Faith and Emotional Needs
Whether you identify as religious, spiritual, or simply a person of faith, identifying with a higher power outside ourselves can sometimes help us meet our Emotional Needs.
You might have grown up in a church or with a specific belief, or maybe you have been on your own spiritual path to find the right faith for you. Whatever your journey, faith can help us to meet several of our emotional needs. It might be obvious that we all have mental health, just as we have physical health. However, what might not be as obvious is identifying areas and practices in our lives that help to fulfil these needs and look after our mental health.
In this blog, we are going to identify some of the ways religion, spirituality, and faith can help to meet several of our emotional needs, sharing excerpts of data gathered from our Emotional Needs Survey (ENS).
For some, faith, spirituality, or religion can help to provide a sense of meaning and purpose through serving others and being a part of something bigger than ourselves.
One respondent from the ENS shared “Family, faith and stability supports my wellbeing”.
Another way faith, spirituality, and religion can support our emotional needs is by providing a sense of community. Since the pandemic, we have learned community can come in many forms, whether it’s in person or a facetime call with friends and family across the country. For those who might not attend a regular gathering with their body of faith, a community can also come in the sense of knowing you are not alone in your belief and way of life. While, this cannot replace a physical community, but it can be comforting when feeling isolated.
Another respondent from the ENS shared “I have a ‘religious’ faith and am an active member of my church community. This makes a solid, positive contribution to my life, for which I am incredibly grateful.” This statement indicates their needs for attention, emotional connection, meaning and purpose, achievement, and community are being met.
Along with community, it is very possible to fulfil your need for attention through faith, spirituality, and religion. Not only can you receive positive attention from your community, but it can also be a way to redirect attention away from everyday worries and concerns through practices like prayer, contemplation, and meditation. Feedback from the ENS included: “My church family are supportive” and “My own Christian faith and prayer [is a support factor]”.
Although we have identified some emotional needs in this blog, not everyone will have the same experience or meet these same needs through faith, spirituality and religion. For some, this experience can give the opposite feeling and prevent one from meeting their emotional needs. It is certainly not necessary for an individual to have a faith to meet their emotional needs, but for those who do, it can provide valuable support. Ideally, everyone will find appropriate ways of meeting their needs in healthy and positive ways to support their mental wellbeing.
If you need support to help meet your emotional needs, take a look at our services.