- Religion instills an optimistic (positive) worldview – i.e. supreme being or a personal transcendental force that loves and care about human beings and provides for their needs (responsive to their needs)
- Religious and spiritual beliefs provide sources for coping mechanisms such as skills for dealing with stress that may employ increasing amounts of positive emotions
- Regions / Spirituality provides meaning to life’s most difficult circumstances or events (Koenig, 2012)
- A sense of purpose – having a sense of purpose can help eliminate or reduce unwanted or negative thoughts, which sometimes lead to adverse reactions
- Acceptance – religion / spirituality promotes a sense of acceptance of illnesses and brings a deeper understanding of existence
- Social support – individuals living with mental health issues can find support within their community, and encouragement with which they see or view the world in a more positive light
- Religion / spirituality instill faith and hope for a better future and a sense of resilience. (Goncalves et al. 2015)
Religion and Spirituality have now been advocated for more than ever in mental health and other related fields because of the benefits listed above and more. Therapist, counselors, and psychologists are encouraged to learn about, understand, and to be mindful of their clients’ faith or spirituality. That is why the body of the association of counselors, marriage and family therapist, social workers, and psychologists mentioned religion and spirituality in their definitions of multiculturalism and also included them in their training guidelines for multicultural fitness or competence. (APA, 2002; American Counseling Association, 2005; National Association of Social Workers, 2017)
It does not matter what your beliefs are, as long as you believe in a higher power, it helps instill hope that you are not alone in your fight for mental health. There is always ‘Hope’ that accompanies faith. Therefore, hold on to faith and let our lives shine no matter how hard life may be.
Thank you for reading, and I hope you have learned or gained something. Please, feel free to share how your faith or spirituality have helped you cope with mental health?
Wishing you all a lovely and relaxing week:)