We live in such a diverse world with people who have so many different backgrounds. This blog is not about speaking to which religion is right or best — or anything like that. It’s not about the need to be more religious than spiritual or vice versa. It’s more about how we cope with events in life as we age using our religious beliefs and/or spiritual roadmaps to assist us.
There are many ways that we cope with distress in our lives. Many people find that having the ability to place their trust in God is essential. Prayer can be important and having support from a pastor or engaging in religious activities can be good. It is reassuring to have support in knowing that people care about you. There are many people who rely more on their religious faith and spiritual beliefs than on familial support.
Studies have shown that people who have less religious commitment in their lives feel a lower sense of self-worth. Those with higher religious attendance tend to have lower cognitive dysfunction in older adult years. Religious involvement can improve health, reduced disability, enhance life satisfaction, increase self-esteem, and reduce symptoms of depression. I have experienced the power of prayer and how it has helped people with chronic health issues and those who are facing end-of-life issues.
I know that there are many people who are more willing to share their personal lives with a religious or spiritual leader than with a psychologist or mental health therapist. Some older adults may find that they are unable to go to a church due to physical limitations and thankfully, there are more churches that do live streaming to be supportive of this population. There are elders who engage in more spiritual activities like meditating, communing in nature, chanting or doing other spirited things that help them to stay connected with who they are and with Source. Regardless of whether you are more spiritual or more religious, please center yourselves and connect with whatever it is that gives you faith and encouragement during good time and times of need.