Guest Post: The Health of Seniors Can Improve By Attending Church

While many people who attend church seek spiritual growth, the desire to find others who share a common passion (and the resulting social connection) comes in a close second. Church offers a safe place to connect with others who share common knowledge and passions, whether that be knitting, quilting, hiking, volunteering, baking, tinkering with classic cars, or fishing, chances are: you will find someone who shares this passion. And that social connection offers great health benefits for people of all ages. What’s more, this social connection can be as powerful as a spiritual one.

The church community often fosters enriching social networks among its members.  Seniors can benefit greatly from this type of support network instead of staying isolated in their homes. Attending church, small groups, and social gatherings with church members is a good way to make friends who become like a second family.  And good support systems are tied to good health.

The accountability that comes with having a church family can help seniors strive to take better care of themselves and make healthier choices. The sense of belonging can help seniors feel better about themselves and motivate them to become more active in their community.

Churches oftentimes provide opportunities to take part in charitable events, which is another good way for seniors to play an important role in the community.  Many seniors get depressed during retirement when they no longer feel relevant after many years of hard work at a job or taking care of a family.  Seniors can get involved in charities and community events that interest them through their church.  It can boost morale and fight depression to do things that help others.

Prayer and contemplative practices can also have positive effects on the well being of seniors.  Several types of prayer are founded in the belief of a higher power who has influence on your life and can provide comfort during difficult times.  The feelings that prayer elicits, such as hope, gratitude, and forgiveness, can help seniors cope with losses and sadness.  People have survived traumas like war by leaning heavily on their faith.

Religious coping mechanisms can help seniors have a positive and hopeful view of the future.  This will help them deal with stress and anxiety much better, which can lower blood pressure and put less stress on their heart.

Church can also inspire and motivate seniors to make healthy lifestyle changes.  Spiritual people tend to make healthier choices and avoid destructive or risky behavior.  They can achieve the confidence to be the best self they can be, then motivate and teach others to do the same.

Seniors with a more active involvement in their church community tend to have better overall health and physical functioning, avoiding use of tobacco products and heavy alcohol.  Longevity can be linked to stress reduction and the belief that your life has meaning.

Finding a good church and attending regularly can be a an excellent choice to make as a senior citizen.  Getting involved in a church community will be rewarding and fun, while also bringing solace and peace.  Improving your mental attitude, outlook on life, and physical well being are added benefits you will get to enjoy.