How Focusing on Your Faith Can Help with Depression & Anxiety


It has long been believed that having faith is key to getting through some of life’s greatest challenges. In many cases, a spiritual practice can often give people the strength and confidence to push through obstacles and make positive changes.

However, can faith have a positive effect on depression and anxiety? According to new research, it can.

Your Brain on Spirituality

According to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry, meditation or any other form of regular spiritual practice (such as prayer or religious contemplation) has been linked to a thickening of the brain cortex. The study was the first to investigate whether there is any physical evidence in the brain linked to the protective effects of faith against depression. It looked at 103 adults at either high or low risk of depression, based on family history.

At the end of the study, magnetic resonance was used to view participants’ brains. The images clearly showed thicker cortices in those participants who placed high importance on religion or spirituality than those who did not.

But even more significant was the fact that the thicker cortex was found in exactly the same regions of the brain that had shown thinning in people with a high risk for depression.

Related Reads

3 Ways Faith Can Help You Fight Depression and Anxiety

Every individual requires unique treatment methods to combat their symptoms of depression. Cognitive behavioral therapy and prescription medications work well for many people. But, many others may be helped by embracing a spiritual practice.


If you are suffering from depression, here are three reasons why you may want to focus more on your faith:

1. Faith Offers Hope

A belief in a loving power greater than ourselves can help us feel hopeful, even in our darkest hours. Faith turns wishful thinking into great expectations. And when we start to expect goodness in our lives, we naturally feel hopeful for our future.

2. Your Behaviors Evolve

Whether it’s through praying, meditating, or attending some sort of spiritual service or gathering, faith-filled people tend to experience positive changes in their attitudes and behaviors. Where once you may have had a knee-jerk emotional reaction to a situation, you might now be able to center yourself instead and face situations with calmness and clarity.

3. Your Perception Changes

Faith has a way of helping us see ourselves and our lives differently. Problems turn into opportunities, enemies into friends, and impossibilities into possibilities.

While it may take some time before you feel relief from your depression or anxiety, by embracing faith, you will be better able to cope with the symptoms.

If you or a loved one are suffering from depression or anxiety and would also like to explore treatment options, please reach out. I would be happy to discuss how I may be able to help.

Begin Anxiety or Depression Treatment in Boulder, CO

We understand the benefits of integrating faith and therapy. Our team would be honored to offer support in overcoming depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns. We offer support from our Boulder, CO-based therapy practice and across the state of Colorado. You can start your therapy journey by following these simple steps:

  1. Contact our therapy center
  2. Request an appointment & learn more about our team
  3. Start managing mental health concerns with the support of faith


Other Services Offered with North Boulder Counseling

You are a complex person with complex issues. This is why we are happy to offer support with a variety of mental health services in addition to anxiety treatment and depression treatment. Other mental health services offered by our Boulder, CO-based therapy practice include eating disorder treatmenttrauma therapy/PTSD treatmentplay therapy, and mindfulness-based therapy. We offer therapy services for the whole family, including counseling for menwomenteens, and children. Other therapy services offered include LGBTQ counselinganxiety intensive treatmentpostpartum anxiety treatment, parent coaching, and co-parenting. Feel free to learn more about us, or visit our blog for more info!