Health psychologist and research scientist, Dr. Howard S. Friedman has said he is often asked if praying leads to better health and longer life. This year’s publication with his colleague Dr. Leslie Martin of The Longevity Project: surprising discoveries for health and long life certainly suggests some answers to consider. The book 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.
In a column last March for Huffington Post, Dr. Friedman wrote about some of their 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.”
Intriguing isn’t it? And in many lives, a hunch that holds much promise!
Health blogger, legislative and media liaison for Christian Science and Spirituality in Connecticut, Christian Science Practitioner
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