The role of spirituality in stress copingI want to know how God created this world ... I want to know His thoughts,the rest are details. —Albert Einstein Many people experience anxiety and fear as they observe naturaldisasters, street violence, crime, war, family disintegration, and social upheaval,all of which test peoples sense of meaning and coherence in the world today.Many people have lost faith in the ability of science to provide solutions to allof humanitys problems. Spirituality takes us beyond our current way ofthinking, feeling, or acting. Spiritual intelligence helps to grow our level of selfto integrate conflicts and become more than we are. Spirituality and psychologyshare a concern with the quality of human life. They hope to offer guidance topeople seeking to find meaningful, fulfilled, and even happy lives.What spirituality / religion offer?Levin (1995), a social scientist suggested that1. Religious belief and affiliation provide a person with a secure sense ofidentity, which lowers ones average anxiety level and facilitates resiliencyunder stress.2. Religious conviction may provide a sense of purpose and meaning thatenables rational interpretations of lifes problems, including death.3. Positive emotions of hope, faith, optimism, and catharsis emerge from beliefsand rituals, including the process of forgiveness and the hope of healing andredemption.4. Religious affiliation links one with a network or community of believers thatprovides a feeling of belonging, family, and social support in times of need, aswell as a steady flow of opportunities to serve other people.
5. Religion through prayer, ritual, worship, and so forth provides innerexperiences of communion between the individual and the "Higher Power" thatmay yield insight or peace even if there is not a Higher Power.6. Many beliefs lead to a lifestyle that includes healthy habits and a healthyinner sense of responsibility and self-control. Social scientist have found that the Western and Eastern spiritualworldviews have some similarities, including the general notions that,(a) Some sort of harmony with an eternal principle or essence (with God or animpersonal One) is possible;(b) Human beings have free will;(c) There are moral or ethical principles or laws with which human beingsshould seek to live in harmony; and(d) There are paths or ways that lead to personal and social harmony,enlightenment, growth, peace, and happiness.Current trend in spiritual strategies1. Many studies have provided evidence that religion and spirituality arepositively associated with many indicators of mental health.2. The positive psychology movement supports and stimulates by the currentprofessional interest in spirituality.3. Mental health practitioners who wished to include religion and spirituality aspart of treatment.Some of the common spiritual strategies people use1. Prayer
2. Going to temple/ church / Mosque regularly etc.3. Reading sacred books such as bible /bhagavad gita/ Quran etc.4. Yoga, meditation, worships etc.5. Service, charity, sacrifice6. Attending seminar, speeches, visiting sacred places7. Living with particular life style or values8. Seeking meaning or truthSome common problems with spiritual strategies1. People worships idols not the ideals behind it2. Dysfunctional religious and spiritual beliefs and practices3. Cultural influence over the concept of religion / spirituality4. Many people have doubt about the religious / spiritual concepts5. Exploitation in the name of spirituality by the authorities6. Commercialization7. People using when needed not practice in their daily lives I would suggest that learn more about spiritual concept without any bias.Explore and work through religious and spiritual doubts and concerns. Grow infaith and commitment to your religious and spiritual beliefs and values.Recommended resource Ocean is a free collection of the Worlds Religious literature managed bya unique book-centered research engine. It contains over 1000 books of 10world religions in English as well as collections in six other languages.
Download the file below and run it to start the installation process. It containsthe Ocean program and the English library containing roughly 1000 books.Ocean installation with English Library:Ocean_English.exeLink to visithttp://bahai-education.org/ocean/ About me My name is Dr.K.Kumar. I am a counseling psychologist and psychotherapist. I have received my PhD in Psychology. I have been founder director of CIRPE - Center for Improving Relationship and Personal Effectiveness, Puducherry, India. Please visit for more resources http://www.kumarmahi.com/ http://stress-coping.blogspot.com/