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Got Spirituality? It's Good for You!

Updated on October 22, 2012

Which path do you follow?

Debate time. Do you think that the stern face of reality (meaning the total reliance on science, logic, and reason), is the most gratifying approach to life? Or, does the mystical and unknown power and might of the All Mighty and Universal Principles give you the most solace and reason for living? Turns out, there is a little science behind supporting the latter. A recent study was done to determine how spirituality or religious beliefs affect our well-being. Although this is not the only study done that supports a trend in spirituality being a plus to our total well- being, this one does demonstrates specifically how some of the study participants were benefited.

This study was performed at the Department of Psychology at George Mason University and College of William and Mary (Virginia). In the study, 87 participants were sampled over a period of 1,239 days. The data from the research comes from multiple administrations of questionnaires to participants throughout the course of the study.

Results indicated a significant positive relationship between daily spirituality, meaning in life, self-esteem, and positive affect (i.e., well-being). A positive relationship was also found between present-day spirituality and next day's meaning in life, while there was no evidence that meaning in life predicted next day's spirituality. Finally, for those with higher trait spirituality, greater negative affect and lower positive affect on one day predicted greater spirituality on the next day.

Citation: Kashdan TB, Nezlek JB (2012)

Certainly, the results of this test are not all inclusive or conclusive, but overall, the results show that maintaining a connection with the spiritual elements can and do impact our lives – as the ancient seers and teachers advised us for centuries. Related to the findings from this study, my personal experience also taught me that the more we learn and grow in our spiritual understanding, the more it (spirituality) enters into our lives. And likewise, the more we lean away from a spiritual perspective on life, the more we will, in fact, be directed by the chance, chaos, and uncertainty of the physical world.

The difference between having faith in spirituality and not, can primarily be summed up in one word – hope. For without the knowledge and belief in a dimension that transcends the physical world, the world would be a very bleak place indeed. In fact, during one extremely difficult and challenging time in my life, I remember declaring that if this is all there is to life (meaning this world without a deep abiding spiritual love, peace, joy, and abundance), then please release me from this world now, instead of making me suffer through it another 50, 60 or 70 years.

But luckily for me, there is more to living than what we can see, feel, touch, smell, and hear. So much more. But, it can only be seen and experienced, if you have the open minded heart and soul to allow these experiences into your life. Yes, the world is so full, and the more you can accept and bless the experiences that come to you, even those that appear to be painful, the more you can see newness and growth in your life. You, and your world, when based on spiritual principles (and also scientific if you want – the two are not mutually exclusive), will continue to expand, renew, and amaze.

The debaters on the side of the purely physical and scientific viewpoint on life will argue that I don’t have any proof for my claims. While I could bore everyone with millions of accounts of miracles, healings, and stories of deep intuition, otherworldly creativity, and overwhelming joy and bliss, I will abstain and only say that for me the proof is – I KNOW IT! I prove it every day by living within the principles I subscribe to and my philosophy of increasingly gaining spiritual wisdom equates to expanded conscious living, and I validate this philosophy every day.

So, the debate goes on, as perhaps it is intended, to enable us to view the paradox which causes us to question and explore the possibilities. But, for the spirituality naysayers, I encourage you to take this study and others like it and consider the possibility of a way of life that may appeal to even the hardest defender of pure science or absolutes. As a scientist, is it not in the best interest of science itself, to conduct your own trial?

I have nothing to gain or lose from trying to convert anyone to my opinion or my will. I only wish to give back one tiny thing that was given to me years ago as I considered a life not worthy of living in its current state, and that one thing I hope to give is – hope.

So nice to meet you!

Joleen (Bridges) Halloran is the author of Finding Home - Breaking Free from Limits. This book represents over 10 years of research and inspiration in the topics of personal and spiritual empowerment and provides readers with a pathway to overcome limits and discover authentic divine qualities in their lives and to live a life of unlimited freedom. .

Beyond Joleen's professional life, she is an avid reader and researcher of books related to her special passion, which is metaphysical and spirituality topics. You can find out more about Joleen's book at her books website, Additional articles of a spiritual and inspirational nature can be found at the book's website as well.

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