Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Medical News Today - People who go to religious services routinely are 56% more likely to view life positively and 27% less likely to have symptoms of depression, researchers from Yeshiva University reported in the Journal of Religion and Health. The authors added that those who attend services every week tend to be less cynical too.  The researchers based their study on the “Women’s Health Initiative” observational study involving 92,539 postmenopausal females. These older women came from a wide range of society including several income levels, ethnic backgrounds and religions. The researchers deliberately did not verify the women’s religions.  Lead researcher, Eliezer Schnall, said:  “We looked at a number of psychological factors; optimism, depression, cynical hostility, and a number of subcategories and subscales involving social support and social strain.”

“The link between religious activity and health is most evident in women, specifically older women.” Schnall added that they concentrated on this group of people because females have longer lifespans than men, and seniors are a growing group.  Previous studies had shown that being a regular participant in religious services helps enhance social interaction.  The researchers mentioned several aspects of support which likely contribute to people’s attitude, such as being able to sit with a priest, minister or rabbi and talk about things (informational and emotional support), being taken to get to see a doctor by somebody (tangible support), as well as affectionate support and a positive interaction between parishioners.  The authors added that as the study only focused on older females, nobody knows whether the same applies to males or younger individuals.

Religious services improve your spiritual health - and new research suggests going to services regularly might also boost your mental health.  People who regularly attend religious ceremonies are less depressed and have a more positive outlook on life, and these emotional benefits bring healthier habits like smoking and drinking less.  Those who attended services frequently are more optimistic and less likely to be depressed than their non-religious peers.

Although spirituality may not be able to cure all forms of depression completely, it will certainly help. In many cases, developing oneself spiritually can lay the groundwork so that if you are depressed, you may change your view which may allow you to rise above a depressed state of mind. ... The benefit of spiritual practice is that the higher your own vibration becomes, the more you will rise above all other forms of darkness, confusion, negativity, or evil forces and influences. The clearer your views of life and your purpose in it will be. The Divine Name is the one sovereign, infallible remedy to get rid of depression once and for all. Attend regular prayer services in the temple or ashrama. The holy vibrations will give you added mental and spiritual strength to cope with your problems. Study the scriptures or deep Vedic texts daily. This will give you discrimination, which will give dynamic strength to the mind. It will be your most effective weapon to seal the lower promptings of the mind.

Stephen Knapp (Śrīpad Nandanandana dasa) :
“Curing Depression with Spirituality” 
‘How to Overcome Depression’  -

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