A Qualitative Study Understanding Perception of Prayer as Aid for Mental Health
Keywords:prayer, mental health, anxiety
Since the 1900s, people have considered mental health a severe aspect of human lives, deeming it as crucial as physical health. But recently, a significant increase in people developing mental health issues was observed. The most common are anxiety, depression, burnout, and mood disorders. However, limited options are available to aid said problems. Faced with this issue, the researchers thought of exploring prayer as an aid for mental health, analyzing the different perspectives of informants on prayer, and seeing how effective it is. The scope of this study focused on people who fulfilled the given criteria and priests for triangulation. The research procedure is divided into 4 phases: the preparation of the interview questions, selection of informants, gathering of the data, and analysis. This study identified three common themes regarding how the informants view the effectiveness of prayer: (1) it is practical, (2) prayer only causes delays, and (3) we should focus more on solving the issues, thus making prayer ineffective, and informants think that prayer is not for everyone; therefore, other options may be explored, such as meditation or journaling. Results show that many people find prayer helpful. However, not all who are experiencing mental health issues are spiritual. This is why there are alternative options such as; journaling, meditation, and spending time with family and loved ones. Informants felt relieved to have shared their burdens without being judged. While some disagreed that prayer was helpful, stating that they feel like they should face the problem head-on to solve it or ask help from others rather than relying on prayer to solve the problem, they still said that prayer is still worth trying. The prevailing situations were confirmed and attested via triangulation. Mental health issues should first be assessed for proper diagnosis and intervention. For cases where no medical intervention is needed, some measures on how mental health issues can be addressed. While prayer is a suitable coping mechanism, overcoming depression or any mental health situation is a personal decision.