In my childhood one of the lessons I had to learn the hard way—and repeatedly—is that coming down is almost always more difficult than going up. Whether I was scaling a tall tree, climbing rocks or racing to the top of a ladder, the descent seemed both harder and more nerve-wracking than the ascent.
A study of HIV-positive men and women showed that those who engaged in spiritual practices had a two to four times greater chance of survival than those who didn’t. The researchers began interviewing people at the mid-stage of their disease. The researchers asked participants whether they prayed, meditated, went to religious services, were grateful to God for what they had, or believed that God could forgive them for wrongdoing. The findings showed that the way people focus on the meaning of life and relate to God can affect health, even in the case of HIV. Roughly one-fifth of the participants engaged in “positive spiritual reframing” of their disease, seeing it as a way