When you are about to marry someone out of your religion, it may be a huge and life-changing decision, especially when marrying someone Jewish. Getting married to a Jew is not entirely impossible for a non-Jew, but it can be hard. Conflicts of holidays, beliefs, and also cultural differences are just some of the things you might encounter.
The different roles of men and women in society have long been associated with religion and its teachings. Especially when it comes to the religious teachings about the family’s well being, gender roles are inevitably and profoundly talked about.
Savoring the pleasure of the world is a teaching of Judaism that is embedded in the minds of the Jewish people. Too much materialism, however, has generally been established as something that leads to negative and damaging things. In contrast to this notion, Judaism teaches that with the proper attitude and usage of the physical world, holiness can be obtained.
Nowadays, men and women take a longer time to settle down and build a family. It can be caused by several factors such as financial stability, sexual preference, educational background, and economic status. Even religious beliefs and morals play a significant role in marriage longevity and family formation.
Somehow, spirituality and mental health is often bypassed by more irrelevant discussions when they should be one of the most important discussions in every conversation. In the past decade, researchers across various disciplines have started to explore and acknowledge the positive contribution spirituality can make to mental health to avoid mental illness.
Mental Health and Spiritual Beliefs
What is the connection between spirituality and mental health?
Read on to find out about the connections between mental health and spirituality.
Combining the theories and principles of psychiatry and Judaism, there is a three-step method to cope with mental health disorders and achieving inner peace.
Unsurprisingly, this is the era where everyone seems anxious all the time due to the demands of current society, work, family, and relationships. People’s concerns are no longer focused on personal aspects of their lives, but they are more physically and emotionally invested in what is happening globally.
With a lot of therapeutic solutions currently available to cope and manage anxiety, there is a unique approach that is designed with Judaism and psychotherapy in mind. The goal of this technique is reducing anxiety by looking and searching within oneself and figuring out how to liberally express one’s fears, emotions, and concerns authentically.
This three-step process of dealing with anxiety is primarily centered on personal alteration. The core is focused on self-awareness, self-control, and self-transformation.
The First Step: Self-Awareness
What we are worried about, what we tell ourselves, and the reason behind the worries are the primary contexts of people’s internal dialogue. Founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, acknowledged the subconscious influence on a person’s behavior. Anxiety, therefore, is commonly a result of an individual’s innermost thoughts, fears, and concerns.
Anxiety is entrenched from traumatic or stressful situations encountered that made a person feel scared, helpless, and hopeless. Other reasons for anxiety disorders to surface and debilitate are destabilizing traits and behaviors like procrastination, excess controlling or manipulation of oneself, and low self-confidence.
“Self-consciousness and self-awareness are sometimes healthy signs of emotional maturity. They can help you fit in and function within a community,” says Timothy J. Legg, PhD, CRNP.
Once the person has figured out what makes him or her anxious, it is easier for that person to resolve persistent anxiety issues.
The Second Step: Self-Control
The moment people understand the characteristics and nature of their worries, they can gain conscious and vigilant control of the source by utilizing what the Jews call “soul garments.” Soul garments are people’s powers of action, thought, and speech that can either be used separately or in combination with one another. Self-control can be achieved through the following:
Challenging one’s irrational thinking through the realization that worries are often rooted in a person’s illusionary understanding of certain situations happening in one’s life. These illusions that people often delve into cause possible breakdown of rational thinking which can instantaneously lead to envisioning the worst, bringing things out of proportion.
Sharing your worries about something that affects your life is crucial in reducing anxiety. Gaining insight has already paved the way for valuable perspective which is why it’s entirely appropriate to articulate worries and feelings. According to Jewish teachings, even if you don’t partake in sharing these negativities with people, you can still air them out to God.
“One 2011 survey conducted by the American Psychological Association found that 27 percent of respondents identified a lack of willpower as the primary factor keeping them from reaching their goals,” says Steven Gans, MD. He added that “the majority of people surveyed believe that self-control can be both learned and strengthened.”
Confronting your fears with your head held up high can help a person succeed in overcoming anxiety. By implementing a scheme to deal with specific concerns, you are facing parts of your fears that contribute to the lessening of your tension and at the same time, gaining more control of yourself and your situation. The Jews believe that confronting what scares you efficiently works in relieving anxiety because being actively persistent in altering internal patterns does wonders for the brain.
The Third Step: Self-Transformation
After you’ve surpassed gaining insight and control of your thoughts and feelings, it is now time for self-transformation.
Here, a person is now ready to challenge and change the underlying reason or trait which causes the anxiety attack, with the hopes that the condition will no longer occur severely. Repetition is critical. When people repeat appropriate, positive behavior in dealing with their anxiety, they are nurturing beneficial habits and relieving themselves of negative traits.
Having Faith In One’s Psychology
Basically, when dealing with inner peace, the concept of behavioral therapy is applied. According to Andrea Brandt, PhD, MFT, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy “is a popular and proven technique to treat anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety and social anxiety. CBT is a short-term treatment aimed at developing skills to help you alter emotional responses that are harmful to your wellbeing.” By focusing on oneself, finding the antagonist, and putting an end to its existence through the act of gradual, continuous exposure and transformation, one will be able to tolerate the thoughts and emotions which keeps anxiety at bay. Aside from that, people who engage in these steps tend to know more about themselves and, along with their journey of self-discovery, is also a journey of developing new strengths.
One does not have to be an expert to achieve such valuable anxiety-calming techniques in their lives. However, it is quite helpful for people to know how to deal with worries and fears if ever they arise in the future.
When it comes to sharing concerns and feelings, it was found that Jews are more willing and are more confident in their therapist’s capability to help them with their mental health condition. But it has always been a question as to why does therapy works best.
Why Therapeutic Treatments Performs Well With Jews
A recent article titled, “Religion, Ethnicity, and Attitudes Towards Psychotherapy” that was published last April 2012 in the Journal of Religion and Health stated that compared to either non-Jewish or African American people, Jews have higher trust and certainty in the ability of their mental health care provider. Jews cling to their beliefs that mental health therapy can efficiently aid them in psychological dilemmas or issues. More so, Jews were more tolerant of the stigma and are honest in their participation to open up about personal concerns and emotions.
Due to this accepting and understanding attitude, piling in Jews with the entire white population may create studies that compare racial prejudice towards therapy which can be quite misleading. Though there are specific mutual attitudes that make the African American community unsympathetic with regards to therapy clients and their therapists, much can be said for those who belong in mainstream white culture.
A Different Perception
Recent studies emerge showing how the African American population, even when suffering from debilitating mental illness, can still hold negative perceptions and attitudes when it comes to seeking counseling or therapy. Due to this mindset, African Americans who are suffering from severe mental illness will not seek therapy treatment for their psychological issues, no matter how impairing their condition is. “African Americans have a greater distrust of the medical establishment in general, and many believe medical institutions hold racist attitudes,” Monnica Williams, Ph.D. wrote.
Similarly, there are mental health professionals who have argued that Americans of Christian European descent also questions why does therapy work. The thing about “white culture” is that it values the notion of rugged individualism wherein a person must be independent and self-reliant, and not be dependent, weak, and helpless whenever circumstances arise, even if it means getting therapy help for their mental illness. Such kind of individualism materializing is contradictory to seeking professional help for concerns regarding psychological incapacitation. “Many people with mental illness report that private prayer, devotional readings, and religious programming (on TV, the radio, or the internet) can provide solace and comfort, which can enhance the recovery process,” Rob Whitley, Ph.D. points out.
The Jewish View On Psychotherapy
In contrast to the negative outlook of African Americans and non-Jewish white people on therapy, it was found out that Jews are relatively in favor of psychotherapy. Ronald Pies, a Tufts University psychiatrist, has taken the argument further and claimed that due to ancient teachings within the Jewish community and the substantial similarities with cognitive behavioral therapy, Jews are more receptive or tolerant of any stigma that is associated with seeking mental health treatment.
Peter Langman PhD says, “Jews differ from many cultural groups in that they place less value on self-reliance and are less suspicious of taking their problems to professionals.”
Realm Of Understanding Therapy And Mental Health
In the areas of understanding how therapy works, Jewish participants were less likely to identify themselves as primarily responsible for being mentally unstable but were notably more convinced that they are mainly responsible for discovering solutions to address their predicaments as compared to both African Americans and non-Jewish white people. This type of attitude exudes a sterling foundation for effective therapy treatments, downplaying the blame, and teaching people to positively cope and manage situations amidst life’s inevitable highs and lows.
The Conclusion As To Why Therapy Works
The differences outweighing each other are found to be mainly an issue focused on societal norms. Because Jewish culture encourages self-knowledge and introspection, their perception towards life’s uncertainties and mental disabilities are addressed efficiently, placing positive worth on behaviors of seeking therapy if necessary. Though there is still a lot of research to be done, much reiteration has already been made to solidify the fact that Jews are better therapy patients compared to other people.
Some Jews have been included in the list of the wealthiest people on earth. These numbers have people wondering: What makes Jews special? Is it because of their upbringing or is it because of the values imbibed from Judaism?
Aside from views and beliefs, different religions across the world differ mainly on practices and traditional celebrations. If you tell someone that you are a ‘religious’ person, the first thing that will come to one’s mind is that you follow your religion’s practices, according to how should they be done and how frequent should they be accomplished.