Forgiveness has long laid the foundation for spiritual well-being in the Judeo-Christian tradition. But scientific research now suggests its healing power may extend beyond the sacred realm. Research shows links between forgiveness and physical and mental health.
While this may come as some surprise to secular scientists, psychologist Dan Shoultz says God has created the need to give and receive as an important part of our makeup as human beings.
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Because we live in a culture that increasingly leans toward commercialism, materialism, and secularism, it is not always easy to keep the soul nourished.
The challenge of these days, when times are not hospitable to spiritual growth, is how to nuture, feed, heal, restore, and renew the soul. Here are 21 practical suggestions for building a stronger spiritual life.
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A financial emergency. Corporate downsizing. Marital upheaval and divorce. A frightening diagnosis and impending surgery. Who hasn’t experienced life’s tough times, along with carrying the arduous baggage of anxiety, anger, and fear?
If you suffer from emotional distress, accompanied by nagging health concerns, you are probably well aware of the tension these can cause. Perhaps you have blamed the frantic pace of life for your lack of passion or enthusiasm in life. Yet when we are wrought by constant stress and turmoil, when life’s interruptions hit, they are greatly exaggerated.
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The healing power of humor and maintaining a merry heart have been around since ancient times. “A cheerful heart is good medicine,” proclaims Solomon in Proverbs 17:22. Even modern science agrees.
Stanford University psychiatrist Dr. William Fry, Jr., has done extensive research on the physiological benefits of laughter and has found that humor plays an active role in maintaining a healthy heart. “Humor acts to relieve fear,” Fry exclaims. “Excessive fearful thoughts, built-up anger, and tension put tremendous pressure on the heart. Yet, laughter readily relieves stress and promotes a positive perspective. This uplifted spirit breeds hope and leads to healing and well-being.”
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I’m sure you’ve heard before that we have to change the inside us so that we can be happy with the outside us. I think I have heard this topic discussed on numerous television talk shows. Plus, who even wants to continue to dwell on something that is so hard to change.
It’s so much easier to change the outside appearance. Think about it…new hair cut, new clothes, dieting and exercise, all these things are quick fixes to spruce up the old you. But, does it really matter if all those things change yet you’re still empty and wondering hopelessly on the inside, searching for meaning and purpose.
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