Thinking About Religion
As part of our gracefully greying community, a goal is to seek out and communicate with leaders of various religions to exchange ideas about customs, traditions, daily practices and views on many religious topics that we all think about. Through interviews, blogs, and podcasts, we will engage in discussions with individuals and leaders of many religions in our community, region, and nationwide - to learn from each other. Religious views on illness, death and dying are especially relevant in these critical times of the Coronaviris, where many lives are at stake. Questions such as is there life hereafter, is life eternal, is there a heaven and hell, are we reincarnated, how are religious practices similar and different at home and around the globe, and what is the future of religion, are all important. The questions are endless.
Religious/spiritual people literally live longer, according to the Mayo Clinic report. This has been corrobrated by 18 studies. Less cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and lower blood pressure are found among the religious/spiritual. What is more, religious and/or spiritual people tend to exercise more, eat better, smoke less, and generally require fewer acute care hospitalizations.
Spirituality is a significant part of many people’s lives, and it can become even more important as we grow older. A study by the University of Chicago found belief in god tends to increase with age, especially for those older than 68. Luckily for these spiritual seniors, faith practices come with a host of health benefits.
Another benefit of spirituality is the strong sense of community that is at the heart of most faith groups. People form and strengthen relationships through their faith, whether it’s by attending group services or just praying with a friend.
Opportunities for social interactions are especially important to seniors, who are at risk of becoming isolated as they age. Staying social not only reduces loneliness and depression, but can also potentially reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems, Alzheimer’s disease and some cancers.
We know that religion is an important aspect of many peoples lives. An interesting article 'Religion and Spirituality in Older People' discusses the difference between spirituality and religion, and the mental and physical benefits and downsides. As we are aging, many people turn to religion for comfort, solace and perhaps for answers. We welcome your thoughts and experiences on these important topics.