Why prayer is stronger than meditation because it adds a relationship component
Abide App founders Neil Ahlstein and Eric Tse sit down with Bambi Francisco Roizen for the VatorNews podcast.
Subscribe to our podcasts to receive our interviews and shows as soon as they’re released!
(Editor’s Note: On June 9th, we will continue to host our Future of Mental and Behavioral Health 2021 virtual event. We will be VCs and C-level executives from leading mental and behavioral companies like BetterUp, BetterHelp from Teladoc, Amwell, Doctor on On-Demand, Kaiser Permanente, Bessemer Ventures, and more.
In 2021, it’s finally okay to talk about our sanity and that’s why we’re excited to be sponsored by BetterHelp. But what is therapy? It is whatever you want You may feel insecure in relationships, at work, or not very motivated right now. Whatever you need, it’s time to stop feeling ashamed of normal human struggles and feeling better about yourself. Because you deserve to be happy. BetterHelp is a bespoke online therapy that offers video, phone, and even live chat sessions. It’s also cheaper than personal therapy, but just as effective. See if it’s for you.
Here are some takeaways
– – Christian wellbeing overlaps with what you would think of spiritual wellbeing. Mentally, physically, nutritionally. There is a spiritual side to many people’s identities so it is a holistic approach of mind and body.
– Over 65% of the US market identify as Christian. They see Christianity as a core identity of who they are. In the meditation room, Abide tries to talk to people and say that this practice also has many roots in the Bible. The reason Abide approaches meditation this way is that there are other benefits.
– Both founders worked at Google and met at Google. They ran brainstorming hackathons with 200 people to come up with ideas for an app for Christians. The two left their jobs in 2-14 to start the company that started out with user-generated content unsuccessfully. They have since focused on guided content.
– There are guided reflections, sleep content, quick help content and breathing exercises in the app. It’s similar to a meditation app, but Abide also ties in with the first principles of the Bible and people are even prayed for. There are morning mindfulness exercises as well as long and short content.
– Psalm 1: 2 says: “But they rejoice in the law of the Lord, and meditate on it day and night.” We are called to God to meditate.
– A big difference between meditation and prayer is that in meditation you empty your mind and fill it with mindfulness, but with prayer you fill it with values and principles that you believe in. Most of the people who pray trust this experience and are ready to embrace it.
– Another difference is the relational aspect of prayer. When you meditate you are within yourself. Prayer brings in the aspect of relationship. You do the thinking and check in. But there is a belief that God is with you in this room. When you look at MRIs, prayer sheds light on a different part of the brain because it involves relational sense. This promotes another level of neural development and connection.
– From a scientific point of view. Take the best of meditation and best relationship, this is the experience we can give.
– Studies show that prayer promotes clinging, especially because a person is accountable to God. There is more motivation to hold on to the prayer over meditation. ((Religious vs Conventional CBT)
– In prayer, a person actively articulates his or her thoughts. Meditation also works like this when you articulate your feelings or label, “I am angry.” Or “I feel stressed.” When a person gets angry, they have increased activity in the amygdala, an alarm to protect the body. However, when you say how you are feeling – “angry” – the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (behind the forehead) is activated – this is the area where you think about our emotions in words. ((Study at UCLA)
– When a person prays, the activity in the frontal lobe is increased and the activity in the parietal lobe is decreased. Both good things. https://www.andrewnewberg.com/research/
This podcast is sponsored by BetterHelp and VatorNews listeners get a 10% discount on their first month at BetterHelp.com/Vator. This podcast is also provided by Octave, your mental health and emotional wellbeing partner. Learn more at FindOctave.com. Thanks also to NeuroFlow, who works with hundreds of health organizations to provide world-class technology and services for the effective integration of behavioral health. Learn more at neuroflow.com)