Quarterly scientific journal

The relationship between religiosity/spirituality and health

Athanasios Anadiotis , Theodore Kapadochos


For a large part of humanity, religion is very important in promoting one's health. Religious beliefs and practices provide not only a sense of meaning in people's lives, but are also an important source of rules for right (moral) behavior. Spirituality is more difficult to define; it is a broader concept that is not limited to religious traditions. Spirituality can be seen as an individual experience characterized by a search for the meaning of life and a relationship with the sacred that does not need to be associated with formal religious communities and institutions. Healthy lifestyle, social support, religious practices, spiritual direction, way of dealing with problems that arise in one's life, values and positive emotions are concepts/dimensions that are directly related to one's religiosity/spirituality. Frequent participation in religious activities can lead to risk factors modification that contribute to the manifestation of life-threatening diseases and the change of the person's lifestyle (reducing or even quit smoking, avoiding systematic alcohol consumption, increasing physical activity). Prayer as a very important part of religious activities can improve stress levels and encourage the person to have a healthy lifestyle and a very important social support. Health policy makers should pay special attention to the special group of patients with cardiac problems and adopt spiritual care policies and strategies in the health care system.

Keywords: Religiosity, Spirituality, health

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