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National Day of Prayer: The Health Benefits of Praying

Today is National Day or Prayer and no matter what religious affiliation you have  (if any), there's no doubt that there are numerous benefits to prayer. In fact, over the years researchers have studied prayer's effects on the body and found some pretty amazing results. Read on for the top five ways prayer or being spiritually connected can help your health — no matter to whom or what you pray to!

3 Health Benefits of Prayer

1. Manage emotion.
According to a 2010 study in the journal Social Psychology Quarterly, prayer can help manage and healthfully express emotional pain including illness, sadness, trauma and anger.

2. Reduce asthma symptoms. A study from last month by researchers at the University of Cincinnati found that urban adolescents with asthma experience worse symptoms when not using spiritual coping like prayer or relaxation.

3. Reduce aggression. A series of studies cited in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin from Ohio State University have shown that people who are provoked by insulting comments from a stranger show less anger and aggression soon afterwards if they prayed for another person after the account. Think of that the next time someone cuts you off in traffic!  

Also, those who pray regularly have been found to have lower blood pressure, fewer headaches, less anxiety and fewer heart attacks!

Jennipher WaltersJennipher Walters is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomedGirls.com and FitBottomedMamas.com. A certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and regularly writes about all things fitness and wellness for various online publications.

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