Lisa Miller, a psychologist and professor at Columbia University, asserts that spirituality can improve mental health and lead to happier lives. Rachel Martin interviews Miller on National Public Radio’s series Enlighten Me. Miller’s research reveals that personal spirituality reduces the risk of addiction by 80 percent and acts as a source of resilience against major depression.
MRI studies show that spiritual stimuli activate the brain’s bonding network, similar to the effect of a hug from a loved one. Despite facing skepticism from some peers, Miller advocates for exploring spirituality’s impact on well-being, emphasizing its significance in human life. She invites skeptics to consider the peer-reviewed science supporting spirituality’s positive effects on mental health.
“I oftentimes hear from people who consider themselves skeptics and very left-brained and when they see the peer reviewed science that says we’re naturally spiritual beings, that when we cultivate our spirituality we’re 80 percent less likely to be addicted, 82 percent less likely to take our lives, it speaks to the left side of their brains long enough that it quiets down the skepticism,” says Miller.