I was having coffee with a friend, discussing the strange ritual of applying to jobs online. She has been looking for a teaching position with a livable salary; I am hoping to transition away from overnight shifts as a hospital chaplain. The job search involves daily rejection. As so many of us seek meaningful work to no avail, there's a cumulative toll to not being chosen.
A study of HIV-positive men and women showed that those who engaged in spiritual practices had a two to four times greater chance of survival than those who didn’t. The researchers began interviewing people at the mid-stage of their disease. The researchers asked participants whether they prayed, meditated, went to religious services, were grateful to God for what they had, or believed that God could forgive them for wrongdoing. The findings showed that the way people focus on the meaning of life and relate to God can affect health, even in the case of HIV. Roughly one-fifth of the participants engaged in “positive spiritual reframing” of their disease, seeing it as a way God was using them, for example. These people had a survival rate four times greater than that of the others (Atlantic, May 6).