when they engage in spiritual activities on a regular basis.
These seniors can reduce their risk of suffering from strokes, hypertension, and pain. The community aspects of some spiritual practices can help build community and boost happiness while reducing the risk of loneliness and depression.
There is no set way for us to be spiritual and practicing it can range from following traditional religions to simply meditating or spending more time connecting with nature.
Here are some great ways to incorporate spiritual wellness into our lives as we age:
Try Meditation and Deep Breathing
Mindful meditation and deep breathing can bring many positive benefits to the lives of seniors by helping them better connect their minds, bodies, and spirits.
Taking time to pay attention to our thoughts helps improve focus, lower anxiety, and enhance sleeping habits. Meditation and deep breathing have also been shown to lower rates of depression and pain while improving emotional health.
Practice Daily Gratitude
Practicing daily gratitude has been scientifically proven to bring many incredible benefits to us as we age. It can improve our happiness levels by generating more positive emotions.
Try starting a daily gratitude journal where you express gratitude for past blessings, current good fortune, and your hopes for the future.
Staying Adventurous & Exploring
Getting older doesn’t mean that we have to be uninterested in discovering new things. In fact, it is important to stay curious and learn more about the world to keep our brains sharp.
Often times, people fall into comfortable routines in the later stages of life. This needs to be balanced by new experiences, unfamiliar situations, and exciting discoveries.
Help Those Around You
If you’ve ever donated your time or money to a good cause, then you know how good it feels to help other people. Giving of ourselves naturally lifts our spirits and makes us feel great.
As we get older, it’s natural to want to help people even more than we did in our youth. No matter what religion or spiritual practice you follow, generosity, and helping others is a great principle to follow.
Play or Listen to Music
Music is such a powerful tool for lifting our spirits and connecting us to other people.
It can connect us to positive memories from our past while also being a way to discover new sounds and unfamiliar rhythms. Listening to or playing music can make life better and provide a soundtrack for daily activities.
Incorporating spirituality as we age can be a great way to boost well-being and overall health. Seniors can find their own spiritual path in order to find ways to release stress and increase peace of mind.
Doing so can help reduce mortality rates, lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, and boost connections with those around us.
To learn how Rose’s Agency Home Care can help improve your quality of life, please contact us by clicking here.