Enough anecdotal evidence exists to support the view that people with a spiritual bent of mind do lead more peaceful lives. A lot of us gain our initial grounding in spiritualism through organized religion. Religious figures through their parables and lessons direct us and exhort us to invest in a spiritual lifestyle. Others are directed to spirituality and its benefits through personal experiences.
Today, research in the field of medicine has begun to take alternative medicine very seriously. Today, it is not uncommon for doctors and psychologists to gently guide their patients to give up feelings of anger and jealousy and move towards feelings of compassion and forgiveness. In a nutshell, they ask their patients to adopt a spiritual outlook and approach to life for health benefits.
The biggest benefit reported by people who adopt a spiritual lifestyle is in stress reduction. Meditation and the development of an attitude to let go of worries result in lower blood pressure, acidity regulation, and overall cheerfulness.
A spiritually inclined person can cope better with the vagaries of life, be it an illness, financial loss or the loss of a loved one. Spiritualism, practised in daily life, enables us to empathize with our fellow humans. And this makes it easier for a spiritual person to guide others out of episodes of anxiety and depression.
Spiritually inclined individuals can literally breathe easy; their breathing follows an easy pattern. And with the ability to accept events and keep the faith, they minimize the stress on their cardiovascular and nervous system. Compassion born out of a spiritual mindset often takes people away from heavily processed foods and meat. An awareness of one’s own body often forces people to shun tobacco and liquor.
What are the specific attributes that a spiritual person should try and inculcate? Regardless of your beliefs, if you are a spiritually-inclined person you will share some attributes with fellow spiritualists. A prominent attribute is faith. Hormones released in stressful situations are found in lower amounts in people given to meditation and prayers. The single attribute of faith in God or a Supreme Power can help keep stress-related illnesses at bay.
Along with faith, hope is another attribute that people with a spiritual bent of mind share. The hope that things will change for the better and a generally positive attitude to life helps keep depression at bay. Research has shown that cheerful and optimistic persons live longer.
Holding grudges is hard on the body and soul. Not only does pent up anger distract us from our work, it eats into our being and the negative energy begins to consume us slowly but surely. Spirituality encourages us to forgive and let go of a hurtful past. It helps keep anger in check. And anger is one of the five vices or weaknesses that Hindu thought exhorts us to rise above. The other four are lust, greed, attachment, and ego.
A spiritually inclined person, over time, becomes more self aware and if he wishes, he can direct his energies successfully toward discovering inner peace and oneness with God.