Having Life More Abundantly: Caring for the Body, Mind and Spirit
Jeitschko, Thomas D. and O’Connell, Séamus and Pecchenino, Rowena A. (2009) Having Life More Abundantly: Caring for the Body, Mind and Spirit. Faith and Economics, 53 . pp. 1-33.
An individual’s health can be subdivided into three categories: physical health, mental health, and psychic health. Extensive empirical work has shown that the health of the spirit, that is, psychic health, is an important correlate of the health of the body and the mind. To trace the linkages between one’s choices concerning the disposition of one’s income and time and one’s health and well-being broadly defined, we develop a model which allows us to compare individuals with differing spirituality characteristics. While subjective well-being is increasing in one’s spirituality, the more spiritual may not be healthier than their less spiritual peers. Those whose faith provides a superior ability to cope with stress and illness, via spiritual capital or a sense of coherence, will have both higher levels of health and subjective well-being. But, these positive health effects are not directly amenable to exploitation by public policy – faith, although nurtured by the Church, cannot be mandated by the State.
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