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Do you have a healthy attitude?

Do you have a healthy attitude? © Glow Images, model for illustrative purposes only

Why not consider utilizing spiritual practices the next time you face frightening challenges. Researchers are finding this exercise can yield beneficial rewards.

Mark Hyman, MD, in Calm Your Mind, Heal Your Body, writes “What is this critical factor that determines so much about how healthy or how sick you are? It is your attitude, your social life, your community, and your spiritual beliefs.”

Hyman also states, “…the most powerful pharmacy in the world … is right between your ears!”

Healthier lifestyles might be found, not only in what’s between your ears, but, most importantly, in what’s between you and your God.

Richard Schiffman, in a Huffington Post article, wrote, “Research at Dartmouth Medical School found that patients with strong religious beliefs who underwent elective heart surgery were three times more likely to recover than those who were less religious. A 2011 study of inner city youth with asthma by researchers at the University of Cincinnati indicates that those who practiced prayer and meditation experienced fewer and less severe symptoms than those who had not. Other studies show that prayer boosts the immune system and helps to lessen the severity and frequency of a wide range of illnesses.”

Schiffman also states, “A recent survey reported in the Journal of Gerontology of 4,000 senior citizens in Durham, NC, found that people who prayed or meditated coped better with illness and lived longer than those who did not.”

Does prayer always work?

I’ve never seen a single healer, whether a MD or spiritual health care provider, claim 100 percent success rates in their practices. But I do believe that as each patient and healer expresses more divine characteristics and prays frequently, better consistent care will be experienced.

And what are divine characteristics? Compassion, joy, humility, and forgiveness, to name a few, could be considered identifying features of a spiritual consciousness – a divine attitude. These characteristics don’t emanate from brains because they are not matter-based. They must start from God and be expressed.

So, what’s the next step? Practice and experience.

I had the privilege of meeting Richard Krummel, MDiv, PhD, several weeks ago. We discussed prayer and spiritual practices. Krummel gave me copy of his new book, Fear, Control, and Letting Go – How Psychological Principles and Spiritual Faith Can Help Us Recover From Our Fears.

I especially appreciate the last chapter of the book. There, Krummel shares 91 specific spiritual exercises. A few examples:

Saying Thank You. A wonderful priest I knew said that when he went to bed, he repeated “thank you,” sometimes for up to five minutes, as a way to put himself more in touch with the spiritual. He would then, sometimes for another five minutes, repeat “help me” as a way to acknowledge that he was not in charge of the universe.

Ego Check. Each time you look at your watch, ask yourself if your ego is getting in the way. Do you have something you believe you need to protect that is bigger than your connection with God? Do you want people and things to be the way you want them?

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