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“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Scientific studies have found that people who pray are less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. All religions have some form of prayer and believe in its healing power. Prayer is the most common complement to mainstream medicine. What is the relationship between prayer and mental health? A Place of Hope Christian Counseling Center will address this question.

Many studies over the years have repeatedly found that those with spiritual and religious beliefs are healthier and happier than those without. People who pray on a regular basis have higher self-esteem, cope with stress better, are less likely to have mental illness, have lower blood pressure and a slower heart rate. So how does prayer make all of this happen? There are several ideas on how it helps people live happier, healthier lives.

Prayer allows us to focus and be present in the moment. It gives us time and space to ourselves without outside distraction. It allows us to deal with our worries, hurts and emotions in a positive manner. It connects us to something larger than ourselves and gives us perspective. It builds our relationship with God and allows us to experience His healing presence.

On a physical level, prayer elicits a relaxation response, which lowers heart rate and blood pressure. Prayer also forges a connection within our minds, bodies and spirits, which promotes healing and reduces the negative impact of stress on the immune system by inhibiting the release of cortisol and other hormones produced by stress.

Even though prayer has physical and mental health benefits, it must be remembered that it is first and foremost a spiritual practice. Prayer is for building a relationship with God, requiring not just talking, but also listening. This connection to something greater to yourself should be developed for its own sake, not for the purpose of gaining rewards in this world.

A Place of Hope Christian Counseling Center focuses on healing the whole person: mentally, physically and spiritually. We offer treatment for anxiety, eating disorders, addiction, depression, PTSD and OCD. If you feel that your spiritual health is a key component to your recovery, fill out our online form or call us at (888) 379-3372 today.