Recent scientific research shows:
• Prayer and spiritual practice reduce stress and anxiety.
• Just twelve minutes of focused prayer per day may slow down the aging process.
• Contemplating a loving God as taught in the Orthodox Church rather than a punitive God reduces anxiety, depression, and stress and increases feelings of security, compassion, and love.
• Anger and prejudice generated by extreme beliefs can permanently damage your brain.
• Intense prayer and meditation permanently change numerous structures and functions in the brain-altering your values and the way you perceive reality.
These are the findings of neuroscientist Andrew Newberg. His research team has concluded that active and positive spiritual belief changes the human brain for the better.
If you want to change your life you have to realize that part of your effort is changing your brain. This is work we do in cooperation with Grace, called Synergia. The Orthodox way of life as taught by our Church will lead you to a better life and a union with God. Our aim as Orthodox Christians is to acquire the Holy Spirit so that we are able to do His will and not just our own will. This requires we overcome our tendency to follow habits that we have programmed into our physical brains. Prayer, worship and ascetic practices coupled with the sacraments of the Church can change your life. They help you form new habits that lead you closer to God and a more fulfilling life.