Physical benefits of having a higher purpose
Sep 09, 2020
Research has shown that having a higher purpose and desire to be in service to others has an impact on gene expression, specifically in decreasing pro-inflammatory compounds.
On the other hand, seeking out things in your life that create fleeting happiness, like depending on activities that avoid your pain and pursue pleasure, have been shown to be unfulfilling and can trigger genetic expression of those pro-inflammatory compounds.
These compounds and stress biomarkers are linked to cancers and chronic diseases, like autoimmune and gastrointestinal disorders, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and hormone imbalances.
Spiritual practices such as meditation, prayer, worship, tai chi, yoga, and connecting to activities that make you feel “alive” and peaceful, have been shown to strengthen an area in your brain called the anterior cingulate.
This is the centre of empathy, compassion, intuition, emotional and social awareness.
Spiritual practices can increase blood flow to this area resulting in you feeling more peaceful, connected, compassionate and centred.
It has been shown to create an experience of expanding awareness and feelings of oneness and unity.
A higher purpose and service produces tangible health benefits as well as the sense of well-being it provides. This is certainly a case where spirituality is medicine.
Honouring and Serving,
Simran K. Rattan MD