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Spirituality/Medicine Interface Project

Spirituality and the Science of Feeling Good

C. Robert Cloninger, MD
Volume: 100 Issue: 7 July, 2007

Abstract:

Importance of Spirituality for Well-being


Spirituality is defined as a search for—and a means of reaching—something beyond human existence, creating a sense of connectedness with the world and with the unifying source of all life—an expression of a profound need of people for coherent meaning, love, and happiness in their lives. Spirituality can help people develop happiness and satisfaction with life, as well as often preventing the stresses and lifestyle imbalances that lead to physical and mental disorders. A spiritual approach to life can be particularly crucial for people facing existential crises like suicide. Given that spirituality may provide a perspective that allows people to find meaning and hope in every aspect of life, including its inevitable suffering and challenges, spirituality can help reduce vulnerability to medical disorders and enrich the quality of people's lives.1

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References:

1. Cloninger CR. Feeling Good: The Science of Well Being. New York, Oxford University Press, 2004.
 
2. Cloninger CR. The science of well-being: an integrated approach to mental health and its disorders. World Psychiatry 2006;5:71–76.
 
3. Chapman DP, Perry GS, Strine TW. The vital link between chronic disease and depressive disorders. Prev Chronic Dis 2005;2:A14.
 
4. Cloninger CR. Fostering spirituality and well-being in clinical practice. Psychiatr Ann 2006;36:156–167.
 
5. Cloninger CR. Completing the psychobiological architecture of human personality development: temperament, character, & coherence. In: Staudinger UM, Lindenberger UER, eds. Understanding Human Development: Dialogues with Lifespan Psychology. Boston, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2003, pp 159–182.
 
6. Frankl VE. The Unheard Cry for Meaning: Psychotherapy and Humanism. New York, Pocket Books, 1978.
 
7. Jung CG. The Integration of the Personality. New York, Farrar & Rinehart, Inc, 1939.
 
8. Cloninger CR. Book review of Peterson and Seligman's Character and Human Virtues. Am J Psychiatry 2005;162:820–821.
 
9. Plante TG, Sherman AC. eds. Faith and Health: Psychological Perspectives. New York, Guilford Press, 2001.
 
10. MacLean PD. The Triune Brain in Evolution: Role in Paleocerebral Functions. New York, Plenum Press, 1990.
 
11. Cloninger CR, Svrakic DM, Przybeck TR. A psychobiological model of temperament and character. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1993;50:975–990.
 
12. Cloninger CR. The genetic structure of personality and learning: a phylogenetic model. Clin Genet1994;46:124–137.
 
13. Povinelli DJ, Giambrone S. Reasoning about beliefs: a human specialization? Child Dev 2001;72:691–695.
 
14. Mithen S. The Prehistory of the Mind: The Cognitive Origins of Art, Religion, and Science. London, Thames and Hudson, Ltd., 1996.
 
15. Papez JW. A proposed mechanism of emotion. Arch Neurol Psychiatry 1937;38:725–743.
 
16. Paus T. Primate anterior cingulate cortex: where motor control, drive and cognition interface. Nat Rev Neurosci 2001;2:417–424.
 
17. Paulus MP, Rogalsky C, Simmons A, et al. Increased activation in the right insula during risk-taking decision making is related to harm avoidance and neuroticism. Neuroimage 2003;19:1439–1448.
 
18. Pezawas L, Meyer-Lindenberg A, Drabant EM, et al. 5-HTTLPR polymorphism impacts human cingulate-amygdala interactions: a genetic susceptibility mechanism for depressionNat Neurosci 2005;8:828–834.
 
19. Pujol J, Lopez A, Deus J, et al. Anatomical variability of the anterior cingulate gyrus and basic dimensions of human personality. Neuroimage 2002;15:847–855.
 
20. Teasdale JD, Moore RG, Hayhurst H, et al. Metacognitive awareness and prevention of relapse in depression: empirical evidence. J Consult Clin Psychol 2002;70:275–287.
 
21. Vaillant GE, Milofsky E. Natural history of male psychological health: IX. Empirical evidence for Erikson's model of the life cycle. Am J Psychiatry 1980;137:1348–1359.
 
22. Cloninger CR. The Happy Life: Voyages to Well-Being. St. Louis, Anthropaideia Foundation, 2006.

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