Your belief determines your action and your action determines your results,
but first you have to believe. – Mark Victor Hansen
Some may be offended by my belief that faith is a vital component of our health and well-being if they associate faith with religious practice. But for me, faith is not about structured religion, it’s about belief… And, it’s a choice! Faith is ultimately about the beliefs we have of ourselves, others, the processes in life and in a higher spirit.
I believe we need a healthy faith in ourselves, others, life processes and a higher order to help us stay grounded, stable and flexible in life. I believe a positive faith, rooted in love and forgiveness, helps us live healthier, balanced and more abundant lives.
Research has also found this to be true. Did you know that having faith reduces depression, improves blood pressure and boosts your immune system? Faith promotes good health and fights disease by offering social supports and improving coping skills.
In his book God, Faith, and Health: Exploring the Spirituality-Healing Connection, Jeff Levin, PhD, highlights studies which prove how our faith or spiritually-based practices help us live healthier lives:
We all have some measure of faith or belief. We have faith that a chair will hold us up when we sit in it. We believe that when we put the key in the ignition of our car, it will start. We have faith that the sun will come up tomorrow and some have faith that love conquers all. Our belief system is, to a substantial extent, a collection of convictions we have about how life is supposed to work.
However, few of us take time to think about the beliefs we accept to be true. Few take the time to question if what we believe and trust in is healthful and good for us. Gradually we inherit our beliefs and convictions from our parents and caregivers, often absorbing them without questioning, investigating or asking “Why?” The beliefs of our parents and the people around us, or the messages the media gives us may not be right, or even healthful for us. We just accept them without double-checking their validity. Some of us may even formulate unhealthful beliefs out of rebellion against the belief of others.
Start asking questions about your beliefs:
When your belief system is put to the test, do you have the faith to persevere? Can you hold onto your faith despite difficulty, believing in new possibilities and finding comfort with the unknowns; waiting patiently and not stressing over negative expectations?
Stop and contemplate these questions!