“Recent research studies show that, on average, religious people suffer less from anxiety and depression than non-religious people; they are less prone to suicide, less likely to smoke, and less likely to abuse alcohol or other drugs.”
(Rupert Sheldrake, Science and Spiritual Practices, 2017)
Biologist and Biochemist Rupert Sheldrake has written some very interesting books over the years and this one is no exception.
Religious people seem to enjoy much better health and wellbeing because of their spiritual practices. Some of these practices involve meditation, gratitude, forgiveness and improving relationships.
It’s the meditation aspect that interests me here. Praying is a form of meditation, when a person slows down their thinking, closes their eyes and focuses on something other than their conscious thinking mind. Anything that takes you out of the conscious intellect for a little while and allows you to focus on your body, your surrounding space and other people, turns out, is very good for your health.
You don’t have to be religious to enjoy the benefits of body mindfulness meditation even though you can have experiences in the process that feel spiritual. The more you practice, as you become comfortable in just being in your body and your body heals further, you can begin (if you want) to expand out further outside your body and experience much more.
There is growing evidence that our minds can extend beyond our physical body. Through years of personal practice, this is certainly my experience. Sheldrake through his research coined the term morphic resonance to explain this link, and what a link it is!