Spirituality is described as a personal connection with or belief in something bigger then oneself and religion is described as the formal, institutional and outward expressions of one’s relationship to spirituality. Such as the Islamic practices of prayer and fasting and connected beliefs.
There have been many studies which show a positive link between spirituality, religious practices and wellbeing. Some of the findings from these studies are:
- Religion and spirituality can increase feelings of self -worth and belonging
- A sense of connection with a higher power and with others can increase feelings of positivity in negative circumstances.
- Belief in a divine plan can reduce anxiety in uncertain times and when an individual is dealing with circumstances out of their control
- Practices such as prayer can contribute to positive states and developing gratitude
- Emotions connected with religiosity such as awe, hope and love can promote wellbeing
- Viewing emotional events through the framework of religion can promote positive thinking
- The structure of religion can have a positive impact on individuals and give them a sense of certainty and purpose
This is why it is important for professionals to use Faith sensitive and Culturally aware practices when working. People’s faith should be seen as a potential protective factor that can help them develop good mental health and wellbeing if used in the right way.