“Every aspect of health is related to devout religious involvement,” said Harold Koenig, director of the Center for Spirituality at Duke University. “The particular religion matters less than how devoted people are and how much they have surrendered their lives to their religious faith.”
More than 100 studies suggest that regular prayer, meditation and connection with a faith community can lower blood pressure, boost immune functions, improve sleep, enhance recovery from illness and lower the chance of heart disease and cancer.
Spiritual practices can thicken the brain cortex to defend against depression, a 2013 Columbia University study found.
And those who attend religious services are 29 percent less likely to smoke cigarettes — the top cause of preventable death. They’re 45 percent less likely to use alcohol — their third leading cause of preventable death, according to research from Koenig and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
From: Kathryn Stolarz – The Villages Daily Sun