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How Do Religion And Spirituality Affect Your Health?

OPB | March 31, 2014 12:45 p.m. | Updated: March 31, 2014 3:41 p.m.

Men pray at Id Kah Mosque on Eid ul-Fitr. Credit: Preston Rhea / Creative Commons

Men pray at Id Kah Mosque on Eid ul-Fitr. Credit: Preston Rhea / Creative Commons

New research from Oregon State University dives into the effect that religion and spirituality have on physical and mental health. Professor Carolyn Aldwin says the results indicate that religion and spirituality affect different aspects of one’s lifestyle:

  • Religiousness, which includes being formally affiliated with an organized religion and going to services, can lead to better habits like smoking and drinking less
  • Spirituality, which includes meditation and prayer, can help regulate emotions, which can also improve physiological characteristics like blood pressure

We’ll hear more with Professor Aldwin, who directs OSU’s Center for Healthy Aging Research.

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