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Higher Purpose and Being in Service Reduces Inflammation

Exploring your own values and higher purpose generates more happiness, compassion, self-discovery, wisdom and greater meaning in life.

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.

Just imagine being able to have a sustained attitude to be more positive and joyful, or even being consistently spiritually calm.

Here are some tips I have used personally and you can consider intentionally incorporating in your daily life to help you gain that deeper sustained happiness, purpose and positivity:

🖐🏼  Refrain from over identifying with limiting beliefs.

🙅🏽‍♀🙅   Avoid attaching yourself to pleasures that provide false security.

🤦🏽‍♀️  Don’t replay in your mind painful events that lead to afflicted emotions.

  Remember, having life changing, tragic or traumatic events will happen. Recognize that your suffering and helplessness are not inescapable distresses.  

 🧘‍♀️  Have a spiritual practice that you consistently implement that is aligned with your values and that helps you modulate emotions, think creatively, build self awareness and gratitude, increases your heart/emotional intelligence and most importantly your spiritual intelligence.

So, 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 Rattan MD

Connect Within. Honour yourself. Heal Innately.

If you are a healthcare professional, you are invited to join our Facebook group Spirituality is Medicine for Health Professionals


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