How Spirituality Can Change Your Brain by Elvira Barucija

How can spirituality change the way your brain works? Your whole body is connected and there is a strong connection between your brain and your health, both physical and mental.

It’s not only that your brain can have an impact on your thoughts, but your thoughts can have a strong impact on your brain. Spirituality can change the chemistry of your brain.

When we talk about spirituality, we are referring to any religion or pure connection with the world and the universe. Whatever your relationship might be with God, spirituality can be a part of your life in a great way if you are not religious.

Spirituality and Your Brain

Spirituality lights up certain parts of the brain. According to a study published in the journal of Social Neuroscience, spiritual and religious experiences can activate your brain in the same way as food, love, drugs, music, sex or gambling can be rewarding for some or everyone. There is a separate field dedicated to only researching the connection between religion and the brain called neurotheology. Here the subject of examination is religion not spirituality as a whole.

When it comes to mental health, many studies have proved that spirituality can boost serotonin levels which is a feel-good neurotransmitter that can stabilize mood. A recent study found that those who had a stroke but were spiritual had a higher psychological quality of life compared to those who had a stroke but were not spiritual.

Spirituality and Your Brain

When someone has a sense of meaning in life, that can significantly improve your motivation and positive overlook on the future. Religion and spirituality can be a source of comfort when someone is dealing with chronic illness or consistent stress. Generally, spirituality is associated with positive mental health. When someone is spiritual, they might deal less with negative and self-destructive thoughts. A spiritual person is more likely to know and apply the good in life. They are more likely to eat healthily and be positive about life and it is mostly due to their religious or spiritual beliefs.

Additionally, spirituality has an impact on physical health as well. Those who are spiritual usually promote healthy living and healthy behaviors which overall have a positive impact on mental health.

Spirituality is Powerful

Spirituality is truly powerful, and it has many health benefits. Before you tap into spirituality, you must have a clear vision of what is spirituality for you. Usually, spirituality is believing in something greater than yourself. For some that might be God and for others that might be nature and the universe as a whole.

Usually, spiritual people completely surrender to a higher power. Spirituality helps you sit with heavy and difficult emotions. Something like meditation can help you connect with greater force. Or a prayer at a Church or other place where you worship.

If you pray or meditate for 20 minutes you will feel easier and you will deal with stress better. People who are religious deal better with death when they believe in life after death. Religious people often feel like a part of a tribe and they might have stronger social relationships compared to those who are not religious. Regardless if you are religious or not, or if you are only spiritual, you can experience the health benefits of believing in a higher purpose and a meaningful life.

If you haven’t already, find a regime that works for you. With spirituality, you will embrace uncertainty and we all have some of that in our lives. We all know that life is not this peaceful and joyful place. There are a lot of anxieties, uncertainties, and fears. That can’t be avoided.


There is a science between spirituality and mental health. It can change your brain circuits and how you think and feel in life. There are many ways to get in touch with your spirituality and reap health benefits. We often find ourselves thinking why we have to go through certain things or what’s the meaning of this and that, and why are we doing this? Spiritual people are more likely to find answers to these questions. The feeling of not having meaning can be difficult for many. Spiritual people usually don’t have that problem.

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