Prayer has extraordinary power that can calm one’s soul. But the benefits turned out to be more than that. Not only to increase faith, but praying also has a myriad of other benefits for physical and mental health. You have certainly felt it, right after praying, you felt much calmer and seemed to be able to face all problems. Prayer for healing is something that many people do because they believe the power in prayer. However, prayer has many benefits such as:
1. Longer life. A report published in Health Psychology in September 2015 found that in 191 people suffering from heart failure, those who were spiritual — and also adopted a healthy lifestyle — lived longer than their other colleagues. This happens because prayer is proven to stabilize blood pressure. A study conducted by the National Instituted of Health found that people who pray every day have a 40% lower risk of developing hypertension than those who don’t pray regularly.
2. More optimistic. People with depression or chronic diseases who carry out religious activities every day are reported to be more optimistic than their other colleagues. This related study was published in Depression and Anxiety in July 2015. This certainly makes people happier, as a study revealed that when praying, the brain releases the hormone oxytocin which makes people feel happier. The feeling ‘I can depend on something to protect me’ while praying also makes people feel good.
3. Fight addiction. According to research published in the Journal of Reward Deficiency Syndrome in June 2015, praying every day seems to prevent drug and alcohol addicts from returning to use these substances. It would help us in thinking more clearly. Praying and meditation are effective in reducing reactivity to traumatic and negative events. This is because when praying, people will focus on thoughts outside themselves. Besides, praying involves the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that regulates executive functions – for example, self-control – and makes people more able to make good decisions.