“Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need,” Jesus said in a lecture that is world-renowned to this day. It is usually called the Sermon on the Mount and is recorded in Matthew chapters 5 through 7.
For me, spirituality is the primary key to happiness. Research backs up this thought. The vast majority of studies show that religious and spiritual people report higher levels of happiness and mental well-being.
Spiritual people who regularly attend religious services frequently live longer than those who do not; thanks, in large part, to faith, hope, and a sense of meaning and purpose in life.
Faith consoles and comforts, promises positive outcomes during troubled times, and makes sense of a troubled world. By believing in something greater than themselves, spiritual people can stay positive in times of sadness and foster resilience.
Moral living provides sound values and teaches love, unselfishness, respect, and compassion. Prayer and meditation has been shown to have a strong link with well-being because it calms the body, reduces stress and anxiety, and also supports positive thinking.
The social support that comes from being part of a community with shared values and beliefs can also contribute to happiness. In fact, the frequency of attendance to religious services mattered more than anything besides health in determining how satisfied people were with their lives, according to researchers in the journal American Sociological Review.
This weekend I attended a two-day Bible convention and one of the speakers suggested setting a specific time every day for our spiritual needs. Even if it’s only 15 minutes, make an appointment with yourself. The speaker said the best time for him to read the Bible was in the morning before he left for work. “That’s the best part of the day,” he said.
I read the Bible on a regular basis, but I liked this idea of setting aside a specific time each day. So I started my 15 minutes this morning by reading some of the Sermon of the Mount. Much of what Jesus said is self-explanatory, though putting it into practice can certainly be challenging. However, by reading these verses carefully and thoughtfully, I hope to let the power of his ideas influence my thinking and attitude.
With the utmost respect to the various religious beliefs of those reading this article, for those who want to read the Bible and may not have their own personal copy, I’m providing a link to a modern day English, easy-to-understand free downloadable online Bible available in over 70 different languages that I personally use.
In conclusion, whether you set time aside in the morning to start off the day in a positive way or at night before you go to bed as a way to wind down after a stressful day, let spiritual matters occupy more of your thoughts.
That’s the key to happiness.