My work at times affords a front row seat for some interesting observations in the arenas of spirituality and health. Yesterday was one of those moments. I was included in a meeting with a Health Care consultant, an attorney experienced in the Health Care and Managed Care industry. He commented that spiritually centered groups are the healthiest populations.
A book published last year, based on a life long study of participants, came to a similar conclusion.
“The Longevity Project: surprising discoveries for health and long life” examines the landmark results of a group of 1,500 Californians first studied as children in 1921, then followed for the rest of their lives. It reports on 8 decades of data that included a focus on religiosity.
Dr. Howard S. Friedman, a co-author of the book, said he is often asked if praying leads to better health and longer life.
In a column last year for The Huffington Post Dr. Friedman wrote about some of the findings. Here is an excerpt: “What about spirituality? We did uncover various hints of the health importance of a deeper meaning in life. Those who developed catastrophizing, negative thought patterns were inclined to precipitous actions, injuries, accidents, suicides and related risks… You may have heard the old saw that says ‘The best of men cannot suspend their fate; the good die early, and the bad die late.’ This turned out to be myth! Instead, we sum it all up by saying, it is the good ones who can actually help shape their fate; the bad die early, and the good do great.”
Intrigued? You can join in an ongoing discussion Dr. Friedman has set up on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/h8NzQS