Spiritual exercise may help fight depression, anxiety

Published September 3, 2020, 11:15 AM

by Christina Hermoso

A Roman Catholic priest has advised individuals who are experiencing anxiety and depression to engage in spiritual and religious exercises.

“Find time for a spiritual exercise, meditation, and spiritual reading such as reading the Holy Bible which has a calming effect and help address the feelings of anxiety and depression,” said Rev. Fr. Edgardo ‘Egai’ de Jesus, registered counselor and consultant of the University of Santo Tomas Psycho-trauma Clinic and Radio Veritas Healing Touch Anchor.

“Find more time to pray, to be connected with God. Find a special place in your house where you can sit or kneel down and pray in silence. Lift your hands to God.  Be connected with God because in the end, you would want to depend on the most powerful of all. It is about time to recognize the mighty power of God,” De Jesus said over Church-run Radio Veritas.

Reading the Bible, the priest said, can infuse positivism in a person and instill hope.

“The Bible has a lot of stories of hope that can help a person view life in a more positive way despite the pandemic,” De Jesus said.

“Go back to the Bible where you can find stories of hope. Choose to watch stories or shows that instill hope so that you will have a very positive outlook,” he added.

The priest advised individuals who are experiencing depression to take a time out from the internet “where there are many stories of hopelessness.”

“When you are anxious or depressed, stay away from watching or reading negative stories. Spend time away from the internet, Facebook, or television where you can read up on stories about the pandemic. Read and watch something beautiful. Engage in spiritual exercises, meditations, and spiritual reading,” De Jesus stressed.

“Use social media in a positive way such as in seeking professional help if necessary. Most of all, pray and ask for the Lord’s help and guidance,” he said.

The University of the Philippines-Diliman—Psychosocial Services (UPD-PsycServ) said, they receive more than 100 calls per day from individuals suffering from various mental health concerns while the National Center for Mental Health averages 300 to 400 calls per month for the same problem.