What Happens to the Brain During Spiritual Experiences?

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Brain During Spiritual

What is Spirituality ?

Spirituality is a concept of being connected with the soul, in other terms it can be called as something bigger than ourselves. The aim of spirituality always involves the search for life. Spiritual experiences can be categorized as sacred or religious but it has a bigger meaning than all of these. It is a deep sense of aliveness and interconnectedness. 

The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.”

Whether a person is religious or not, they might have faced moments in their life when they wanted to connect their brains to some spiritual experiences, the moments when they wanted to feel sensibility and give meaning to their life. The serenity that they feel with the spiritual connection to the brain is beyond the imagination. 

Brain During Spiritual Experiences

What is Spiritual Experiences ?

Spiritual states of mind are something which strongly connects you to a stronger or bigger force which can be felt in the form of energy, God, deity, higher power or abstract figure, and consciousness.

The connection is in terms of meaningfulness, connectivity towards world, and serenity. Spiritual experiences are powerful as they have a have intense impacts on people’s lives. Scientists have identified a part of the brain called the parietal cortex whose one region is believed to be involved in experiences that go beyond our normal state of mind called spiritual power. 

It is clearly known that spirituality is an internal part of healing, it is a source of strength for the one suffering from distress. Spirituality enriches various aspects of our lives including physical, emotional, mental, and relational.

Spirituality encloses various aspects of human life and is also a means of undergoing several forms of life. While faith is connected to religious expressions and might not be necessarily a component of spirituality. Spirituality is expressed in the form of beliefs, attitudes, and practices that influence the lives of people.

How can Spirituality be Attained?

Spirituality can be attained through many spiritual traditions that have been in the history from a long time such as Meditation, prayer, yoga, and journaling using contemplative practices to increase empathy, attention, and compassion, as well as peace of mind. 

  • Meditation- Meditation induces feelings of clear-headedness and calmness. It also improves attention and concentration. A study has proved that meditation increases the grey matter density of the brain, which helps in reducing sensitivity towards pain, help you regulate difficult emotions, enhances the immune system, and relieves stress.
  • Prayers- It triggers the sense of relaxation, along with feelings of gratitude, compassion, and hope which have a positive impact on the overall wellbeing of the human being. There are a variety of prayers which believe that there is some higher power which has a great influence on the life of humans.
  • Yoga- It is an ancient spiritual practice that focuses to create a sense of unity among humans through physical postures, breath expansion, and ethical behaviours. The regular practice of yoga believes to reduce swelling and stress, decrease the intensity of anxiety and depression, increase feelings of wellbeing in the mind of human beings, and lowers blood pressure.
  • Journaling-  It is a powerful tool for spirituality. It is a contemplative practice that helps in making people more aware of their inner strength and life and also make them feel more connected to the world around them. Studies have proven that writing about difficult situations helps in facing them with courage. It also helps in finding the positive side of the difficulties that the person is facing.
  • Reading- From improving brain function and relieving stress to increasing empathy. Books are capable of boosting the mind of the readers other than entertaining them. In simple words, we can say that reading is the best workout for the brain. It also helps in improving the memory power and relaxes the mind, soul, and body of the readers.

What does Spirituality Include?

Spirituality basically relates to matters of the spirit. When a person thinks deeply about something and for a long period of time, whether it is an object or an idea, the brain has a capacity of focusing particularly on that object just like a laser and thus that object disappears from the visual field and only its spirit remains. Spirituality holds certain things as given below-

Meaning- When people involve themselves to spirituality they are basically signalling at several things such as there is more to the world than we see with our eyes, try to attain inner peace through mental and emotional states and gaining self-knowledge, and finding virtues such as empathetic, open-heartedness, and compassion.

Purpose- Spirituality provides a certain purpose to life. As a person proceeds towards the path of spirituality the priorities in life changes. The focus of life shifts from material needs and desires towards getting personal happiness through peace of mind. In addition to this, it helps humans live in peace with each other and empowers everybody to work together for the common cause.

Communication- One should be clearly aware about their friends and foes, it helps in making them aware about the true friend and with them, they should be honest. Spiritual communication involves the connections between communication and spirituality. Diverse communication areas include interpersonal, rhetoric, organizational, and health communication, influenced by various communication pedagogies, practices, philosophies, and theories.

Belonging- This question should be in your mind that “Who cares for me?”  As we continue to search for the meaning of life-giving questions within the light of beliefs, current knowledge, and life experience. Other questions include Where did I come from?, Who am I?, Why am I here?, Where do I go when I die?, How/Where do I fit in? What is life all about? Is there something more than the material world?, and What are my values?

Creativity- Creativity is the creation of the mind that comes from within, no external influence can be used to create creativity. So, it is very important to keep the inner voice of human brain functioning to keep the creativity flowing. That is why creativity and spirituality go hand in hand. Spirituality simply means being in coordination with your soul. When someone is on a spiritual journey, then they will find their mind filled with expressions and emotions.

Forgiveness- Forgiveness is the ultimate spiritual practice. Forgiving others can be very difficult depending on the intensity of the hurt that has been caused. Our inability or ability to extend forgiveness destroys us and the people we are connected with. Forgiveness and spirituality in all its difficulty and discomfort lay on the depth of injustice, hurt, and intolerance.

How can Spirituality help the Brain to Fight Stress?

Spirituality has various benefits for stress relief and other mental health issues. It can help humans in the following ways:

  • Expand your network of support– Whether you find spirituality in a temple, church, synagogue or mosque, in your family, or in nature walks with friends, this sharing of spiritual bonding can help build relationships and fight with stress and depression.

  • Leading a healthier and happier life– People who keep themselves happy and spiritually connected to the brain are able to fight with stress and other mental health issues easily.
  • Connect to the world- The more a person realizes the purpose of his life in the world, the less alone he feels-even though he is alone. This can give valuable peace of mind during hard and difficult times.
  • Feel a sense of purpose- Cultivating spirituality through the brain may help discover what’s most important in life. By knowing what’s most important, one can easily focus on more important and necessary things by eliminating stress and tension.
  • Release control- When you feel that you are a part of greater things in life, you will feel that you are not responsible for everything that happens in life. You can share the burden of happiness and sadness with those around you. It will surely help in releasing your stress and burden. This will directly help in improving the state of mind.

What is the Effect of Spirituality on Life?

Staying connected to the inner part of the body and with the lives of people around to develop the quality of physical and mental life. Concept of spirituality changes from person to person and as per the age as well but it always improves the life of human beings. Spirituality helps in coping up with the stress, negativity and other mental health issues of the human lives.

  • A spiritual community can help in improving your life- Many spiritual groups encourage people to participate in the spiritual community to guide them through the right path of spirituality. Attending the spiritual classes of churches or temples can be a source of social support and provides a sense of security, belonging, and community.
  • Healthier choices are a part of spirituality- Adhering to the spiritual choices that a person makes in his life, brings indirect health benefits. As spirituality treats the body with kindness and avoids unhealthy behaviours. Studies have proven that people who practice spirituality are less likely to fall ill and they do not get involved in bad habits such as smoking, drinking, committing a crime, being violent, and getting involved in other preventative habits.
  • Spirituality helps people in living a longer life – A tension and stress-free life can keep a person happy and healthy. Spirituality provides the life of a person with calmness and peace. This will surely give a longer life to the person. Spirituality helps in providing life-lengthening benefits and it can also be compared with the healthy eating habits such as including fruits and vegetables in your diet and taking proper medication for the health issues and complications.
  • Forgiveness is the best medicine for a happy and satisfied life- Letting go of past and negative feelings after a hurtful incident is a healthy habit. Modern science shows that when forgiveness and spirituality combined together shows numerous health benefits such as lowered blood pressure, fewer feelings of hurt and anger, better immune function, and improved cardiovascular health.

Conclusion

The result of spirituality on mental health and recovery from diseases has proven to be a boon for human life. It has attracted the attention of scholars and researchers from various parts of the world. It is considered as one of the natural capabilities of human life that has given a positive impact on the health and lifestyle of individuals’.

Most studies have proved that spirituality has a positive impact on the human brain and health as well. Getting the acquisition of spiritual powers leads to a decrease in stress and anxiety and allows people to easily accept health disorders and cope with them bravely.

Most of the surveys conducted on spirituality have confirmed the positive impact of spiritual and religious approaches on health and life. The duration of recovery from chronic and acute diseases has also decreased with time. Based on all these results, the attention of medical treatments should be turned towards the advantages of spirituality.