According to a 2014 poll by Pew Research, 55 percent of Americans pray daily. Pray is an important part of many individual’s lives; in fact, humans have been praying for thousands of years to different deities and versions of their God. Even those who reported to be atheists and agnostics admitted in the poll that they pray occasionally.
It’s only been in recent years that scientists have begun to consider the tangible effect that prayer might have, especially as it relates to health. Research has found that prayer can be beneficial in several ways.
Prayer Helps Improve Self-Control
Research has shown that self-control is similar to muscles. If you run too much, your muscles will eventually become tired. The same goes with self-control. If you are mentally tired, you’re much more likely to give in to addiction, anxiety and depression. Praying can help build up your self-control muscle in the same way exercise builds regular muscles. According to research, prayer helps lower alcohol consumption due to its energizing effect.
Prayer Helps Reduce Financial Anxiety
Some studies reveal that those who have prayed for others have been much less likely to experience financial stress. Researchers found that those who prayed for wealth didn’t experience the same benefits, however. There’s a connection between praying for others (which represents selflessness) and having your own needs met.
Prayer Helps Reduce Levels of Depression
One research study found that praying is connected to lower levels of depression. The most positive results were found in those who had associations with the church or strong religious beliefs. For those who didn’t have any type of faith or who used prayer as a desperate plea, there was no evidence that suggested praying helped alleviate their depression.
Prayer Helps Reduce Anxiety
In a Baylor University study, researchers found that individuals who prayed to a loving God were much less likely to experience:
- Social anxiety
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
During the study involving 1,714 volunteers, they found that those who prayed and expected results were much more likely to experience results through the power of prayer than those who prayed but didn’t expect anything to happen.
Prayer at Greenbrier’s West Virginia All-Girls Boarding School
At Greenbrier Academy for Girls, we believe spirituality plays an important part in helping your teen daughter overcome fear, anxiety and depression. While we don’t force spirituality or religion on any student who attends our school, we do recognize that prayer can be a useful tool. For this reason, we encourage our students to make up their own mind when it comes to the religion or spirituality they choose. We also honor and respect their different faiths and practices.
If a student chooses to attend church, we offer transportation to and from a local nondenominational church every Sunday. In addition, we also help students create their own clubs, which may be spiritual or religious, should they choose to set them up that way.
To learn more about the spiritual component at our West Virginia all-girls boarding school, please contact our admissions office today.