Prayer and Other Religious Activities Can Enhance Emotional Well-Being


Over the years, research has shown that religious beliefs and activities such as prayer has an impact on diseases, memory enhancement and even mental health. It has also been discovered that people who prayer compared to those who don’t, tend to live longer and overall healthier lives.

How Prayer Affects the Brain

Even though the brain has a lot of different components studies have shown that there are certain areas of the brain are most definitely affected by prayer. The overall result is improvement of the brain’s function and its overall also increases a person’s ability to be more compassionate.

Areas of the Brain Affected Positively by Prayer

Frontal Lobe – This part of the brain shrinks with age and can be associated with poor memory and even dementia. However, studies have shown tha prayer, even if done for just 12 minutes each day can help to slow down this aging process of this part of the brain.

Anterior Cingulate – This part of the brain controls our ability to show empathy and compassion. With prayer it helps to increase the activity in this part of the brain which in turn helps us to be more compassionate.

Parietal Lobes – The activity in this part of the brain actually decreases and we even start to be less alert to our “self”. Prayer influences this part of the brain will help us feel like we are part of a congregation or feel like we belong to something bigger than ourselves.

Limbic System. This part of the brain is the oldest and the most “rugged” part of the brain and it will become active when we feel anger, jealousy, resentment, and other negative emotions. Prayer has a way of stopping these negative emotions and replaces them with more positive emotions.

The Effects of Prayer and Other Religious Activities

Prayer tends to activate our more “human” s and rational sides of our brains. In turn this can bring about a sense of comfort. It also can help to lower anxiety, stress and other types of negative emotions.

Singing worship songs and praying in a prayer group at church can all have different effects on the brain. On top of prayer helping people feel closer to their God, it also helps them to feel more in touch with humanit.

The overall affects of prayer and how it helps people will depend on how often they prayer and how long their prayer sessions are. The more time spent in prayer the better the affect that prayer has on a person.

Exercising the Mind

Our brains are just like muscles, they need exercise to remain healthy. So the more we use our brains the stronger our brains will become. When a prayer is spoken either out loud or silently or even sung it helps people to focus more and it helps people to feel stronger emotionally.

Prayer and Other Religious Activities Can Enhance Emotional Well-Being

Along with improving our brain function, prayer and other related activities can give us comfort and that in turn lowers stress which helps maintain a healthy heart.It can also give us a more positive outlook on our lives. Prayer and other religious activities can also help to lessen depression.

Any prayer that tends to focus on more positive ideas and being more optimistic about the future can enhance our ability to express and experience more positive emotions instead of the negative.

Use Religious Practices and Praying to Stimulate the Brain

By using prayer and other like activities we help our brains to be more stimulated and it can help us live more positive lives. Here’s how these activities work for us:

  • Praying gives us the opportunity to focus on being grateful, celebrate life, have a more positive attitude about the future, reduces anxiety, stress, depression, lowers blood pressure and our heart rate.
  • Saying a prayer or prayers that have a deep meaning for someone on a regular basis for at least 12 minutes a day can help a person reject anger and resentment and even extend their lives.

Praying Can Help Ease Conflicts

Since praying can help the brain to allow us to be more compassionate and more logical which can then help a person face conflict with a different attitude that can help ease conflicts or even avoid them before they even start.

When negative emotions are trigged, prayer has a way to calm things down. It also helps a person to:

  • Not use foul language, use less criticism, less sarcasm, and speak in a softer and friendlier tone.
  • Helps you to keep a discussion more balanced.
  • Show more respect for others feelings and points of view.
  • Listen better and not assume we know what the other person is thinking.
  • Be more specific when explaining your own point of view and not placing blame on others.

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