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    What are you celebrating?

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | April 17th, 2022

    What are you celebrating?

    We have a convergence of the three major religious celebrations this month – Easter, Ramadan, and Passover.

    Easter – celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 

    Ramadan – serves as a reminder of the month when the Qur’an was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammed, “Peace Be Upon Him.” 

    Passover – celebrates the Israelites’ liberation from slavery in Egypt.

    As I think about these religious celebrations, I am reminded of lesson seven in Dan Buettner’s book, Blue Zones, Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest. Lesson seven is Belong – Participate in a spiritual community. Belonging to a spiritual community has health benefits

    .

    Dan Buettner cites the following studies:

    Journal of Health and Social Behavior – 3,617 people were followed for seven and half years. Those who attended religious services at least once a month reduced their risk of death by about a third. Those who attended religious services had a longer life expectancy, with an impact almost as great as moderate physical activity.

    NIH – funded Adventist Health Study – 34,000 people were followed for 12 years and found that those who went to church services frequently were 20 percent less likely to die at any age. People who paid attention to their spiritual side had lower rates of cardiovascular disease, depression, stress, and suicide, and their immune systems seemed to work better.

    Dan Buettner has learned from those who have lived long lives that the simple act of worship is one of those subtly powerful habits that seems to improve your chances of having more good years. It does not matter if you are Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, or Muslim.

    In the book, he suggests the following strategies to strengthen our spiritual dimension as we develop our Blue Zone:

    Be more involved – join the choir, and volunteer to teach the youth.

    Explore a new tradition – If you do not belong to a spiritual community or have had a bad experience in the past, try something new. 

    Just go – Schedule an hour a week for the next eight weeks to attend a religious service. Go with an open mind and see what happens.

    HAPPY EASTER, RAMADAN MUBARAK, HAPPY PESACH

    2 Responses to “What are you celebrating?”

    1. Linda K. Jackson says:

      Good day! Yesterday I listened to Black Health Trust, and the topic of discussion was Health and Spirituality, and their conclusion was the same as yours. I feel that, for me, spirituality is a big reason for my good heath (although not excellent, but that’s another story; I digress. lol). In addition, my friendships, active lifestyle, regular exercise, and mindful nutrition are also on my list of what lends to my good health. I see it as God giving me the skills (and medical professionals) to do what I can do, God already doing what He/She will do. (If I take one step towards God, He/She will take two steps towards me, in my opinion). Thanks for all that you do!

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