Religion and spirituality may have a positive effect on blood pressure, according to a study of more than 5,300 Americans.
Researchers found that people in the Jackson (Miss.) Heart Study who were involved with or participated in religious activities had significantly lower blood pressure than people who did not, even though the people involved in religious activities were more likely to have high blood pressure, higher body mass index (BMI) scores, and lower levels of adherence to medications.
Cardiovascular health risks are widely recognized, and hypertension is the most prominent risk factor in the development of cardiovascular disease Americans.
“Our findings show that the integration of religion and spirituality — attending church and praying — may buffer individuals exposed to stress and delay the deleterious effects of hypertension. These practices can be useful for individuals to incorporate into their daily lives,” the lead researcher said.
-American Society of Hypertension
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Dr. Keith and Laurie Nemec’s comments on spirituality may help lower blood pressure.
Interesting in this article was the researchers found that religion and spirituality had a positive effect on high blood pressure in lowering the levels. We just want to make a few comments in this study. First thing is the difference between religion and spirituality. First of all the key factor that makes a change in ones total health is not religion. It is not attending church services. It is not being a part of a group, whether it is a religious group or a social group. Studies have shown that being with people, being in these atmospheres does have a positive effect on health, because when you are with people, you have more support from people, whether it is from a church group or a social group. They have shown that this has positive effects on health. But this is not what truly will transform a person’s life and this is not what spirituality really is. So religion, going to religious services can have the positive effects on health because of the social interaction and support.
What we want to talk about is the major impact in your health is your relationship with God, not religion, but your relationship with God, or your spirituality. When we ask Him into our lives, the living God who created us sustains us and who creates all and sustains all. When we enter the covenant relationship of marriage with Him, we now have opened up the communion or the communication lines. And the most important part of our total health is learning to be still and know the voice of God. To be still and hear His voice spoken into the heart and that can only happen when we learn to still our mind, our conscious thinking, raging, racing mind.
When we learn to still the mind and follow the heart, what God speaks to the heart, this will transform every aspect of our total health from our spirit to our soul to our body. To every aspect of our spirit, soul and body health. This is very different than positive thinking, or support from others in a group. This is the total health that is a byproduct of our walk with God and our communion with God. So, yes health will always be effected when we are with other people, whether it is a religious group or social group that supports us, but more importantly our total health will be transformed when we learn how to be still and sit and His feet and listen to what He is speaking to our heart. And how do we know He is speaking into our heart? Use these general guidelines:
- It will not be comfortable to our mind; it will not make sense to our mind. It will usually make us feel uncomfortable in the mind, uneasy in the mind and it won’t be well accepted by others. Remember when God puts something in the heart; it is usually the opposite of what the world system would put in your mind. So if it makes you feel uncomfortable, if it makes you feel uneasy, if it makes you feel unstable, if it seems to not make sense, these are all indicators that God is speaking into the heart. Because the things of the heart are not things of the mind. Things of the Spirit are not things of the flesh.
- Another general indicator is to never operate in fear. When we are operating in fear we’re operating form our old mind. Only make your decisions in faith and peace and things that bring love, joy and peace in your heart, not in your mind. Remember the things that bring peace in our heart don’t necessarily bring peace in our mind.
So, when we follow our heart we just know that we know that we know that it’s right. Even if the world and everyone in the world and our old lie filled mind tries to talk us out of it, we just know that it’s right. Kind of like if you fell in love with someone and you knew it was right and everyone said no that’s not right you shouldn’t do that. You know the whole world and everyone around you could tell you it’s not right, but you know in your heart that is right. And that’s why you step out and do it. And this is how we should live our lives. Living our lives from our heart, what God has spoken to our heart.