Midlife Mental Health Benefits Gained from Christianity
Unfortunately, one of the most common words associated with “midlife” is “crisis”. It is something so pervasive in our culture today that medical professionals have a typical protocol when they pinpoint this type of problem.
There is no need, however, to approach midlife, which some refer to as the best part of life, with fear and trepidation. The trick seems to be in overall mental health. The healthier individuals are in their own life, the lower the chances they may fall into the debilitating and often life-changing pattern of an actual midlife crisis.
A Good Foundation is Key
One of the best ways to take care of your own mental health is to build a strong faith foundation. According to one study, there are many positive correlations between mental health and religiousness. It is surmised that a strong connection with God provides a person a positive focus in times of need. A sense of purpose and perceived connection to power also seem to have the ability to help individuals overall.
Benefits of a Christian Foundation
Having a strong faith foundation, such as Christianity can provide many benefits in addition to assisting with overall mental health. Some of these include:
1. Physical Health
The bible is the main guidebook for those who choose Christianity as their faith of choice. This book encourages readers to good in life through the introduction and explanation of the 10 commandments. By adhering to such biblical principals, individuals are less likely to engage in risky behaviors that might put their physical health at risk.
In addition, many find that Christianity breeds the habit of overall optimism as they practice trusting in God’s divine guidance. This positive outlook tends to increase overall health and feelings of well-being as individuals focus on the good instead of the bad.
2. Stress Reduction
Instead of dwelling on stressful situations, and rehashing the causes, effects and possible solutions, Christians are encouraged, instead, to turn to God in faith and prayer. In asking for help and remembering blessings, they are participating in a form of regular meditation. And many studies over the years have proven that meditation is helpful in easing psychological stresses such as depression, anxiety and pain.
Having faith is a lot like trusting that someone else will take care of you, no matter what you are going through. When Christians speak to God in prayer and acknowledge that his will may be different than their own plan or vision for their lives, they are willingly letting go of stress, trusting that a divine being has each situation handled.
Many Christians also find that with frequent meditation, they are able to recognize which things in life are truly important and which things do not matter at all. The current trend of keeping a gratitude journal breeds many of the same results. It would seem that many individuals become happier the more grateful they are for those things they are blessed with.
3. Community Connection
Having a trusted community to rely on is critical to mental health as well, and Christians tend to form congregations and communities that welcome other Christians. This type of community of people who all hold the same basic set of beliefs helps individuals feel safe about reaching out for help when times are hard. Typically, there are trusted associates to talk to, cry with, and get faith-based advice from. The knowledge that a community can be counted on and trusted is a great benefit.
Many Christian communities extend far beyond a small geographical location. Thanks to the internet, there are ways to meet and associate with Christians around the world. One highly regarded publication, the way international, encourages the building of a virtual community that extends far beyond a local congregation. This type of extended group can add additional support and faith as Christians around the world learn about each other, about cultural differences and localized trials and blessings, while focusing on the fact that Christians are the same everywhere.
Faith Under Fire
In many parts of the world today, faith is under fire. In some parts of the world, faith is mocked by those who demand proof of everything not seen. The ability to easily access vast amounts of information have armed many doubters with perceived ammunition they hope will sway the faith of others.
In other places, individuals who practice specific faiths such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and more are not only under mental attack, but may be in physical danger as well. According to one source, 100,0000 Christians are murdered because of their chosen faith each year, and other faiths have startling numbers as well.
Perhaps focusing on growing a positive faith connection that spans the world is not only the best way to enhance your current mental health state. It may even be a valid way to save the world.