By Victor Ochieng
Do you regularly attend church services? If not, you should consider doing so. Why? It’s good for your health. By saying health, many of us may only think of spiritual health, but according to a recently released study report, it’s good for both your spiritual and physical health.
Going to church opens your spiritual eye. This gives you hope, which subsequently transforms into reduced stress.
So, why is stress such a big issue? According to an expert on radicalization, the recent horrific attacks against Great Britain are nothing more than just the tip of an iceberg “and it’s an enormous iceberg.” There are already 500 active terrorist schemers currently being investigated by British authorities, with another 3,000 persons of interest. U.K security ranks have acknowledged that the number of radicalized individuals in the country has become worryingly unmanageable.
Just recently, a gunman killed revelers in Orlando; we read of landslides and earthquakes almost every day; there is the recent terrorist attack against a caravan carrying pilgrims in Egypt; gun violence is claiming lives; robbers are always waiting to strike; racism is eating our institutions, and hate is on the rise. If these things aren’t a source of stress, what is?
Now, looking into stress, we know it’s been linked to several health problems, including heart attacks, cancer, suicide, cirrhosis of the liver, weight gain and a weakened immune system.
Managing stress is therefore of great essence. That’s why you see a growing number of people registering for counseling sessions to control their stress levels.
But even as people opt for counseling, one very powerful remedy is often ignored.
We already know that church elongates a woman’s lifespan. A research conducted by one Harvard professor showed that women who attend religious services at least twice in a week have a 33% lower risk of death compared to those who never attend such services.
Now a professor at the Vanderbilt University says in a study report that attending church services trims mortality risk by a significant 55%. The study, which was conducted on 5,000 people, found out that those who didn’t attend church services face twice as much risk to die prematurely compared to those who attended a worship service over the past year.
There are several reasons why going to church is healthy. The Vanderbilt professor points out to social support, increased sense of compassion and personal holiness as some of the contributing factors to lower stress levels among church goers, resulting in better health.